798: Dangerous Speech

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 7m
February 11th, 2016
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Executive Producers: Sir Frank Ajzensztat Baron of Stonnington, David Killian

Associate Executive Producers: Vincent Farrell, Gregory McGregor, Sir Richard Moffatt, Sir Nick of the SouthSide

Cover Artist: Sir Sluf

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Ferguson
Prayer for Relief Distraction
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, the United States prays that the Court:
Declare that the Defendant has engaged in a pattern or practice of conduct that
deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or
laws of the United States, in violation of Section 14141 and Title VI;
197. Order the Defendant, its officers, agents, and employees to refrain from engaging
in any of the predicate acts forming the basis of the pattern or practice of conduct described
herein;
198. Order the Defendant, its officers, agents, and employees to adopt and implement
policies, procedures, and mechanisms that identify, correct, and prevent the unlawful conduct
described herein that deprives persons of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected
by the Constitution or laws of the United States; and
199. Order such other appropriate relief as the interests of justice may require.
CONSENT DECREE SCAM-Ferguson tentatively agrees to top-to-bottom police department makeover
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 07:17
What's This?
The tentative agreement comes following the fallout of Michael Brown's death including this pictured protest along West Florissant Avenue on Aug. 10, 2015.Image: Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
By The Associated Press2016-01-28 04:56:09 UTC
ST. LOUIS '-- The Ferguson Police Department has agreed to overhaul its policies, training and practices as part of a sweeping deal with the Justice Department following the 2014 fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, city and federal officials announced Wednesday.
The recommendations, detailed in a 131-page proposed consent decree, are meant to correct problems identified in a scathing Justice Department report last year that identified unconstitutional and discriminatory practices across the city police force and municipal court system.
The city had been under federal scrutiny since the August 2014 shooting of Brown, who was black and unarmed, by white police officer Darren Wilson. The killing led to protests and promoted a wave of national scrutiny about police use of force and law enforcement's interactions with minorities.
Wilson was cleared in the shooting, but a federal investigation into the Ferguson police force found sweeping patterns of racial bias throughout the city's criminal justice system. A Justice Department report in March found that officers routinely used excessive force, issued petty citations and made baseless traffic stops in the city of about 21,000 residents, about two-thirds of whom are black. It also criticized the police force, which was nearly all white, and the court system for leaning heavily on fines for petty municipal violations as a source of revenue for the city government.
Agreement could avoid civil rights lawsuitThe recommended overhaul follows seven months of negotiations and likely averts a civil rights lawsuit that federal officials can bring against departments that resist changing their policing practices. City officials posted the tentative deal on its website and scheduled three public sessions for input from residents. A City Council vote is scheduled for Feb. 9.
The agreement envisions a top-to-bottom reshaping of basic policing practices as the Justice Department calls for fundamental changes in how officers conduct stops, searches and arrests, use their firearms and respond to demonstrations. Ferguson officials also agreed to rewrite their municipal code to restrict the use of fines and jail time for petty violations.
"The agreement also will ensure that the city's stated commitment to refocusing police and municipal court practices on public safety, rather than revenue generation, takes root and will not be undone," Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, wrote in a letter to Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III.
Deal HighlightsAmong the highlights of the deal is a requirement that all patrol officers, supervisors and jail workers be outfitted '-- within 180 days of the agreement taking effect '-- with body-worn cameras and microphones. The cameras, aimed at promoting accountability, are to be activated for all traffic stops, arrests, searches and encounters with people believed to be experiencing a mental health crisis.
Officers also would be expected to justify as reasonable each shot they fire, and police department policies will lay out each use of force option and the circumstances in which it's appropriate.
As part of the consent decree, police officers and court employees would be given training on "bias-free policing" to help them recognize unconscious stereotyping. And new training would also be given on proper stops, searches and arrests, as well as on use of force and appropriate responses to demonstrators and protesters.
The city also will develop a recruitment plan to attract diversity to the police force.
It won't be cheapFerguson spokesman Jeff Small said the city hasn't calculated its total financial obligations but called them "significant." Ferguson voters will consider two ballot measures in April that would increase property and sales taxes '-- without which the city expects to resort to layoffs to help plug a $2.8 million budget shortfall.
"We're not just going to negotiate and say, 'Boom. This is what you have to live with as a community," Small said.
The consent decree represents a milestone moment for a city that attracted national attention after Brown was shot during a street encounter with Wilson. A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict Wilson in the shooting. The Justice Department also cleared the officer, concluding that evidence backed his claim that he shot Brown in self-defense after Brown tried to grab his gun during a struggle through the window of Wilson's police vehicle, then came toward him threateningly after briefly running away.
Gupta said "the entire Ferguson community has reason to be proud" about the deal, saying in her letter Tuesday that its implementation will "ensure that police and court services in Ferguson are provided in a manner that fully promotes public safety, respects the fundamental rights of all Ferguson residents, and makes policing in Ferguson safer and more rewarding for officers."
The city's statement called the deal "the best agreement that the city's representatives were able to obtain for the citizens."
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
Topics: Protests in Ferguson, Missouri , U.S., World
Elections 2016
Ex-lawyer for 'D.C. Madam': Names in her records could be 'relevant' to presidential election | NOLA.com
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 15:11
WASHINGTON - Attorney Montgomery Blair Sibley has sued senators and Supreme Court justices. He's been a write-in presidential candidate. He represented the "D.C. Madam," whose black book included a sitting senator.
Now Sibley claims that some never-before-aired information found in the records of said madam "could be relevant" to the upcoming presidential election.
How so? Well, he can't say. Sibley is bound by restraining orders imposed by the court in the case of Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who committed suicide in 2008 soon after she was found guilty of racketeering and money laundering.
But her former attorney is now seeking permission to release 815 names of Palfrey's clients and the records of 40 other escort services operating in Washington, a pool that he's hinting includes someone with bearing on the current political campaign.
On Monday, Sibley filed a complaint of judicial misconduct against Chief Judge Richard Roberts of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claiming that Roberts instructed a clerk not to file his earlier request to lift the order preventing him from making those records public. A spokeswoman for Roberts did not immediately respond to phone calls, and a Roberts spokesman gave a "no comment" to radio station WTOP, which first reported the filing.
During her trial, Palfrey posted online the phone numbers of many of her clients, a list that included Sen. David Vitter, R-La., who later apologized for a "very serious sin." In an interview on Monday, Sibley said he'd obtained names associated with those numbers through a subpoena of phone records at the time, but they had been quashed by a court order.
Sibley said he'd sat on the documents for years, but the upcoming election had prompted him to try to air the names. Why, exactly? "Well, this is where I walk a fine line," he said. "I don't want to say something that would violate the order."
Sibley has irked the courts plenty in the past - his law license was suspended for three years in 2008 for being a "vexatious litigant." But he's hoping this latest quest might bring him peace of mind.
"I'll sleep better at night knowing that I tried to do what I thought was appropriate in the situation," he said.
BLM / SuperBowl
Red Lobster Sales Skyrocket After Beyonce's 'Formation' Shout-Out
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:07
Beyonce's new single "Formation" has people dancing all the way to Red Lobster.
On Sunday -- the day after Beyonce dropped the powerful new song -- the restaurant chain's sales were up 33% over the last year, CNN Money reports. In addition to addressing police brutality and Hurricane Katrina, ''Formation'' also name-drops the seafood chain in the lyric, ''When he f**k me good, I take his ass to Red Lobster."
Red Lobster responded on Twitter by referring to its famous appetizer ''Cheddar Bey Biscuits,'' though many Twitter users were less than impressed.
The chain's social media account took the criticism in stride, though.
Right after the video dropped, social media was filled with people talking about heading to Red Lobster -- though we couldn't be entirely sure if they were serious. But now we have the sales numbers to suggest that they totally were.
Also on HuffPost:
Beyonce's Style Evolution
Beyonce back in the Destiny's Child Days at the 2002 Grammys
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Beyonce back in the Destiny's Child Days at the 2002 Grammys
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B rocked a shimmery bustier dress to the Billboard Awards back in 2003
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Loving her lingerie a little too much at the 2003 Essence Awards
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Beyonce the barbarian at the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards
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A strange print for a night on the red carpet back in 2003
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Beyonce looking like a hot, gold mess at the 2004 Grammys
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Pretty in pink at the 2004 NRJ Music Awards
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Beyonce's the ultimate glamour girl, especially in this metallic romper from 2004
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Not the right silhouette for this famously curvy star, 2005
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Beyonce does vixen velvet in this sultry black gown worn to the 2005 Oscars
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Matching with her Destiny's Child mates at the 2005 BET Awards
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Not so red carpet ready in this yellow frock from 2005
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Beyonce donned this intricate gown to the 2006 MTV VMAs
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A sexy, sophisticated white gown worn to the 2007 Academy Awards
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Effortlessly gorgeous at the U.K. premiere of "Dreamgirls" in 2007
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B wore this appropriately revealing ensemble to the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue event back in 2007
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Beyonce's a stunner in this black, embellished dress from 2008
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And at the 2008 Grammy after party thrown by Sony/BMG
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Beyonce's ice blue gown from the 2008 Grammys
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At the Kennedy Center Honors, 2008
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Dazzling in diamonds, 2009
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Beyonce looked fierce and fabulous at the 2009 BET Awards
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B donned this nude-colored gown to the 2010 Grammys
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Bold and beautiful at a benefit last year
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At a Lorraine Schwartz event in 2010
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A vision in Pucci at The Met Gala this past May
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Beyonce performing at the 2011 Glastonbury Music Festival
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On GMA this past July
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Showing off her baby bump at the 2011 MTV VMAs
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Performing in a sequined jacket at the 2011 VMAs
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Stepping out in Paris in June 2012
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Caliphate!
Google will begin showing anti-ISIS ads to counter terrorism | Fox News
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 14:17
Not all weapons have a trigger, but that doesn't make them any less effective. No, I'm not talking about bombs, but rather about Google's new strategy to use its highly targeted advertising system in the battle against ISIS. Last week, Anthony House, the senior manager for public policy and communications at Google, revealed plans to show users anti-radicalization links in response to terrorism-related searches. The plan was outlined before a committee of the British parliament dedicated to counter-terrorism.
The program is still in its pilot stages, but House is hopeful that this new plan may provide a clever tool that protects the freedom of the Internet while protecting the livelihoods of the world's citizens. "We should get the bad stuff down, but it's also extremely important that people are able to find good information, that when people are feeling isolated, that when they go online, they find a community of hope, not a community of harm," said the Google manager.
The idea, the Internet giant says, is to provide a sort of alternative narrative to those looking for information about extremism. In a statement, a Google spokesperson further explained, "What was referenced is a pilot Google AdWords Grants program that's in the works right now with a handful of eligible non-profit organizations. The program enables NGOs to place counter-radicalization ads against search queries of their choosing."
Related: Google reveals Justin Bieber video is most complained about clip on YouTube
In addition to the counter-terrorism ads, Google is also ensuring that its subsidiary YouTube makes anti-extremism videos more discoverable, further aiding the overall efforts against ISIS and similar groups.
The move comes in the midst of an ongoing debate about the role and responsibility that social media groups should accept in responding to the proliferation of extremism. ISIS is known for leveraging sites like Twitter and Facebook for both recruitment and propaganda purposes, and a recent lawsuit against Twitter suggested that ISIS has only reached its current level of influence with the (albeit unintentional) help of social media platform.
And while Google ads may not be a comprehensive solution, it's certainly a step in the right direction when it comes to using tech to fight the bad guys.
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Google to point extremist searches towards anti-radicalisation websites | UK news | The Guardian
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 14:16
Extremist-related searches via Google are to be shown anti-radicalisation links. Photograph: Chris Ison/PA
Users of Google who put extremist-related entries into the search engine are to be shown anti-radicalisation links under a pilot programme, MPs have been told by an executive for the company. The initiative, aimed at countering the online influence of groups such as Islamic State, is running alongside another pilot scheme designed to make counter-radicalisation videos easier to find
The schemes were mentioned by Anthony House, senior manager for public policy and communications at Google, who was appearing alongside counterparts from Twitter and Facebook at a home affairs select committee hearing on countering extremism. ''We should get the bad stuff down, but it's also extremely important that people are able to find good information, that when people are feeling isolated, that when they go online, they find a community of hope, not a community of harm,'' he said.
Referring to the use of online counter radicalisation initiatives, House said: ''This year'.... we are running two pilot programmes. One is to make sure that these types of videos are more discoverable on YouTube. The other one is to make sure when people put potentially damaging search terms into our search engine.. they also find this counter narrative.''
Google has said that House was referring to a pilot scheme to enable NGOs to place counter-radicalisation adverts against search queries of their choosing.
A spokesperson said: ''The free Google AdWords Grant program is starting a pilot for a handful of eligible non-profits organizations to run ads against terrorism-related search queries of their choosing.''
All three representatives from Google, Twitter and Facebook were challenged by MPs about the extent of their companies' roles in combating the use of social media by groups such as Isis for propaganda and recruitment purposes.
Committee chairman Keith Vaz asked how many people are in the sites' ''hit squads'' that monitor content. He was told Twitter, which has 320 million users worldwide, has ''more than 100'' staff. The Facebook and Google executives did not give a number.
Simon Milner, Facebook's policy director for UK and Ireland, Middle East, Africa and Turkey, said that the site has become a ''hostile place'' for Isis: ''Keeping people safe is our number one priority. Isis is part of that, but it's absolutely not the only extremist organisation or behaviour that we care about.'' He added that Facebook recognised from research that people did not typically get radicalised exclusively online '' rather, it was a combination of real-world and online contact '' and was working as a result with groups in society such as Imams.
The three were also questioned about the thresholds they apply on notifying authorities about terrorist material identified by staff or users. Labour MP Chuka Umunna asked: ''What is the threshold beyond which you decide ... that you must proactively notify the law enforcement agencies?''
House and Milner said their threshold was ''threat to life'', while Nick Pickles, UK public policy manager at Twitter, told the MPs: ''We don't proactively notify. Because Twitter's public, that content is available, so often it's been seen already.''
Pickles also stressed that decisions on whether to notify account holders that they were under investigation were ''context specific'' and insisted that Twitter worked with authorities to ensure that they do not disrupt investigations.
' This article was amended on 3 February 2016 to clarify Google's counter-radicalisation initiatives and to expand a quote from Anthony House and add a response from Google.
Earon
Exclusive: Iran wants euro payment for new and outstanding oil sales - source | Reuters
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 14:44
Fri Feb 5, 2016 | 5:15 PM EST
By Nidhi Verma
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Iran wants to recover tens of billions of dollars it is owed by India and other buyers of its oil in euros and is billing new crude sales in euros, too, looking to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar following last month's sanctions relief.
A source at state-owned National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) told Reuters that Iran will charge in euros for its recently signed oil contracts with firms including French oil and gas major Total, Spanish refiner Cepsa and Litasco, the trading arm of Russia's Lukoil.
"In our invoices we mention a clause that buyers of our oil will have to pay in euros, considering the exchange rate versus the dollar around the time of delivery," the NIOC source said.
Lukoil and Total declined to comment, while Cepsa did not respond to a request for comment.
Iran has also told its trading partners who owe it billions of dollars that it wants to be paid in euros rather than U.S. dollars, said the person, who has direct knowledge of the matter.
Iran was allowed to recover some of the funds frozen under U.S.-led sanctions in currencies other than dollars, such as the Omani rial and UAE dhiram.
Switching oil sales to euros makes sense as Europe is now one of Iran's biggest trading partners.
"Many European companies are rushing to Iran for business opportunities, so it makes sense to have revenue in euros," said Robin Mills, chief executive of Dubai-based Qamar Energy.
Iran has pushed for years to have the euro replace the dollar as the currency for international oil trade. In 2007, Tehran failed to persuade OPEC members to switch away from the dollar, which its then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called a "worthless piece of paper".
The NIOC source said Iran's central bank instituted a policy while the country was under sanctions over its disputed nuclear program to carry out foreign trade in euros.
"Iran shifted to the euro and canceled trade in dollars because of political reasons," the source said.
BOOST FOR EURO TRADE
Iran has the world's fourth-largest proved reserves of crude oil, and expects to quickly increase production, which could lead to tens of billions of euros worth of new oil trade.
Iran's insistence on being paid in euros rather than dollars is also a sign of an uneasy truce between Tehran and Washington even after last month's lifting of most sanctions.
U.S. officials estimate about $100 billion (69 billion pound) of Iranian assets were frozen abroad, around half of which Tehran could access as a result of sanctions relief.
It is not clear how much of those funds are oil dues that Iran would want back in euros.
India owes Tehran about $6 billion for oil delivered during the sanctions years.
Last month, NIOC's director general for international affairs told Reuters that Iran "would prefer to receive (oil money owed) in some foreign currency, which for the time being is going to be euro."
Indian government sources confirmed Iran is looking to be paid in euros.
Tehran has asked to be paid using the exchange rates at the time the oil was delivered, along with interest for those payment delays, Indian and Iranian sources said.
Indian officials are working on a mechanism that could involve local banks United Commercial Bank (UCO) and IDBI Bank for handling payments to Iran, one Indian government source said.
UCO CEO R.K. Takkar said the bank is involved in payments to Iran, but did not say if there were any plans to change the payment mechanism. IDBI CEO Kishor Kharat could not be reached for comment.
India could also try to resume payments through Turkey's Halkbank, a channel it stopped using in 2012, or by direct transfer to Iranian banks through the global SWIFT transaction network.
With Iran now again linking to international lenders through SWIFT, the NIOC source said it was easy for Tehran to be paid in any currency it wants, adding: "And we want euros."
(Additional reporting by Devidutta Tripathy in MUMBAI; Editing by Paritosh Bansal and Ian Geoghegan)
Shut Up Slave!
Students Who Didn't Get Solos in Burlesque Show Claim Victimhood Status - Hit & Run : Reason.com
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 16:14
DreamstimeNorthwestern University students might have just won the everything-is-offensive sweepstakes: student-performers who were denied prominent roles in the campus's burlesque show say the event isn't inclusive enough, and organizers are frantically trying to create a ''safe space'' for them.
The burlesque show is an annual tradition during Northwestern's ''sex week,'' and strives to empower students to think positively about their bodies. Everyone who tries out gets a part in the production, though not everyone gets a solo.
But this year's roster is one big microaggression, according to the students, who claim the directors didn't obey the dictates of diversity when making their selections. As I wrote in a recent column for The Daily Beast:
The directors are working tirelessly to un-hurt everybody's feelings, and have restructured the show to make room for more solo acts. But the irate performers demand more:
''Even though this is something new that we're being confronted with, that doesn't make it any less valid,'' said one student. ''It's very important that we are always consciously thinking of deliberate ways to uplift people that are not uplifted in society.''
Another student said burlesque show rehearsals will strive to be more ''intentionally inclusive'' from now on. The group is apparently drafting some kind of constitution, which will presumably enshrine their right to unimaginable levels of inclusivity.
The irony is undeniable: it used to be conservative groups who threw tantrums about transgressive displays of moral non-conformity. But on today's college campuses, no one is more offended and outraged than the liberal kids.
Generation ''Every Kid Gets a Trophy'' is coming of age, and it isn't pretty.
Robby Soave is a staff editor at Reason.com.
Free speech shouldn't be more important than child safety
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 16:15
Free speech fundamentalists argue that any kind of internet regulation is censorship. But for those of us who want to protect the (relative) innocence of 21st Century childhood, internet regulation is more than essential; it may even be our moral duty.
At the end of last year, European Union leaders finalized the text of the General Data Protection Regulation, a comprehensive set of laws initially proposed in 2012, which regulates how companies may use the personal information of European Internet users. Although the GDPR isn't even law yet '-- the European Parliament is set to vote on a proposal in March or April which won't go into effect until 2018 '-- it's already the cause of much moral outrage among the free speech fundamentalists.
''European lawmakers are clearly motivated by a desire to protect the privacy of their citizens. But they should be careful that in trying to achieve that admirable goal they do not harm other rights, like free speech,'' suggests a New York Times editorial.
''Another unworkable provision would require that people younger than 16 have their parents' consent before opening accounts on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter,'' the editorial adds.
''Unworkable provision''? Is more oversight on children's social media use really that absurd? After all, the protection of children on the Internet is simultaneously woefully inadequate and utterly crucial, and I commend the EU for trying to address the problem.
Today's teenagers are drowning in social media. An April 2015 report by the Pew Research Center states that 92 percent of poll respondents (teens ages 13-17) go online every day, including 24 percent who go online ''almost constantly'' and 56 percent several times a day. The social media platform teens use most is Facebook (71 percent), but Instagram and Snapchat are growing with 52 percent and 41 percent of teens using those apps, respectively.
Turning a blind eyeInstagram, Snapchat and Facebook all claim, of course, that they require a minimum age of 13 to make an account. But there is no age verification protocol in place to ensure that these newly minted users are really as old as they say that they are. Facebook even claims it kicks 20,000 underage users off the site per day. But if they can verify age to kick them out, why can't they verify to keep them out in the first place?
There may be a conflict of interest here. Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook are free to users. Their revenue is generated by the data that their users unwittingly provide. When gatekeepers' profits are based on the size of their audience, is it any wonder they appear to turn a blind eye to young gatecrashers?
Popular social media platforms certainly pose some dangers to teenagers, but they are by no means the worst offenders when it comes to low-protection, high-risk sites. Dating and hookup sites and apps like Tinder, Grindr and Hot or Not require new users to verify their age. They do this by linking to the user's Facebook account '-- that same one with no measures in place to verify a stated age.
There are children on these sites. In 2014, Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen estimated that 7 percent of Tinder users were actually between 13 and 17 years old.
Off the internet, in 'real life,' children are not allowed to buy alcohol or cigarettes. They need to prove their age to get a driver's license, to vote, to watch pornography or excessively violent movies. The self-service checkout at my local grocery store even requires a clerk to verify age when purchasing Sharpies, for crying out loud.
In our age of relentless innovation and disruptive technology, how have we not come up with a way to actually verify someone's age on the internet? Yes, it may be tricky, and undoubtedly the more resourceful members of the younger generation will find ways around it. But that's no reason to not start working on solutions to the problem.
Those who are naysaying the EU's proposal also argue that too many children are already on these sites to start implementing safeguards now.
In response to the EU announcement, Emma Morris, head of international policy of the Family Online Safety Institute, said ''The proposals do not take into account the reality of millions of children that have already become active users of these services. The feasibility of suspending their accounts and banning them from the platforms will be nearly impossible to implement.''
But Morris' argument about feasibility misses the point. If Facebook really is kicking underage users off its site, other social media platforms can certainly follow suit. And while it's true that millions of teenagers are already online, the GDPR, due to go into effect in 2018, will most greatly benefit the teenagers of tomorrow.
The challenges involved with implementing these kinds of measures do not negate the need to make the internet a safer place for its youngest users. We protect children when they need protecting, not when it's ''feasible.''
Bill criminalizing anal and oral sex passes Michigan Senate / Boing Boing
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 13:04
Michigan is one of the last states to keep an "anti-sodomy" law on the books, which criminalizes oral and anal sex -- most states dropped theirs when the Supreme Court ruled that law like these are unconstitutional.
Michigan's anti-sodomy law also bans bestiality, lumping together sex between consenting humans and humans who have sex with animals. State Republican Senator Rick Jones has introduced an updated animal cruelty law, SB-0219, which is part of a package of laws aimed at protecting animals from abuse. But it keeps intact the language that bans oral and anal sex between humans.
The bill reads, in part: "A person who commits the abominable and detestable crime against nature either with mankind or with any animal is guilty of a felony" -- that felony is punishable by 15 years in prison.
Jones says he kept the language intact because he thought that his fellow lawmakers and his constituents would have blocked the animal rights reforms if the bill addressed the rights of humans.
The bill has passed the Michigan senate.
"The minute I cross that line and I start talking about the other stuff, I won't even get another hearing. It'll be done," Jones (photo, above) said. "Nobody wants to touch it. I would rather not even bring up the topic, because I know what would happen. You'd get both sides screaming and you end up with a big fight that's not needed because it's unconstitutional."
Jones added that he believes the only way to repeal the sodomy ban would be a bill striking all unconstitutional laws from the state's books.
"But if you focus on it, people just go ballistic," he said. "If we could put a bill in that said anything that's unconstitutional be removed from the legal books of Michigan, that's probably something I could vote for, but am I going to mess up this dog bill that everybody wants? No."
Michigan Senate Passes Bill Saying Sodomy Is A Felony Punishable By 15 Years in Prison [John Wright/The New Civil Rights Movement]
(via Reddit)
(Image: State Senator RICK JONES)
Maryland attorney general Brian E Frosh has filed a brief appealing a decision in the case of Kerron Andrews, who was tracked by a Stingray cell-phone surveillance device.
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Twitter Security Council - Twitter is BUILT for fighting over issues publicly
OscarsSoWhite
Austin Media Professionals Weigh in on #OscarsSoWhite - YouTube
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:57
Is Whoopi trying to get fired from 'The View'? | Page Six
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 06:37
Whoopi Goldberg's erratic behavior behind the scenes at ''The View'' has some wondering if she's trying to goad ABC bosses into firing her.
According to an insider, Goldberg, 60, gets $5 million a year to lead the show's panel, but ''she has been at war with the management.''
The actress and host, now in the final year of a four-year contract, last year reportedly ­created a scene when she paraded around saying, ''I's a work for ABC, who is my master. I's a slave to ABC. It's '12 Years a Whoopi' at ABC,'' referring to the movie ''12 Years a Slave.''
A show source said, ''Whoopi has been so antagonistic, she's constantly at war with management. It's so bad that some execs think she's daring them to fire her so she can go off and do other things, particularly after her 'slave' outburst. She knows if they did fire her, they'd have to pay out her contract and she'd be paid $5 million for doing nothing.''
The source added, ''Whoopi loves the money, but she doesn't want to work so hard anymore. She doesn't come in prepared, she doesn't ­really engage with other panelists and guests. She gives some one-liners and moves on.''
The insider added, ''Her contract is up at the end of this season, and even if she does renew, it would be for significantly less money.''
An ABC rep insisted all is pure harmony: ''We hope Whoopi is here for a long time to come. She is a vital part of 'The View' who delivers every day as moderator and always comes to play.'' Her rep predictably said, ''This is entirely untrue.''
ABC News is desperately trying to salvage ''The View,'' which has suffered a ratings drop and cast issues since June 2014, after B arbara Walters retired.
Recent reports said ABC is preparing to fire two co-hosts in another round of musical chairs. The Daily Mail said Michelle Collins and Raven-Symon(C) could be let go from the lineup, which currently also consists of Goldberg, Joy Behar, Candace Cameron Bure and Paula Faris.
Oregon Oathers
Education: Who are the III% ~ Three Percenters
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 15:26
Mission Statement:
The Three Percenter's Club exists to serve the American people, to protect and defend the constitution and our way of life. '¨'¨TTPC's mission is give our members the capabilities and resources necessary to execute Military Strategies to defend against foreign and domestic enemies. '¨'¨TTPC forces provide the capability to combat any threat, force, or occupation who's purpose is to gain, sustain, and exploit comprehensive control over land, resources, and the people of the United States of America. '¨'¨The Three Percenter's Club's capability compliments the other militias and resistance groups capabilities. '¨'¨The Three Percenter's Club is charged with providing Tactical, Logistical and other functions to enable other Militias and Resistance groups to accomplish their missions and to provide support during local and national emergencies by assisting civil authorities in maintaining emergency preparedness. '¨'¨The Three Percenter's Club is organized to accomplish this mission.
History:
April 19 1775 under suppose secret orders 700 British regulars were given orders to destroy colonial and rebel supplies in Concord Massachusetts. Intelligence network, led by the sons of Liberty,. Infiltrated am a patriot somewhere of this plan and were able to move supplies long before the British advance. As a British forces advance the Patriot militia new engagement with the British was imminent.'¨The first shots were fired just after dawn in Lexington, Massachusetts the morning of the 19th, the "Shot Heard Round the World." The colonial militia, a band of 500 men, were outnumbered and initially forced to retreat. The British army was able to press forward to Concord, where they searched for the supplies, only to come up empty handed.'¨While the British were searching, the American militia was able to reform, and they met the enemy at the North Bridge in Concord, and they were successful this time in driving the British back. As more American reinforcements arrived, they forced the British army south to Boston, and the militias blockaded the narrow land accesses to Charlestown and Boston, starting the Siege of Boston.'¨The American War for Independence was now in full swing.
So, now you ask yourself, why the history lesson on a three percenter website. How is a chilly morning in April 1775 relevant to me or cause today? I'm about to tell you. The fight is almost identical. Tyranny is just that, tyranny. No matter if it comes from a crown three thousand miles away or from a desk in an oval office in DC. It is the principal of what is being done that makes us, the three percent fight today.Is has become blatant that there are two absolute principals that are in this nation. The first is that Tyranny has conquered the political system. The second is that we will not stand for it. April 1775 is more pertinent now than you can imagine. Three percent established this nation from the most powerful nation in the world once. The three percent can now restore it.
It starts not here on this website, not at any rally, and not at the voting booth. It starts in your head. You have to live by the basic principal's of the cause. Most important, you have to believe. If patriots do not believe, the fight is in vain. On this website, you will find much information to tell you who we are, what we are about and the impact we make every single day. When you are ready, take the oath to defend the constitution. That simple. No money. No membership card. Only a way of life and a commitment to action. Feel free to reach out to any administrator here or on our Facebook page. We will answer any questions you have with honesty and will be willing to help you grow yourself in the cause.Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to talk to you. See you on the battlefield.
CYBER!
Obama unveils $19 billion Cybersecurity National Action Plan
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 12:57
President Obama on Tuesday unveiled an expansive plan to bolster government and private-sector cybersecurity, establishing a federal coordinator for cyber efforts, proposing a commission to study future work, and asking Congress for funds to overhaul dangerously obsolete computer systems.
The Cybersecurity National Action Plan contains initiatives to better prepare college students for cybersecurity careers, streamline federal computer networks, and certify Internet-connected devices as secure. It also establishes a Federal Privacy Council to review how the government stores Americans' personal information, creates the post of Chief Information Security Officer, and establishes a Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.
''I'm confident that if we take these steps, we can make a different and substantially improve our cybersecurity both now and in the long run,'' Michael Daniel, Obama's cybersecurity coordinator, told reporters during a press call on Monday afternoon.
Obama is asking Congress for $19 billion in cybersecurity funding, a 35 percent increase.
The executive branch can undertake some of the new initiatives on its own, but others will require funding from Congress. As part his Fiscal Year 2017 budget request, Obama is asking Congress for $19 billion in cybersecurity funding, a 35 percent increase over the amount that lawmakers approved for the current fiscal year.
Obama is requesting $62 million for programs to address the dire shortage of cybersecurity professionals, including a ''CyberCorps Reserve'' program, which will give young people cybersecurity scholarships in exchange for several years of government service; a unified cybersecurity curriculum, ensuring that graduates are prepared to take on those government jobs; and expanded loan forgiveness for students who become federal cybersecurity employees.
The new plan responds to criticisms of redundant and outdated federal computing equipment by devoting $3.1 billion in requested funds to IT modernization and expanding the use of shared services across agencies. The goal of centralizing services, Daniel said, is for the government to operate ''much more like a unified enterprise.''
Two major initiatives will help the private sector combat its own cybersecurity challenges. The administration will establish a National Center for Cybersecurity Resilience, a virtual environment in which companies can test their systems against various threats. It will also launch the Cybersecurity Assurance Program to certify the security of networked products like smart-home appliances, a cyber equivalent of the Energy Star label.
Obama is tasking the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity with recommending how the government should act in this area over the next decade. The commission, to be composed of leading government and industry experts, will deliver its report ''before the end of 2016,'' the White House said in a fact sheet.
The federal CISO will report to Tony Scott, the government's chief information officer. Scott told reporters on Monday that the Obama administration expected to hire someone within the next two to three months. The federal CISO, he said, would supervise the ''policy, practice, and coordination of information security across the civilian agencies of the federal government'' and work with similar officials in the military and the intelligence community.
The Federal Privacy Council's role remains unclear. It will convene privacy officers from across the government, but it will not have any power to issue directives related to the handling of Americans' personal data. Instead, Scott said, it will simply let privacy officials ''share best practices'' among themselves.
The release of the new plan comes as the Obama administration continues to implement major cybersecurity reforms unveiled last October, including mapping out the entire federal computer system and designing new ways for employees to securely log into their agencies' networks.
Scott told reporters on Monday that the government had ''made great progress'' on many of that plan's key goals, including patching serious computer bugs, expanding the use of two-factor authentication, and reducing the number of federal workers with high-level network access.
Despite attention-grabbing items like a new commission and a privacy council, however, the Cybersecurity National Action Plan does not lay out concrete steps to improve the government's primary cyberdefense system.
The Cybersecurity National Action Plan does not lay out concrete steps to improve the government's primary cyberdefense system.
The Government Accountability Office last month issued a critical report about that system, known as EINSTEIN. The program has faced significant criticism because it cannot dynamically detect new kinds of cyber intrusions; it can only stop known threats. Given the rapid pace of malware creation'--27 percent of all known malware surfaced in 2015'--EINSTEIN's critics say that its approach to threat detection is woefully insufficient.
Daniel acknowledged that EINSTEIN was ''not as effective as it needs to be'' but said that it was just one piece of the puzzle. Scott added that ''anybody who thinks any one thing is the absolute defense is probably mistaken.''
Federal networks have long been a target of state-sponsored and rogue hackers, but 2014 and 2015 saw an uptick in successful penetrations. Attackers breached servers at the White House; the departments of State, Health and Human Services, and Defense; the U.S. Postal Service; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency; the Internal Revenue Service; and the Federal Aviation Administration, among others.
The most famous penetration of federal computer networks, the Office of Personnel Management data breach, resulted in the theft of nearly 22 million federal employees' background-check records and 5.6 million employees' fingerprints. Officials have privately concluded that China was behind the attack.
Photo via Ted Eytan/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Max Fleishman
COMBATING TERRORISM TECHNICAL SUPPORT OFFICE BROAD AGENCY ANNOUNCEMENT (BAA) 16-Q-4531 - Federal Business Opportunities: Opportunities
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 14:54
Notice Type:
Sources Sought
Posted Date:
February 2, 2016
Response Date:
Mar 04, 2016 3:00 pm Eastern
Archiving Policy:
Automatic, on specified date
Archive Date:
February 2, 2017
Classification Code:
A -- Research & Development
NAICS Code:
928 -- National Security and International Affairs/928110 -- National Security
EuroLand
A Badly Wounded Deutsche Bank Lashes Out At Central Bankers: Stop Easing, You Are Crushing Us
Sat, 06 Feb 2016 17:22
Ten days ago, when Deutsche Bank stock was about 10% higher, the biggest German commercial bank declared war on Mario Draghi, as we put it, warning him that any further easing by the ECB would only push stocks (with an emphasis on DB stock which has gotten pummeled over the past few months) lower. What it got, instead, was a slap in the face in the form of a major new easing program when the Bank of Japan announced it is unveiling negative rates just three days later.
Which is why overnight a badly wounded Deutsche Bank has expanded its war against the ECB to include the BOJ as well, and in a note titled "The Risks From Further ECB and BOJ Easing" it wants that with the Zero Lower Bound already breached in nearly a third of global markets, the benefits to risk assets from further easing no longer exist, and in fact it says that while central banks have hoped that such measures would "push investors out the risk spectrum" the "impact has been exactly the opposite."
In other words, we have reached that fork in the road within the monetary twilight zone, where Europe's largest bank is openly defying central bank policy and demanding an end to easy money. Alas, since tighter monetary policy assures just as much if not more pain, one can't help but wonder just how the central banks get themselves out of this particular trap they set up for themselves.
Here is DB's Parag Thatte explaining the "The risks from further ECB and BOJ easing"
The BOJ surprised with a move to negative rates last week, while ECB rhetoric suggests additional easing measures forthcoming in March. While a fundamental tenet of these measures, in particular negative rates, has been to push investors out the risk spectrum, we remind that arguably the impact has been exactly the opposite:
Declining bond yields have been robustly associated with larger inflows into bonds at the expense of equities. Though a large over allocation to fixed income at the expense of equities already exists as a result of past Fed QEs and a lack of normalization of rates, further easing by the ECB and BOJ that lower bond yields globally will only exacerbate the over allocation to bonds;Asynchronous easing by the ECB and BOJ while the Fed is on hold risks speeding up the dollar's up cycle, pushing oil prices lower and exacerbating credit concerns in the Energy, Metals and Mining sectors. It is notable that the ECB's adoption of negative rates in mid-2014 which prompted the large move in the dollar and collapse in oil prices, marked the beginning of the now huge outflows from High Yield. These flows out of High Yield rotated into High Grade, ironically moving up not down the risk spectrum. The downside risk to oil prices is tempered somewhat by the fact that they look cheap and look to be already pricing in the next leg of dollar strength;Asynchronous easing by the ECB and BOJ that is reflected in the US dollar commensurately raises the trade-weighted RMB and increase the risk of a disorderly devaluation by China. The risk of further declines in the JPY is tempered by the fact that it is already very (-29%) cheap, but there is plenty of valuation room for the euro to fall.Broad-based move across asset classes towards neutral amidst uncertainties
US equity fund positioning inched closer to neutral; as anticipated the returning buyback bid is being offset by large persistent outflows (-$42bn ytd);European equity positioning is also close to neutral amidst slowing inflows; Japanese funds trimmed exposure from very overweight levels while flows turned negative for the first time in 2 months;The large short in US bond futures has started to be cut; 2y bond shorts were cut by half this week while short-dated rates futures are already long. Robust inflows into government bond funds which began this year have continued while the pace of outflows from HY and EM funds has slowed;A move toward neutral was also evident in FX positions. The surprise BoJ cut to negative rates caught yen longs by surprise, with the large initial subsequent depreciation in the yen partly reflecting a paring of positions. Meanwhile, the euro rose to a 3 month high as crowded leveraged fund shorts were being covered despite the ECB's dovish rhetoric;As the dollar fell, net speculative long positions in oil rose, reflecting mainly an increase in gross longs while shorts remain at record highs; copper shorts continue to edge back from extremes; gold longs are rising.Declining bond yields mean larger inflows into bonds at the expense of equities
A fundamental tenet of central bank easing has been to push investors out the risk spectrum. The impact has arguably been exactly the oppositeBeyond any negative signal further monetary easing sends on underlying growth prospects, historically falling bond yields with the attendant capital gains on bonds have seen inflows rotate into bonds at the expense of equities. The correlation between equities and bond yields remains strongly positive. Notably, the best period of inflows for equities was after the taper announcement in 2013 when bond yields rose sharply
Large over-allocation to fixed income already
Past Fed QEs, a lack of normalization of Fed rates and easing by other central banks means that a large over-allocation already exists in fixed income while the underallocation in equities remains massiveAdditional easing by the ECB and BoJ by encouraging inflows into bonds will only exacerbate the over allocation to fixed income
Asynchronous easing behind decline in oil and flight from HY
Asynchronous monetary easing by the ECB or BoJ while the Fed is on hold puts upward pressure on the dollar, downward pressure on oil prices and heightens credit concerns in the Energy, Metals and Mining sectorsIt is notable that the huge outflows from HY began to the day with the ECB's adoption of negative rates in Jun 2014. Those outflows from HY moved into HG, ironically moving up not down the risk spectrumThe risk to oil prices is somewhat tempered by the fact that oil prices are cheap to fair value and look to be pricing in the next leg of dollar strength
Asynchronous easing that is reflected in a higher dollar is reflected commensurately in the trade-weighted RMB
By virtue of the near-peg to the US dollar, by early 2015 the trade-weighted RMB had risen along with the US dollar by 32% in trade-weighted terms and has been in a relatively narrow range sinceA variety of Chinese economic indicators have been strongly negatively correlated with the US dollar: Chinese data surprises (-42%); IP (-65%); and retail sales (-59%)
Further dollar strength raises the risk of a disorderly Chinese devaluation
Asynchronous easing by the ECB and BOJ reflected in the US dollar and in turn the trade-weighted RMB increases the risk of a disorderly devaluation by ChinaThe risk of further declines in the JPY is tempered by the fact that it is already very cheap (-29%), but there is plenty of valuation room for the euro to fallThe surprise BoJ easing in January prompted a paring of longs, while investors are unwinding short positions in the euro despite dovish rhetoric by the ECB
* * *
A few last words. Since DB, whose CDS has soared to very dangerous levels in recent days suggesting the market is suddenly concerned about its counterparty status, is effectively the Bundesbank, one can make the argument that any incremental easing by the jawboning Mario Draghi during the ECB's next meeting suddenly looks very precarious.
On the other hand if Draghi once again isolates Weidmann and does cut rates to -0.40% as the market has largely priced in, because the ECB head fulfills the desires of his former employer Goldman Sachs first and foremost, one would wonder if as we speculated last summer Deutsche Bank is not indeed the next Lehman, if for no other reason than Goldman has decided the German financial behemoth should be the next bank to fail, and unleash the next global taxpayer-funded bailout episode.
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Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:30
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Migrants
Migrant Crisis to Cost Germany '‚¬50 Billion by 2017
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:18
Asylum seekers will cost Germany an estimated '‚¬50 billion by the end of 2017, a new report has found.
The Cologne Institute for Economic Research has found that shelter, welfare and integration will cost Germany '‚¬22 billion this year and '‚¬27.6 billion next year.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is under increasing pressure to reduce the numbers of migrants reaching Germany and voters are increasingly doubtful that the state can tackle the refugee crisis, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned on Monday.
The comments by Schaeuble, a senior member in Merkel's cabinet and respected veteran in her centre-right bloc, show growing concern among ruling politicians only six weeks before regional elections in three federal states.
More than one million migrants streamed into Germany last year, and some regions have complained that they are being overwhelmed. Concerns about crime have also mounted after men of north African and Arab appearance assaulted women in Cologne.
Speaking at a panel in the western city of Duesseldorf, Schaeuble said it was ''evident'' that the pressure on Merkel in the refugee crisis was bigger now than it was eight months ago.
''There are growing doubts in parts of the population that state institutions are able to master this,'' he warned, adding this scepticism was likely to shake up the political landscape and new parties were set to enter more regional parliaments.
Support for the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has jumped amid the deepening public unease over Merkel's open-door policy for refugees from Syria and elsewhere.
''I expect a stronger diversification (of the party spectrum),'' Schaeuble said regarding the elections in the western states of Baden-Wuerttemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate as well as in Saxony-Anhalt in the east on March 13.
Merkel has promised to ''measurably reduce'' arrivals this year, but has refused to introduce a cap, saying it would be impossible to enforce without closing German borders.
Instead, she has tried to convince European partners to take on quotas of refugees, pushed for reception centres to be built on Europe's external borders, and led an EU campaign to convince Turkey to keep refugees from entering the bloc.
But progress has been slow and EU officials have warned time is running out to agree on and also implement a joint approach before Europe's Schengen system of borderless travel''and with it a corner piece of European integration''collapses.
Original Article
Topics: Europe, Immigration, Wealth Redistribution
Disappointed with Europe, Thousands of Iraqi Migrants Return Home
Mon, 08 Feb 2016 14:17
Night after night, Mohammed al-Jabiry tossed and turned in his bed at a refugee center in Finland, comparing life in Europe with life in Baghdad. After many sleepless nights, he decided to come home.
''In Iraq, I can find a girl to marry,'' Mr. Jabiry, 23, reasoned. ''And my mom is here.''
There were little things, too, that drove him to return, like the high price of cigarettes and the chillier weather. ''In Europe, I was isolated,'' he said. ''Life in Europe was not what we were expecting.''
Last year, beckoned by news reports of easy passage to Europe through Turkey, tens of thousands of Iraqis joined Syrians, Africans and Afghans in the great migrant wave to the Continent. Now, thousands of Iraqis are coming home.
Many say they arrived in Europe with unrealistic expectations for quick success. {snip}
{snip}
The returnees largely reflect another segment of migration: those who left Baghdad for economic reasons, or merely out of curiosity after seeing so many reports of migrants arriving joyously on the shores of Europe.
{snip}
As the days stretched into months''time [Mr. Jabiry] said he mostly spent working out at the gym, or aimlessly hanging out with other Iraqis in the refugee center''he realized it would be a long time before he could get a job or a home of his own.
Last summer, Facebook was filled with posts about making the trip. Now, some Iraqis in Europe are turning to social media to warn their countrymen away. {snip}
The International Organization for Migration said it helped almost 3,500 Iraqis return home last year''just a portion of the overall number coming back, as many do so with the assistance of local governments or Iraqi Embassies in European countries.
{snip}
''Our dream was to leave the country,'' said Haitham Abdulatif, 48, who sold his Mercedes for $8,000 to pay for the trip he took with his 10-year-old daughter. ''It was the talk everywhere''on TV, on social media.''
Mr. Abdulatif was an officer in Saddam Hussein's army, but after the invasion by the United States in 2003, and the subsequent policy of de-Baathification, he was left without a pension. Then he was caught up in tragedy, like most Iraqis: Three brothers were killed during the sectarian civil war. But he has an aunt and cousin who live in the United States, and their stories motivated him to think of life elsewhere.
''They would always describe to me how living outside the country was different from living in Iraq,'' he said. ''They are comfortable. They are safe. There are job opportunities.''
He arrived in Belgium with this in mind: ''I was expecting them to give me a house, a good job, so I could have a better life. This is what I was dreaming about.''
{snip}
Finally, he went to the camp authorities and said, ''I want to go to Iraq.''
''They were surprised,'' he said. ''But I told them I'd rather die in my country than die outside in a strange country.''
{snip}
Original Article
Topics: Europe, Immigration, Islam in Europe/Asia
DPRK
'… PYONGYANG MARATHON: Sign up before Feb 14 to run in the hermit kingdom!: Shanghaiist
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 07:22
The Pyongyang Marathon returns in 2016 on April 10. Held for the first time in 1981 and now open to international tourists, the competition presents an exclusive opportunity to visit the hermit kingdom. Read all about the race here and find out how you can join other Shanghaiist readers at the marathon by choosing one of four Pyongyang Marathon tour options departing from Beijing and Shanghai.
Almost anyone can run in the amateur marathon alongside professional athletes.
It's not possible to register for the race on your own. You will need to book a Pyongyang Marathon Tour with an official DPRK tour operator (Uri Tours) and then decide which category you want to sign up for (full, half or 10K). The tour operator will tell you all you need to know about traveling to the DPRK as well as running in the race.
There is no limit on the number of registered runners the marathon committee will accept. The Official Pyongyang Marathon Committee is welcoming as many runners as possible. However, April will be an incredibly busy month in the DPRK and it's possible that hotel accommodations and plane tickets will sell out quickly. It's recommended to book as soon as possible.
Sign-up for the Uri Tours Pyongyang Marathon 2016 newsletter.
Choose from one of four incredible tour options.
Ultra Short Pyongyang Marathon Tour - Beijing Departure
WHAT: 2 nights, 3 days in the DPRKWHEN: April 9 - 11PRICE: Starting at $1,050 USD
Pyongyang Marathon Short Tour - Shanghai Departure
WHAT: 3 nights, 4 days in the DPRKWHEN: April 8 - 11PRICE: Starting at $1,250 USD
Pyongyang Marathon Short Tour - Beijing Departure
WHAT: 3 nights, 4 days in the DPRKWHEN: April 9 - 12PRICE: Starting at $1,250 USD
Pyongyang Marathon & Kim Il Sung Birthday Tour - Beijing Departure
WHAT: 7 nights, 8 days in the DPRKWHEN: April 9 - 16PRICE: Starting at $2,050 USD
Registration Fee
Full marathon: $100 USDHalf marathon: $70 USD10K: $50 USDSpectators: $28 USD to watch soccer/football matches in the Kim Il Sung Stadium during the race(Registration fees are collected prior to the tour; cost of the tour package is additional)
Distance and finish time:
Full Marathon: 42.195km; finish time of 4 hoursHalf Marathon: 21.0975km; finish time of 4 hours10K: finish time of 2 hours
There are no official qualifying times for the amateur marathon, however, you must either FINISH or STOP within the times mentioned above. If you do not finish within those times, a bus will pick you up and escort you back to the stadium. The streets will be re-open to traffic at about 1pm.
The race starts and ends in the Kim Il Sung Stadium. Professionals and amateurs will start at the same location and time. Race starts at approximately 9am and is finished before 1pm.
The official 2016 Pyongyang Marathon course route:
Depart from Kim Il Sung StadiumPass through the Arch of TriumphFriendship TowerKumrung No.2 TunnelCongryu Rope Ladder on Taedong RiverMunsu Riverside StreetRungra BridgeKumrung TunnelPuksae riverside streetMoranbong StreetRe-enter through the Arch of TriumphArrive back at the Kim Il Sung StadiumThis is a 10K course and the marathon will make this loop 4 times, the half marathon twice.
COURSE CONDITIONS: You'll be running in the streets of Pyongyang, which are relatively flat. One lap is about 10km. Those running the 10K will do one lap and end right past the Arch of Triumph. Those running the half marathon will do 2 laps and those running the full marathon will do 4 laps. There will be km markers throughout the course to let you know how long to go before the finish line. There will also be cars with digital timers that will lead the pack to let runners know how much time has elapsed. There are 2 water stations per every 10km and restroom stops along the way. Lastly, for those who require energy gels, you should bring them with you and your tour guide will hand them to you at the designated water stations during the race.
WHAT TO WEAR: Please wear solid colors; no tie dye, pictures or lettering. Top and bottom can be different colors, so long as they are one solid color each. If your shirt has a small logo, the logo can be no bigger than 30cm in rectangular size and the lettering must be less than 4cm in size, according to the regulations of the International Federation.
You'll be given a number to pin to your shirt during the race. All runners must have a number affixed to their shirts.
WHAT YOU'LL GET: Firstly, you'll get a support kit from your tour guide, which includes a nifty Pyongyang Marathon T-shirt, energy snacks, marathon stickers and other exclusive DPRK goodies!
Each amateur runner will get a certificate issued by the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon Committee. If you come in first, second or third in any of the amateur categories, you will also be awarded a medal at the awards ceremony in front of 50,000 local spectators in the Kim Il Sung stadium. An American runner with Uri Tours won 2nd in the half-marathon category in 2014 and a French runner won 2nd in half in 2015!
Finally, you'll have a lifetime of bragging rights for running in this ultra-cool Pyongyang marathon!
Join the Pyongyang Marathon community on Facebook.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PROFESSIONAL RUNNERS
To qualify for the professional marathon, you must have the below qualifying times:
Men need a record of less than 2 hours and 27 minutesWomen need a record of less than 2 hours and 38 minutesRegistrants must provide proof of an official record time from the past 3 years
The International Athletics Federation registers the records of professional marathon runners who attend the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon.
These runners made history in 2014 by being among the first foreign amateurs to run in the Pyongyang Marathon.
Edward from the US: read his pre-race thoughts in RUNNER'S WORLD and Pacific Daily News.
Morgan from France: read his thoughts on the race in RUE89.
Jacob from Nova Scotia, Canada: read his thoughts on the race in CBC (originally in the AP).
Shari and Jim from Las Vegas running their first marathon ever (you may have caught them speaking on BBC radio about their experience!):
NA-Tech News
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Frequently Asked Questions - El Toro
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 21:45
What does El Toro do? El Toro has invented and patented a unique series of technologies that allow our customers to precisely target their customers online using banner and display ads.
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Does El Toro use cookies? Not for our IP Targeting, since we know the IP address of specified households we have no need to use cookies for primary targeting. We will occasionally ask clients to incorporate either conversion pixels or remarketing pixels into their campaigns based on the type of campaign that El Toro is running.
What sort of reports do I get from El Toro? We provide monthly reports that include impressions served, clicks, conversions and click-through rate (CTR). Additionally, at the completion of a campaign we generally provide clients with a match-back analysis which compares your targeting segment(s) with new sales to demonstrate efficacy and ROI for the campaign.
How is this different than PPC? PPC or Pay Per Click advertising relies on a user searching for a specific keyword. Ads are placed on the top and sides of the search page along with the search results, and the hope is the consumer will click on the ad. You only pay when the prospect clicks on the ad. Unfortunately, this type of advertising has been losing efficacy in recent years as people have learned how to game the system with traffic arbitrage and click farms.
What sort of CTR should I expect? Ultimately most clients see an increase in CTR with an El Toro campaign, but we encourage clients to look beyond click through rate (CTR) and focus on metrics that have more meaning to their business like conversions, sales and return on investment (ROI) for the ad campaign.
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120x600 (pixels)160x600 (pixels)300x250 (pixels)468x60 (pixels)728x90 (pixels)Should I merge all of my data into one list? No! Having visibility into data sources is a valuable tool in determining efficacy of campaigns and assisting with planning future campaigns. Put more simply, some lists are better than others. By providing El Toro with more visibility into the sources of your data we can provide better guidance on what data to use on future campaigns.
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Can I use IP targeting with my direct mail campaign? Yes, we have a large number of customers who incorporate IP Targeting in conjunction with direct mail campaigns. We find that the addition of IP Targeting greatly increases the effectiveness of direct mail.
Can El Toro place ads on specific sites? Sure, we have access to place ad on over 1,000,000 websites with over 50,000,000,000 ad impressions per day. We often find that aiming your message at particular sites can improve the results of your campaign based on the audience demographics of sites selected.
Can El Toro make sure my ads do not appear on specific sites? Yes, by default we will not serve ads on adult or ''vice'' sites. Additionally, we eliminate sites with a history of low quality or fraudulent traffic. If you would like us to further restrict the universe of sites upon which we display your ads, we are happy to incorporate this into your campaign.
What file formats does El Toro accept for my ads? El Toro places either banner or display ads. All creative sizes need to be less than 40 KB. JPG, GIF, PNG, and SWF files are all supported.
Do I need to provide El Toro with a list of prospects to target? Typically yes, most of our customers provide us with a list of customers, past customers or prospects to target with our technology. If you do not have a list we can help you obtain one from a list provider or work with you to build a targeting segment based on an analysis of your current customers or prospects. More information on list specifications can be found here.
What is a DSP? A Demand-Side Platform or DSP is a technology tool that aggregates online advertising buyers and sellers. El Toro integrates with a number of DSPs to bid on real-time inventory of ads.
Can El Toro prepare the ads for me? We encourage clients to use their advertising agency of record to assist with creative design and messaging. If you do not have an agency, we would be happy to introduce you to companies that can help with crafting your message and ads.
How can I make my campaign more successful? Comply with the ad standards discussed in this FAQ, ensure that your ad is compelling, then confirm your list is current and includes only topical targets. Additionally, implement conversion tracking and work with your account manager at El Toro to conduct a conversion analysis at appropriate points for long-running campaigns.
Can I use Flash in my ads? We support all versions of Flash, but users may not have the appropriate Flash Player version. See Adobe's market penetration stats to choose the best version. We recommend developing your flash creatives to be viewable in Flash Player Version 8 or lower. We also support both ActionScript 2 and ActionScript 3 used in Flash.
Can I use audio in my ads? No, auto-initiated audio is frequently blocked by publishers which will greatly limit the quantity and quality of sites that we have access to serve your ads on.
Can I use animation in my ads? Yes, if any animation is present within the ads, it must stop within 30 seconds of the ad serving. This can be done by limiting loops to 1 to 3 rotations.
How should I measure success from my IP targeting campaign? We encourage our customers to focus less on clicks and more on conversions. Additionally, our most compelling return on investment data comes from post-campaign match-back analysis. Unlike most forms of online marketing, El Toro starts a typical campaign with a target list of customers or prospects. By Comparing this list to your list of actual sales is one of the most effective methods to determine the efficacy of an individual campaign.
Do I need to have my logo on my ad? Yes, to be displayed via a demand-side platform (DSP), ads need pass a 3rd party audit. One of the requirements of this audit is that some form of corporate identification is visible on each advertisement. This can be your logo or the name of your organization, it also needs to match what is used on your landing page for this ad campaign.
Does El Toro offer mobile ad targeting? El Toro offers mobile targeting to high value buildings and locations. Typically these are airports, stadiums or universities where one can make some assumptions about the demography and purchasing intent of the people in the buildings. For more information, please visit our Mobile Advertising FAQ.
Does El Toro support ads hosted on 3rd party AdServers? Yes, this will typically require a slight modification to the code to ensure that the ClickTag's work properly. To get get more details and see code samples visit our 3rd Party AdServer page.
El Toro - IP Targeting
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 21:41
We enable advertisers with the ability to reach their intended online customer base for pennies on the dollar with surgical accuracy '' all without the use of cookies '' and at the exact time of their choosing.
LEARN MOREDriving offline data onlineThis unique geo-location technology produces a highly accurate customer profile which allows our clients to place advertisements directly on an individual computer by utilizing ONLY that individual's home/business address.
Our TechnologyOur patent-pending technology doesn't use cookies or census block geo-location. We have developed a proprietary technology that maps IP Addresses to physical addresses.
Reaching your base, privacy safeOur goal is to allow advertisers to reach their intended online customer base for pennies on the dollar with surgical accuracy '' all without the use of cookies '' and at the exact time of their choosing. This is done in a privacy-sensitive manner, by assigning a unique privacy ID.
Improving marketing campaign performanceWhat outcomes can you expect? Advertisers can access our reporting system at any time where they have current stats with respect to exposure, clicks, and conversions to monitor the success of their campaign.
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Google Online Security Blog: No More Deceptive Download Buttons
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 02:59
Posted by Lucas Ballard, Safe Browsing TeamIn November, we announced that Safe Browsing would protect you from social engineering attacks - deceptive tactics that try to trick you into doing something dangerous, like installing unwanted software or revealing your personal information (for example, passwords, phone numbers, or credit cards). You may have encountered social engineering in a deceptive download button, or an image ad that falsely claims your system is out of date. Today, we're expanding Safe Browsing protection to protect you from such deceptive embedded content, like social engineering ads.
Consistent with the social engineering policy we announced in November, embedded content (like ads) on a web page will be considered social engineering when they either:Pretend to act, or look and feel, like a trusted entity '-- like your own device or browser, or the website itself. Try to trick you into doing something you'd only do for a trusted entity '-- like sharing a password or calling tech support.Below are some examples of deceptive content, shown via ads:
This image claims that your software is out-of-date to trick you into clicking ''update''.
This image mimics a dialogue from the FLV software developer -- but it does not actually originate from this developer.
These buttons seem like they will produce content that relate to the site (like a TV show or sports video stream) by mimicking the site's look and feel. They are often not distinguishable from the rest of the page.
Our fight against unwanted software and social engineering is still just beginning. We'll continue to improve Google's Safe Browsing protection to help more people stay safe online.Will my site be affected?
If visitors to your web site consistently see social engineering content, Google Safe Browsing may warn users when they visit the site. If your site is flagged for containing social engineering content, you should troubleshoot with Search Console. Check out our social engineering help for webmasters.
Social Engineering (Phishing and Deceptive Sites) - Search Console Help
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 02:59
If Google detects that your website contains social engineering content (content that tricks visitors into doing something dangerous, like revealing confidential information or downloading software), the Chrome browser may display a "Deceptive site ahead" warning when visitors view your site. You can check if any pages on your site are suspected of containing social engineering attacks by visiting the Security Issues report.
Open the Security Issues Report
What is social engineering?A social engineering attack is when a web user is tricked into doing something dangerous online.
There are different types of social engineering attacks. A phishing site might trick users into revealing their personal information (for example, passwords, phone numbers, or credit cards). Deceptive content, such as an ad that falsely claims that device software is out-of-date, might trick users into installing unwanted software.
A social engineering attack happens when either:
The content pretends to act, or looks and feels, like a trusted entity '-- like a browser, operating system, bank, or government.The content tries to trick you into doing something you'd only do for a trusted entity '-- like sharing a password, calling tech support, or downloading software.Google Safe Browsing protects web users from social engineering by warning users before they see deceptive content. Learn more about social engineering and see examples here.
How is social engineering different from phishing? Phishing is just one type of social engineering attack.
But I don't engage in social engineering!Deceptive social engineering content may be included via resources embedded in the page, such as images, other third-party components, or ads. Such deceptive content may trick site visitors into downloading unwanted software.
Google Safe Browsing protects web users from deceptive content by warning users on publisher pages that consistently display social engineering ads. Learn more and see examples here.
Additionally, hackers can take control of innocent sites and use them to host or distribute social engineering content. The hacker could change the content of the site or add additional pages to the site, often with the intent of tricking visitors into parting with personal information such as credit card numbers. You can find out if your site has been identified as a site that hosts or distributes social engineering content by checking the Security Issues report in Search Console.
See our Help for Hacked Sites if you believe that your site has been hacked.
If your site is flagged for containing social engineering contentCheck in with Search Console. Verify that you own your site in Search Console and that no new, suspicious owners have been added.Check the Security Issues report to see if your site is listed as engaging in social engineering. Visit some sample flagged URLs listed in the report, but use a computer that's not inside the network that is serving your website (clever hackers can disable their attacks if they think the visitor is a site webmaster).Remove deceptive content. Ensure that none of your site's pages contain deceptive content.Check third-party resources included in your site. Ensure that any ads, images, or other embedded third-party resources on your site's pages are not deceptive.Note that ad networks may rotate the ads shown on your site's pages. You therefore might need to refresh a page a few times before you're able to see any social engineering ads appear.Some ads may appear differently on mobile devices and desktop computers. You can use the Fetch as Google tool to view your site in both mobile and desktop views.Request a review. After you remove all social engineering content from your site, you can request a security review in the Security Issues report. A review can take 2-3 days to complete.Was this article helpful?
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Here's where Google's venture arm sees the startup market going in 2016 - Artificial Intelligence Online
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 03:14
December 7, 2015 | By Mojtaba ArvinFiled in: Machine learning | Tags: AI, Artificial, Case, Companies, Data, Deep, Early, Emerging, Environment, Field, Google, Intelligence, Knowledge, Learning, Life, Machine, Mind, Number, Relationship, Science, Technology
Two years ago, lifeWill even artists someday find their jobs taken over by automation?. Read more ... >>scienceNew '‚¬100 Million Fund Considering Blockchain Startups. Read more ... >> startups were only six percent of the GoogleWill even artists someday find their jobs taken over by automation?. Read more ... >> Ventures portfolio. '¨'¨
As 2015 draws to a close, that industry now is nearly one third of Google Ventures investments and is only going to grow larger, says the president and CEO of Google's venture arm, Bill Maris.
'¨'¨''The technologyToyota to pour $1bn into robotics research in US. Read more ... >> is moving quickly for the benefit of a lot of patients, which is the most exciting part of this. I think it's an area of huge potential innovation and a lot of excitement,'' Maris said. ''We've had success here in the past, and for me, it's personally one of the most gratifying areas to invest capital in.''
Maris entered 2015 concerned about the ''frothy'' funding environmentMicrosoft Invests $1 Billion In 'Holistic' Security Strategy. Read more ... >> for startups. Money was flowing freely, and Maris was worried that the ever-increasing deal price would price the firm out of companiesThe 80-hour work week doesn't truly work. Read more ... >>.
It turned out not to be the caseWill even artists someday find their jobs taken over by automation?. Read more ... >>, although looking to 2016, there's already signs that the funding environment is going to be interesting.
Biotech will be bigIf you asked Maris five years ago if he would be investing in a gene-editing startup, he would've laughed. The CRISPR technology had only been shown to work on human cells in 2012.
Now, the bio tech and life sciences fieldToyota to pour $1bn into robotics research in US. Read more ... >> made up 31 percent of Google Ventures investments. Consumer and enterprise startups were trailing at 24 percent and 23 percent, respectively. However, that doesn't correlate to the pitches they see in each area.
''On the life science side, there's a lot fewer companies being started because you can start an app company in your garage and in 18 months, reach a billion people and be a billionaire,'' Maris said. ''You can't really do that yet in the life sciences. It's more traditional and a little bit of a slower process.''
By the time a biotech company gets in front of the team, they have a higher success of a pitch rate because it's a relationshipFormer corporates pioneer the new breed of start-ups. Read more ... >> that's been developed over years, rather than an app that's gone viral overnight, Maris explains. The numberNew '‚¬100 Million Fund Considering Blockchain Startups. Read more ... >> of companies '-- and investments '-- will only go up, Maris predicts.
The new area of interestWhile Maris has a pipeline of companies coming into the life sciences category, there's a new emergingSeries for driverless cars to support Formula E events in future. Read more ... >> area that's also snagged his interest.
''MachineWill even artists someday find their jobs taken over by automation?. Read more ... >>learningThe 80-hour work week doesn't truly work. Read more ... >>, deepWill even artists someday find their jobs taken over by automation?. Read more ... >> learning, AIToyota to pour $1bn into robotics research in US. Read more ... >>, whatever you want to call it '-- It's a transformational area that is underlying a lot of the technology in companies,'' he said.
The firm has invested in dataToyota to pour $1bn into robotics research in US. Read more ... >> startups in the past, but had lumped them into the category with enterprise. The firm decided to make it its own category because it's increasingly becoming the foundation for many companies, says Maris.
But, it's still an area that's really earlyThe 80-hour work week doesn't truly work. Read more ... >> and requires deep technical knowledgeThe next wave of disruption: super-smart cities 2020. Read more ... >> unlike the consumer app side. There's not a long list of companies that his firm has passed on and regrets, rather they're still looking, Maris says.
''We don't have any fundamental marquee investments that I can point to and say 'this is our leading AI company' but I think in the next 12 to 14 months we can find a company like that, like Deep MindHow Google Aims To Dominate Artificial Intelligence. Read more ... >>, which Google acquired,'' he said.
While life sciences is an explicit area where Google Ventures wants to invest more cash, Maris won't commit to artificialWill even artists someday find their jobs taken over by automation?. Read more ... >>intelligenceWill even artists someday find their jobs taken over by automation?. Read more ... >> quite yet.
''It's hard to say if we're going to be investing tens or hundreds of millions. That's not as important as finding the key companies,'' Maris said. ''It may be a smaller volume, or even a smaller number of dollars, but I don't really know. We don't have the pipeline of companies that matches the life sciences yet.''
Posts related to Here's where Google's venture arm sees the startup market going in 2016
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Brave Software | Building a Better Web
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 13:44
By Brendan EichFounder, President and CEOPosted January 27, 2016Last week I wrote:
''Brave is the only approach to the Web that puts users first in ownership and control of their browsing data by blocking trackers by default, with no exceptions.''
Our premise is that the Web requires ads for much of its funding, but not the poorly performing ads and trackers that drive users to ad-blockers. And we want to enable micropayments as an alternative, without requiring infrastructure changes from websites and publishers. Finally, we must protect Brave users from tracking and malvertisement.
This week I'd like to dive into the details of how Brave will achieve these goals of better ads for the Web, micropayments where users want them, and better revenue for everyone through cutting out the tracking middle-players. I will use examples based on the items from what we're calling the Bravery Menu:
This mock user interface design will evolve to cover global defaults and site-specific override settings. It shows the major choices that Brave enables:
You're game to try our default mode of operation, for a better ad-supported Web. Just leave the Replace Ads item checked. This is the default mode of operation. We insert ads after blocking without hurting page load speed, and those ads will support the sites you browse. We choose ads based on browser-private user data with no remote tracking -- not even by our servers.You want to block all ads and trackers, but you're not sure about our plan to insert better ads with high performance and privacy. You can do this with Brave by checking Block Ads. We want you on board even if you're just blocking everything.You'd like to try Brave without ad blocking or replacing, to get whatever ads and trackers you would experience in other browsers. Check Allow Ads and Tracking. We still protect you with HTTPS Everywhere and other defense by default.Once you've chosen to replace, block, or allow ads and tracking, things get more interesting, since we give every person using Brave a user wallet. This feature will become available in the coming months, and we want you to draw from this wallet to support sites you favor with micropayments. The sites you micropay will be ad-free, even if you chose Replace Ads -- we won't insert ads after blocking.
Replacing ads means you get the same share of gross ad revenue (15%) that we do. Once we have enough users to attract advertisers who meet our quality standards, this revenue will flow into your user wallet as payments arrive from the ad buyers. Again, the purpose of this revenue share is to support your preferred sites via micropayments.You'll also be able to add your own funds to your wallet, to micropay even more sites that you wish to support. Note that this option exists whether you block, replace, or allow ads.However you fill your wallet with enough funds to get started, you can choose to pay sites individually, or pay your top 20 sites with one click (the limit of 20 is adjustable), and go ad-free on those sites. You'll pay a fixed amount per ad-free article you load each month, up to a monthly maximum that you can set.
Payments accumulate as pending for the current month of browsing. Then at the end of the month, after a few days for you to finalize who gets paid, they will flow to the designated sites' wallets. Thus you'll have time to remove any sites or articles you don't wish to support.
If your wallet balance goes to zero, you'll revert to whichever replace/block/allow mode you chose as your default. With Replace Ads, as you resume browsing you'll build up a new positive balance in your wallet. When the system is running at scale, we hope that most users will be able to zero their wallets each month by micro-paying their top sites, to reward those sites a bonus earned from ad replacement on other sites.
If you own a website, or even just a blog or other sub-domain on a hosting site, we'll create a site wallet for you. Each month, we will deposit a large share of the revenue from all ads that performed on your pages, plus all the micropayments directed by users who support you, into your site wallet. We aim to pay at least 55%, better than the current revenue share estimated at 45% or lower. We hope that 70% to publishers is not out of reach, but we need to prove it.
To get funds out of your wallet, you'll need to certify your identity with our wallet partner, BitGo. We will detail this process in the forthcoming milestones as we build toward 1.0.
We believe this system, which puts users in charge of their Web experiences and helps create a direct relationship with their favored publishers, will finally reset the ad tech ecosystem in favor of consumers and content providers. This is a win-win for everyone who has a stake in the Open Web and who is weary of giving up privacy and revenue to the ad-tech intermediaries and their high ''ad tax''.
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Ministry of Truth
Top German Journalist Admits Live On Air National News Agenda Set By Government - Breitbart
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 06:35
National public service broadcaster Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), which was recently forced into a humiliating apology for their silence on migrant violence and sex assault is being drawn into a fresh scandal after one of their former bureau chiefs admitted the company takes orders from the government on what it reports. He said journalists received instructions to write news that would be ''to Ms. Merkel's liking''.
Former head of ZDF Bonn Dr. Wolfgang Herles make the remarks during a radio event (from minute 27) in Berlin where journalists discussed the media landscape. Moving on to the freedom of the press, the panel chair asked Dr. Herles whether things in Germany had got ''seriously out of whack''. With an honesty perhaps unusual in Germany, Dr. Herles replied that ordinary Germans were totally losing faith in the media, something he called a ''scandal''. He said:
''We have the problem that '' now I'm mainly talking about the public [state] media '' we have a closeness to the government. Not only because commentary is mainly in line with the grand coalition (CSU, CDU, and SPD), with the spectrum of opinion, but also because we are completely taken in by the agenda laid down by the political class''.
Worse than the mainstream, government controlled and poll-tax funded media in Germany just agreeing with the ruling coalition, the stations actually took orders on what was and was not to be reported on. He said:
'''...the topics about which are reported are laid down by the government.
''There are many topics that would be more important than what the government wants. But they, of course, want to deflect attention away from what doesn't happen. Yet what doesn't happen is often more important than what does happen '' more important than gesture politics''.
While these orders are sent to media companies from unspecified places in the government, they are communicated to individual journalists by news executives using a new-speak jargon. Dr. Herles explains that while ''there are, in fact, instructions from above'', when the editor in chief of ZDF communicated these instructions to his juniors he would merely say reporting should be framed in a way that ''serves Europe and the public good''.
There would be no need to add in brackets that this actually means it should be reported ''to Ms. Merkel's liking'', as they would be understood as the true meaning.
''Today, one is not allowed to say anything negative about the refugees'' said Dr. Herles, concluding: ''This is government journalism and that leads to a situation in which people no longer trust us. This is a scandal.''
There has been very little reporting of the comments in the German media, and what there was has been critical of the remarks. Focusreported the comments of one centre-left media figure, Der Freitag newspaper editor Jakob Augstein who when asked whether there had ever been such ''instructions from above'', said: ''No, I deny vehemently there has ever been commands from the top''.
That the German mainstream media is not free and routinely obscures or bends the truth has been a key criticism by the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of Europe (PEGIDA) movement, which has coined phrases like L¼genpresse '-- the liar press '-- to express their frustration.
Follow Oliver Lane on Twitter:or e-mail to: olane@breitbart.com
War on Weed
Marijuana in Space '' NASA Discovers THC on Meteorite Fragment | The health disorder
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 23:39
A team of astrophysicists at the University of Hawaii have created somewhat of a stir within the scientific community after the discovery of trace amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a meteorite found in the Nevada desert in 2010.
The team of researchers who analyzed hundreds of meteorite fragments in search of microbacterial data found the presence of Tetrahydrocannabinol in trace amounts, the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabinoids, a class of diverse chemical compounds that are found in a variety of plants, but most famously in the cannabis plant.
The study, that is funded in part by a NASA grant for research in astrobiology, is the first documented find of a psychoactive organic compound originating from outside of the Earth's atmosphere, a discovery that could revolutionize our modern view of psychotropic agents and their ''cosmic'' origins, admits astrophysicist James Han, head of the research team.
The discovery was clearly unexpected, admits the astrophysicist specialized in astrobiology.
''These findings will have a profound impact on the science of astrobiology as a whole'' admits the scientist, visibly perplexed by the discovery.
''If psychoactive elements are found outside of this planet's atmosphere, what does it say about the rest of the universe? If these chemical substances, that change brain functions and result in alterations in perception, mood, or consciousness in mammals as well as humans, find their origin in outer space, what role then has cometary impacts played on the human species? Or on life on the planet as whole? This discovery ultimately leaves us with more questions than answers''acknowledges the professor.
''It also gives a whole new meaning to the term getting high'' he told local reporters, with a pinch of humor.
Traces amounts of Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) were also found in a meteorite fragment in 2009 by a research team from the University of Mexico but the findings were dismissed at the time because of the ''controversial nature of the discovery'' and a wave of skepticism from the scientific community. Further analysis of the sample could now shed some light on this latest finding, believe experts.
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Agenda 2030
Leonardio DiCaprio Producing 'Sandcastle Empire' Movie for Paramount | Variety
Wed, 03 Feb 2016 10:55
Paramount Pictures has optioned the YA novel ''The Sandcastle Empire'' with Leonardo DiCaprio on board to produce.
Jennifer Davisson, DiCaprio's partner at Appian Way, is also attached to produce through their production banner.
The novel was written by Kayla Olson and is set in 2049 when the Earth is at a breaking point due to climate change, coastal flooding and overpopulation. A radical faction known as the Wolfpack overthrows the government and takes control.
The story centers on a young woman named Eden who escapes a Wolfpack labor camp, joining three others fleeing to an island. During her journey, she will find clues as to what happened to her missing father and find out that she is the key to bringing down the Wolfpack.
The book's theme of climate change is an important one for DiCaprio, as he's been vocal about the environmental issue, speaking out on it as recently as Saturday's SAG Awards.
Appian's Nathaniel Posey identified the book and brought it into the company.
DiCaprio can currently be seen in Fox's ''The Revenant'' and just won SAG award for his role in the film. He is repped by LBI Entertainment.
The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
Some trees may make climate change worse, not better - NY Daily News
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 07:24
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Saturday, February 6, 2016, 3:54 PM
Everything you know about climate change is wrong.
Trees '-- long assumed to help limit the ugly effects of climate change '-- may actually speed up global warming rates, according to a new study.
A team of French-led scientists claim Europe has been planting the wrong kind of trees during its reforestation efforts since 1750, and in the process has made climate change worse '-- not better. The theory is at odds with a widespread view that planting more trees helps human efforts to slow rising temperatures.
While Europe's forest area has grown by 10% in the past 250 years, its average temperatures have increased by 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
So what gives?
The researchers believe that expanding forests, once lush with broadleaf species like oak and birch, with types of conifers like pine and spruce, have made the continent warmer, not cooler. While the broadleaf trees reflect sunlight, dark conifers absorb heat.
''Two and a half centuries of forest management in Europe have not cooled the climate,'' the scientists wrote in a report released Friday.
Europe's forests oak- and birch-heavy forests thinned between 1750 and 1850, BBC News reported. Foresters eager to replace the lost greenery often opted to plant conifers, which grow faster and can be used for everything from building materials to pulp.
The team, led by France's Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement, said the changes in the makeup of Europe's forests outweighed trees' role in curbing global warming. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from burning fossil fuels, from the air as they grow.
"It's not all about carbon," lead author Kim Naudts said, adding that government policies to favor forests should be re-thought to take account of factors such as their color and changes to moisture and soils.
With News Wire Services
mwagner@nydailynews.com
Tags:climate change ,trees ,france
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO-Texas Police: "It's Illegal to Offend Someone" - Conservative Outfitters
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 15:23
Home / News / Texas Police: "It's Illegal to Offend Someone"February 10, 20160 Comments
TEXAS - Police at the University of Texas have effectively ended 239 years of free speech in the United States. Video has surfaced online showing a Texas police officer issuing a citation to a man for offending someone. The police officer explains that it is 'illegal' to offend someone.
If you have more information about this story please leave a comment.
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VIDEO-Surprise Donald Trump Movie Drops One Day After New Hampshire Victory '-- and You'll Never Guess Who Plays Him | TheBlaze.com
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 14:14
The comedians at FunnyOrDie.com have ventured into unchartered territory in creating the first-ever Donald Trump movie.
Complete with an all-star cast and a catchy theme song, ''The Art of the Deal'' movie is 50 minutes of pure '80s throwback absurdity.
Image source: FunnyOrDie
It's unclear whether or not Trump has seen the film, which the comedy site released Wednesday, following the business mogul's success at the GOP primary in New Hampshire Tuesday night.
Folks at the Houston Chronicle say it's being touted as ''The New Film (Not) Based on the #1 National Bestselling Book by Donald Trump.'' Trump's book, also called ''The Art of the Deal,'' is a best-selling business advice book published in 1987.
''The Art of the Deal'' movie features a hardly recognizable Johnny Depp as Trump. Actors Henry Winkler, Merv Griffin, Patton Oswalt, Jacob Tremblay, Andy Richter, Jack McBrayer, Stephen Merchant, Alfred Molina and Michaela Watkins also appear in the film.
Image source: FunnyOrDie
FunnyOrDie co-founder Adam McKay produced the film and kept it under wraps prior to its Feb. 10 release. McKay also directed ''The Big Short,'' the 2015 film up for several Academy Awards, including best picture.
''It was a crazy, completely nuts idea that somehow we pulled off,'' McKay told the New York Times about the surprise release.
The film was directed by Jeremy Konner, who produces Comedy Central's ''Drunk History.''
By Wednesday afternoon, ''The Art of the Deal'' movie had already reached almost a half-million views.
Watch the trailer:
You can watch the full movie here.
ViIDEO-Watch the 'White Guilt' Video Shown to High School Students That Has Some Parents in an Uproar | Video | TheBlaze.com
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 14:11
Virginia parents were in an uproar after officials at Glen Allen High School in Henrico showed students a controversial video as part of Black History Month.
The video, titled ''Structural Discrimination: The Unequal Opportunity Race,'' covers issues like racial profiling, manifest destiny and the ''school to prison pipeline.''
Image source: YouTube
''Dr. King gave his life so that America would be a place where we are judged by the content of our character not the color of our skin,'' radio personality Craig Johnson told WWBT-TV. ''Now we have poverty pimps being led by our current president Barack Obama who all they talk about is the color of skin.''
The video depicts four individuals of different ethnicities running a race. While two white individuals run the course, the other individuals are faced with road blocks like a pool of sharks and a police checkpoint. It ends with the statement: ''Affirmative action helps level the playing field.''
One parent wrote a letter expressing concern that the video was causing tensions within the school.
''Y'all are privileged. Get the '-- blank '-- over it,'' read one of numerous tweets about the topic, according to that same parent.
Other relatives of students had a different view.
''They are sitting there watching a video that is dividing them up from a racial standpoint. It's a white guilt kind of video,'' Don Blake, whose granddaughter attended the assembly, said. ''I think somebody should be held accountable for this.''
''Force that person to stand on that stage and defend that video,'' Johnson demanded. ''I'm telling you '... I will mop the floor with that person.''
After such widespread outcry, Henrico school officials released a statement:
The students participated in a presentation that involved American history and racial discourse. A segment of the video was one component of a thoughtful discussion in which all viewpoints were encouraged. As always, we are welcoming of feedback from students and their families, and we address concerns directly as they come forward.
Watch:
(H/T: KSLA-TV)
VIDEO-AUDIO-Red Lobster For The Real Beyonce Lover In You : NPR
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 13:57
Red Lobster has seen a spike in business thanks to Beyonce's new hit single, "Formation," which she performed at the Super Bowl. In the song, she takes a guy there for dinner.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Good morning, I'm David Greene. I mean, why pay money for a Super Bowl ad? Red Lobster has seen a spike in business thanks, it seems, to Beyonce's new hit, "Formation," which she performed at halftime. In the song, she takes a guy to Red Lobster for dinner after they - well, listen to the song. But apparently, many people are craving Cheddar Bay biscuits. Red Lobster has seen a 33 percent boost in sales since the song dropped. The restaurant tweeted at Beyonce, quote, "thanks for one heck of a weekend." It's MORNING EDITION.
Copyright (C) 2016 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.
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VIDEO-'That's what the F-35 will do to you': General faints during Pentagon briefing | Washington Examiner
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 13:50
An Air Force general passed out while briefing reporters on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program on Tuesday.
Maj. Gen. James Martin, deputy assistant Air Force secretary for budget, slowly dipped toward the podium while his colleague, Air Force Deputy for Budget Carolyn Gleason, was answering a question about the fighter program.
As she and others lowered him to a chair, Gleason quipped "That's what the F-35 will do to you."
The Lockheed Martin F-35 is the most expensive weapons program in history, involving three services, multiple international partners and several foreign customers. It's also easily the most heavily covered program, thanks to massive budget overruns, delays and questions over its capability. So yeah, it's stressful.
More from the Washington Examiner
Bush finished fourth in N.H. and received the support of approximately 2.8 percent of caucus-goers in Iowa.
'02/11/16 8:32 AM
"He kept threatening to pull a hammy," Gleason said to the reporters. "I didn't think he really meant it."
Martin was able to walk out of the room and Gleason continued the briefing. Defense One reporter Marcus Weisgerber later tweeted out the Martin was OK.
Top Story
Donald Trump can routinely get away with what the other candidates cannot.
'02/11/16 12:01 AM
VIDEO-Maddow: GOP Could Turn Into 'Xenophobic,' 'Nativist' Movement of 'Hard Right' | MRCTV
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 05:26
[See NewsBusters for more.] On the same night Rachel Maddow dismissed the concept of the liberal media, the MSNBC host sneered that the Republican Party could turn into a ''xenophobic'' movement of the ''hard-right.'' Maddow flashed back to the 1996 presidential election and contrasted 2016: ''Pitchfork populism and xenophobic nativism of a very, very hard-right cast and [Pat Buchanan] won in New Hampshire.'' If Trump is the nominee, the journalist fretted, ''The American Republican Party will be in line with the National Front in France and the U.K. Independence Party in Great Britain and these other types of hard-right.'' Regarding Europe, Maddow suggested, ''I think they will see it through the lens of their own nativist movements.''
VIDEO-Joe Klein: Trump Supporters 'Are a Real Threat' to America; 'I Like Jeb Bush an Awful Lot' | MRCTV
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 05:18
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
Time columnist Joe Klein followed up his fawning profile of Hillary Clinton in the magazine's latest issue with an appearance on Charlie Rose's PBS show Tuesday night and condemned Donald Trump supporters as ''a real threat to this country,'' decried the lack of center in American politics, and professed his admiration for Jeb Bush.
Near the top of the show, Klein seized his first speaking opportunity to lament that it was ''amazing'' that ''one-third'' of New Hampshire voters backed Trump despite him being someone ''who doesn't know anything except to say evil things about other people.''
VIDEO-Clinton Spokeswoman Won't Disavow Misogynist Remarks by Steinem, Albright - YouTube
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 04:24
VIEDEO-Clinton supporter Jennifer Granholm goes full birther on Ted Cruz - YouTube
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 04:19
VIDEO-COMPLETE INTERVIEW: Bill Maher Interviewes Dr. Samir Chachoua On ''Real Time'' LIVE (1/30/2016) - YouTube
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 04:11
VIDEO-Resident of Calais speaks. This is the death of civilization. - YouTube
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 02:56
VIDEO-Former WH Press Secretary Jay Carney: Obama wants Hillary Clinton to win Democratic nomination - YouTube
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 23:18
VIDEO-Last 15 Minutes-LiveLeak.com - Documentary: Ukraine - Masks of revolution. Eng. Subs.
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:49
Documentary: Ukraine - Masks of revolution. Eng. Subs.VPE presents highly anticipated, contorversial (to some) documentary about so called Maidan revolution. Movie itself has been produced by high ranking agents of Kremlin inside of French Canal+ TV channel.-----------Finally, video with German subtitles available HERE.P.S. Unfortunately this website encodes files very slo-o-o-o-owly. Please, be patient for HD. :3
UPD: 1080p now available.-----------
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VIDEO-Obama confronts his political failure on campaign anniversary - CNNPolitics.com
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:16
Returning to Springfield, Illinois, site of his presidential campaign launch nine years ago, Obama confronted the gaping shortfall between his lofty 2007 rhetoric on changing the country's political discourse, and the reality of politics today: meaner and more divided than ever.
Obama reflected on his time in the Illinois state Senate when he worked with Republicans, even on issues where they didn't agree with. He contrasted that with current political rhetoric, saying in the state Senate they didn't refer to name calling.
"They trusted each other even if they didn't agree," Obama said. "We didn't call each other idiots or fascists who were trying to destroy America."
Obama didn't accept responsibility for the rancorous language that has infected the 2016 campaign trail -- including Donald Trump's vulgar descriptions of his Republican opponents this week. And White House aides argue it is Republicans, not Obama, who have prevented meaningful legislative action for much of the past several years.
But no matter where the blame falls, the situation in Washington is a distant cry from the promise of reconciliation that Obama delivered on a frozen morning in Springfield.
Standing before a crowd of thousands that had gathered at the Old State Capitol building, Obama cited in 2007, "the smallness of our politics" and decried "the ease with which we're distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems."
Nine years later, that description of the country's governing environment remains largely intact, despite Obama's pledges in his subsequent campaign to move beyond the old ways of Washington.
A budget agreement this year, hailed as an example of bipartisanship at work, was notable mostly for its avoidance of a government shutdown -- a consequence of fiscal battles that seemed impossible before 2013, when the government actually did shutdown for two weeks amid a budget stalemate.
Big-ticket legislative items like comprehensive immigration reform and tax code reform have gone by the wayside, mired in partisan arguments that Obama has shown little ability to mitigate.
And an appetite for scoring "cheap political points" has only grown more insatiable in an era of quick-hit social media attacks.
There are vows Obama delivered in Springfield that have gotten closer to becoming reality.
His health care law brought the country's uninsured rate to record lows, though not nearly to the "universal health care" he insisted upon. His pledge to break the country from the "tyranny of oil" has inched forward though investments in clean energy. And his promise to end the Iraq war materialized, though terrorist gains after U.S. combat troops left have forced Obama to send Special Forces back into the country.
That progress aside, Obama's determination to change "the ways of Washington" has shown few signs of being realized -- a fact Obama conceded in January.
"It's one of the few regrets of my presidency -- that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better," Obama said during his State of the Union address. "I have no doubt a president with the gifts of Lincoln or Roosevelt might have better bridged the divide, and I guarantee I'll keep trying to be better so long as I hold this office."
In a speech to Illinois state lawmakers on Wednesday, Obama plans to detail "what we can do together as a country to build a better politics, and one that reflects our better selves," according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
The White House said Obama would also address, "without endorsing a specific path forward," how to combat gerrymandering -- the process of redrawing congressional districts to ensure a particular political outcome.
Even in the Illinois state capital, though, things seem to have only gotten worse since Obama left. In his 2007 speech, Obama described a place with the opposite ideals of Washington, where he "learned to disagree without being disagreeable."
Today, the state's lawmakers are locked in a bitter fight over spending that has led to credit downgrades and the longest streak without a budget in state history.
For Obama, a return to Springfield comes imbued with nostalgia for his earliest days in the national spotlight. His 2007 address launched a long-shot path to the White House which cut through a field of seasoned contenders, including Hillary Clinton.
Even as he delivered the speech, members of Clinton's campaign had already begun questioning his experience and readiness for the top job. He also faced persistent questions about the nation's willingness to elevate an African-American as a major party presidential nominee, let alone commander-in-chief.
Those questions were put to rest months later when Obama bested Clinton for the party's nomination, and beat Sen. John McCain by a decisive margin in the general election.
But at the time of Obama's announcement, his candidacy offered only the potential for historic change in the country.
Obama, in his announcement address, evoked the memory of Abraham Lincoln, who began his political career in the same location. And he recognized the unlikely nature of his presidential bid.
"I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness in this -- a certain audacity -- to this announcement," Obama said then, with his wife, Michelle, and two young daughters standing nearby. "I know that I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington, but I've been there long enough to know that."
"People who love their country can change it," he said.
CNN's Allie Malloy contributed to this report.
VIDEO-James Clapper Testimony Global Threats | Video | C-SPAN.org
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:10
February 9, 2016Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, providing an annual assessment of top'... read more
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, providing an annual assessment of top global threats.'‚He said homegrown attacks by ISIS* pose the most significant threat to Americans at home and the terrorist group would continue plotting against U.S. interests overseas.'‚Director Clapper said North Korea had expanded its Yongbyon uranium enrichment facility and restarted a plutonium reactor that could start recovering spent fuel in weeks or months.'‚Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart also provided testimony.'‚
* The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or DAISH/DAESH in Arabic is a militant group that has called itself the Islamic State. close
Javascript must be enabled in order to access C-SPAN videos.
*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
Related VideoFebruary 9, 2016Global ThreatsThe directors of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, CIA, FBI, and the National Security Agency'...
September 29, 2015Cybersecurity PolicyDirector of National Intelligence James Clapper, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, and U.S. Cyber Command Commander'...
February 26, 2015Global Terror ThreatsJames Clapper and Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global'...
November 2, 2015Defense One Summit, Part 1Defense One held their third annual summit on defense and national security issues.'‚National Security Adviser Ben'...
Clips from This Video
VIDEO-DIA Chief: Expect Iran to Purchase New Russian Weapons and See Them in Syria in Two Years - YouTube
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:07
VIDEO-Feminist Frequency
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:55
At last year's XOXO festival, I spoke about two insidious ways that online harassment manifests: conspiracy theories and impersonation. I'd like to share an especially pernicious example of the latter, which demonstrates how harassers can make use of malicious impersonation to deliberately incite a vicious cybermob.
On July 12, I made a few tweets criticizing the representations of women in Batman: Arkham Knight. Now, it's pretty standard for any tweets I make on this topic to be met with plenty of angry responses, but in this case, the influx of replies was particularly vitriolic, and included demands that I stop criticizing the game. In fact, the tweets vehemently insisted that this was an inappropriate time to be criticizing video games at all.
I saw these angry tweets before I read the news that beloved Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata had tragically passed away.
Shortly thereafter, my Twitter feed became flooded with misogynist harassment, hate, and threats. For some reason, most of this abuse mentioned Mr. Iwata. This was strange to me, since I'd never mentioned Mr. Iwata in any of my work about video games, and my only comment on his passing was a retweet of a heartfelt GIF bidding him farewell, using images from The Wind Waker.
In the process of investigating what specifically had triggered this flood of harassment, I found images circulating on Twitter and Tumblr of two fake, inflammatory tweets that I had never written.
The Photoshopped tweets should have been too ridiculous for anyone to believe. The coldness they displayed in response to Iwata's death was so clearly designed specifically to make people angry, and the statements were sheer nonsense. (Also, the second tweet is actually 141 characters long.) But after an hour, the torrent of abuse only seemed to be escalating, so I decided to clarify that these were in fact obvious fakes.
My clarification did not stop the flow of harassment.
Why? Because many of those spreading the fakes knew they weren't real. They just didn't care, because their goal was simply to discredit me and to generate so much animosity against me that I would stop speaking critically about video games.
A Twitter user who tracks GamerGate found the origin of the attack on 4chan and shared proof that the harassers knew they were spreading misinformation. They were the ones doing exactly what many of the harassers they spurred on accused me of doing: callously using a man's tragic death as an opportunity.
They seized it and turned it into a weapon to use against me.
Some harassers knew, others were tricked, but the end result was a cybermob of hate that lasted most of the week.
The intense harassment and threats continued pouring in, along with accusations that I had simply deleted the tweets from my account.
Posts on 4chan encouraged the spreading of these fake tweets through anonymous posts like:
Impersonation quotes are created in an attempt to discredit and destroy their target. Perpetrators manufacture absurd and offensive statements which they believe are actual representations of the target's beliefs, so in my case, they created quotes reflecting their view of who I am and what I might say about an event like this, which is not actually rooted in reality. These fake tweets exploiting the death of a beloved figure in the gaming industry were created intentionally to spread misinformation and incite others to attack me.
This cybermob grew both through the participation of individuals who knew the statements were fake but were willing to use them as an excuse to harass me, as well as those who had been duped into believing that I would say something so horrible because it's consistent with their perception of me as a monster with nefarious plans to destroy all video games.
What follows is a small sample of that mob:
Content warning for misogyny, gendered insults, victim blaming, violence and harassment.
(more'...)
Filed under: Harassment
This post currently has no comments
VIDEO-Media rocks Hillary Clinton's devastating New Hampshire loss | SUPERcuts! #287 - YouTube
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:09
VIDEO-Neil deGrasse Tyson Slams Flat-Earth Theorist B.o.B - The Nightly Show Video Clip | Comedy Central
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:03
Welcome back. Now...
if you spent any time on Twitterin the past 48 hours,
then you've heard aboutour next story.
Rapper B.o.B. blowing up Twitter
with his theories onthe actual shape of the earth.
Rapper B.o.B.-- perhaps you knowhim for hits "Airplanes"
and "Nothin' On You"-- he firmlybelieves that the earth is flat.
He is on a Twitter missionto prove it,
and he says he hasphotographic evidence
and that we've beenfooled all this time.
Mm. Mm.
You know, guys, first timeI heard "Nothin' On You",
I definitely thought,"This B.o.B. guy--
he is the one to finally takedown that asshole Aristotle."
Take him down.Take him down.
Seriously, though,these tweets are amazing.
"...the horizonis always eye level..."
"Once you go flatyou never go back"?
"...where is the curve?"
Um, B.o.B., if you'relooking for the curve,
you got to call Sir Mix-A-Lot.
That is a manwho did not deny science.
He did not.Am I right?
I'm not lying about that. Okay.
Anyway, so this thingwent viral.
And even world-renownedsuper scientist
and friend of The Nightly Show Neil deGrasse Tyson
got involved and refuted someof B.o.B.'s retrograde nonsense,
which prompted B.o.B.to release a diss track
called "Flatline".Here's a taste.
'ª Neil Tysonneed to loosen up his vest 'ª
'ª They'll probably write thatman one hell of a check 'ª
'ª Flat line, flat line
'ª You got me oncebut that died, aye 'ª
Oh, (bleep)!
This (bleep)just got real, y'all.
Uh-oh.
I'm gonna tell you--looks like we've got ourselves
a r...code red science emergency.
So I'm gonna have todo something I rarely do.
I got to hitthe science panic button.
WOMAN: Science emergencydefense program initiated.
Science emergency defenseprogram initiated.
-Oh, my God. -Science emergencydefense program initiated.
(audience cheering, applauding)
WILMORE: Hey, Neil...Neil deGrasse Tyson!
-Larry?-It's Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Neil deGrasse Tyson, everybody.
Yes.
Look at... look at that.Thank you.
-Larry...-Yes?
I'm trying to eat my dinner,I got your distress call.
-I apologize, I know.-Is everything okay?
No, Neil, everythingis not okay.
This B.o.B. BS aboutthe earth being flat
is getting out of control.Can you please help us?
Uh, h-hold my sandwich.
-Oh, sure, okay.-I'm sorry.
Here, you take that.Here, here, you want your...
-Oh. Oh. Oh, my God. Okay.-(audience cheering, applauding)
Looks good.All right. Go.
All right, listen B.o.B.,once and for all.
The earth looks flatbecause, one,
you're not far enough awayat your size.
Two, your... your sizeisn't large enough
relative to earthto notice any curvature at all.
It's a fundamental factof calculus
and non-Euclidean geometry.
Small sectionsof large curved surfaces
will always look flat to littlecreatures that crawl upon it.
But this...
but this whole thing-- it's justa symptom of a larger problem.
There's a growinganti-intellectual strain
in this country that many th...that may be
the beginning of the endof our informed democracy.
O-Of course, in a free society,
you can and shouldthink whatever you want.
And if you want to think theworld is flat, go right ahead.
But if you think the worldis flat and you have influence
over others,as would successful rappers
or even presidential candidates,
then being wrong
becomes being harmful--
to the health, the wealth,
and the securityof our citizenry.
Discovery and explorationgot us out of the caves.
And each generation benefits
from what previous generationshave learned.
Isaac Newton, my man,said, "I have...
"If I have seenfarther than others,
it's by standingon the shoulders of giants."
(cheering, whooping)
-WILMORE: Yeah! (whoops)-Can I get an amen?
So that's right, B.o.B.,when you stand on the shoulders
of those who came before,
you might justsee far enough to realize
the earth isn't (bleep) flat.
And by the way...
this is called gravity.
-(cheering, applause)-Oh! Oh!
Neil deGrasse Tyson, everybody!
Oh! We'll be right back.
-Oh! Oh!-I'm out!
-'ª -(cheering, applause)
VIDEO-Reporter laughs at State Department's response to North Korean missile launch - YouTube
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:41
VIDEO-B.o.B. Flatline featuring NDGT - Flat Earth - YouTube
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:38
VIDEO-Irate Congressman gives cops easy rule: ''just follow the damn Constitution'' | Ars Technica
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:30
Further ReadingDespite the best efforts of law enforcement to convince a Congressional subcommittee that technology firms actually need to weaken encryption in order to serve the public interest, lawmakers were not having it.Daniel Conley, the district attorney in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, testified Wednesday before the committee that companies like Apple and Google were helping criminals by hardening encryption on their smartphones. He echoed previous statements by the recently-departed Attorney General, Eric Holder.
"In America, we often say that none of us is above the law," Conley wrote in his prepared testimony. "But when unaccountable corporate interests place crucial evidence beyond the legitimate reach of our courts, they are in fact placing those who rape, defraud, assault and even kill in a position of profound advantage over victims and society."
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), who described himself as a "recovering computer science major," provided one of the most forceful counter-arguments. (He is just one of four House members with computer science degrees.) Lieu also is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserves and served for four years as a member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps.
"It is clear to me that creating a pathway for decryption only for good guys is technologically stupid, you just can't do that," he said, underscoring that he found Conley's remarks "offensive."
He argued:
It's a fundamental misunderstanding of the problem. Why do you think Apple and Google are doing this? It's because the public is demanding it. People like me: privacy advocates. A public does not want an out-of-control surveillance state. It is the public that is asking for this. Apple and Google didn't do this because they thought they would make less money. This is a private sector response to government overreach.
Then you make another statement that somehow these companies are not credible because they collect private data. Here's the difference: Apple and Google don't have coercive power. District attorneys do, the FBI does, the NSA does, and to me it's very simple to draw a privacy balance when it comes to law enforcement and privacy: just follow the damn Constitution.
And because the NSA didn't do that and other law enforcement agencies didn't do that, you're seeing a vast public reaction to this. Because the NSA, your colleagues, have essentially violated the Fourth Amendment rights of every American citizen for years by seizing all of our phone records, by collecting our Internet traffic, that is now spilling over to other aspects of law enforcement. And if you want to get this fixed, I suggest you write to NSA: the FBI should tell the NSA, stop violating our rights. And then maybe you might have much more of the public on the side of supporting what law enforcement is asking for.
Then let me just conclude by saying I do agree with law enforcement that we live in a dangerous world. And that's why our founders put in the Constitution of the United States'--that's why they put in the Fourth Amendment. Because they understand that an Orwellian overreaching federal government is one of the most dangerous things that this world can have. I yield back.
Further ReadingWhen Ars contacted Lieu after the Wednesday hearing he said that he was not surprised at the testimony of Conley and others in law enforcement."They have a job to do and it is in their interest to make access to data by law enforcement as easy as possible," he told Ars by e-mail.
"But I was surprised at their rhetoric stating that companies seeking to protect and encrypt Americans' data from unconstitutional government intrusion are implicitly helping terrorists and criminals," he said. "That view reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the issue. Private-sector technology companies are responding to the American people's demand that our current out-of-control surveillance state be brought under control."
When asked to elaborate on his "technologically stupid" comment regarding backdoors, Lieu wrote:
Backdoors create unnecessary vulnerability to otherwise secure systems that can be exploited by bad actors. Backdoors are also problematic because once one government asks for special treatment, then other governments with fewer civil liberties protections will start asking for special treatment. In addition, computer code is neutral and unthinking. It cannot tell if the person typing on a keyboard trying to access private data is the FBI Director, a hacker, or the leader of Hamas as long as that person has the cryptographic key or other unlocking code. The view that computer backdoors can only be used by "good guys" reflects a lack of understanding of basic computer technology.
But, when asked what steps Lieu takes in his personal or professional life to protect his digital security, he simply responded: "That's private."
The entire hearing, which runs two hours and 15 minutes, is viewable below.
VIDEO-Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Talks to Young Voters ' Triumph on Hulu - YouTube
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 15:26
VIDEO-Jeb Bush gets cut off by his own hosts - YouTube
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:55
VIDEO-Bill Clinton on the stump for Hillary again today in New Hampshire | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:54
Bill Clinton was left off his leash this morning showing up at a middle school in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to encourage more votes.
'I like Kasich,' Clinton said to a man holding up a sign for the Republican governor of Ohio.
'I think he'd make a good president,' said the man. 'Can we change your vote?'
But Bill Clinton was there to support his wife Hillary Clinton, who's in danger of losing the nation's first primary by more than 13 points to rival Bernie Sanders.
'I don't think so,' Clinton replied, having just suggested last night that he wished he wasn't married to the candidate so he could speak more freely, most likely about the Vermont senator.
'Sometimes when I am on a stage like this, I wish we weren't married, then I could say what I really think,' Bill Clinton said last night in Hudson, New Hampshire, before introducing his wife at a last-minute rally.
Scroll down for video
Terie Norelli, a former Democratic member of the New Hampshire House, caught Bill Clinton on camera this morning as he visited a polling place at a Portsmouth middle school
Bill Clinton posted this tweet of a supporter taking a selfie with the former president. He's been helping his wife in a last minute push in the state
Bill Clinton said he was 'happy' in his marriage, but told an audience in Hudson, New Hampshire that sometimes he wished he wasn't married to the candidate so he could 'say what I really think'
Bill Clinton, pictured here squeezing his candidate wife Hillary Clinton has said several times that he regrets not being able to be frank about this election
'I don't mean that in a negative way,' he added. 'I am happy.'
While refusing to let the name Bernie Sanders roll of his lips, former President Bill Clinton went after the Vermont senator at a campaign rally earlier in the day in Manchester.
'It bothers me to be in an election where debate is impossible because if you disagree you're just part of the establishment,' Clinton said today at Manchester Community College, shortly before his wife walked on stage.
The former president also thanks the young voters who were actually supporting Hillary Clinton.
In Iowa, she lost 18 to 29-year-old voters by 70 points.
'I am so grateful for all the millennial young people who are supporting Hillary,' Bill Clinton said.
'And they are just as mad as the ones who aren't,' he noted.
'They just know they've got to translate that anger to answer and that resentment to results,' he added.
Bill Clinton has started attacking his wife's Democratic rival Bernie Sanders suggesting that the Vermont senator can't go around labeling who falls in the 'establishment' of the party
TEAMWORK: Bill and Hillary gave Sanders the one-two punch yesterday in New Hampshire. She hit him for attending a Martha's Vineyard fundraiser for the Democratic Party attended by the same sorts of people he deplores her for taking checks from
POPULAR: Hillary is losing young people in New Hampshire more than 8-1 - but they seemed happy to see Bill at a Manchester rally
Entering the community college yesterday with daughter Chelsea at his side, Bill Clinton confessed that, 'the harder this election gets, the more I wish I were just a former president ... and not the spouse of the next one.'
The line got big cheers.
'And I'm so happy all the time because of our granddaughter and grandchild-to-be that I'm not mad at anybody, but I respect the anger, the apprehension, the anxiety that so many Americans have,' Clinton continued.
He noted how many Americans haven't seen their paychecks increase since the day he left the White House in 2001.
'So we need big changes, that's right, you'll hear Hillary talk about her visions,' Clinton said. 'The real question isn't whether we need big changes ,yes, the real question is, who's got the best ideas, who's the best change-maker.'
Pointing fingers, but not saying names, Clinton asked if it was fair to label his wife, or New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, or New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen as 'establishment.'
The two female politicians are supporting Hillary Clinton and were also on hand to introduce the candidate at the earlier stop.
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin also got a shout-out, with Clinton noting how he was supporting the former secretary of state and unsuccessfully tried to bring single-payer healthcare to his state, the plan that Sanders support.
COMEBACK KID: Bill and Hillary are seen here in Bedford New Hampshire during his 1992 campaign - when he came from behind to come in second in the state
ROLE REVERSAL: Bill Clinton even dressed the part Sunday as he ripped into Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in New Hampshire
In Vermont it didn't work.
'That's hardly an establishment candidate,' Bill Clinton said.
Former Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, who is going door to door for the Clintons in New Hampshire in advance of the state's primary tomorrow, put it a smart way, Bill Clinton pointed out.
'I asked Mark Pryor what he said when he was walking on doors, he said, 'I like them both, I served with them both, but she gets a lot more done,'' the former president said.
Yesterday's comments were an encore to the performance Bill Clinton gave Sunday in Milford, while Hillary Clinton was out of town in Flint, Michigan.
It was then that the former president began whacking Sanders around, without saying the Vermont senator's name.
'When you're making a revolution, you can't be too careful with the facts,' Clinton said, according to Politico.
'The New Hampshire I campaigned in really cared that you knew what you were doing, and how it was paid for,' Clinton said, reminding the voters of his own relationship with the state.
In the 1992 New Hampshire, Bill Clinton's campaign, under the duress of sinking poll numbers, pulled off a silver medal in the state, which eventually propelled him to the Democratic nomination.
Sanders has a lot of large-scale ideas '' universal healthcare, tuition-free public college, etc. '' and has broadly described how he would pay for it, by raising taxes, but any economic drag that might occur from the new taxes has not been accounted for.
Clinton took on the 'Bernie Bros,' men on social media sites who are harassing Hillary Clinton's female supporters for only 'voting with their vagina[s].'
The former president called out the 'vicious trolling and attacks that are literally too profane ... not to mention sexist.'
He also reminded the audience about the data breach that occurred, allowing Sanders campaign operatives to sniff around the Clinton voter file last December.
'It was your campaign that made 25 separate inquiries in the mere space of 30 minutes trying to [loot] information out of computers,' Bill Clinton said, suggesting Sanders' public apology should be discounted because 'in private they sent an email complaining [about the DNC] leaving the keys in the car, and said, 'all we did was drive off.''
Clinton noted how the Sanders campaign raised $1 million off the incident.
'You gotta give it to 'em,' Bill Clinton said. 'I mean, that's really good.'
VIDEO-Oh CRAP! Look What Happens When College Kids Are Asked WHY They Support Bernie Sanders'... - Patriot Update
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 21:44
We are so freaking doomed. Jesse Watters of Fox News decided to visit the University of Oregon and ask some obviously brain dead students why they support Bernie Sanders. It was just jaw dropping. They stated that he was for wealth redistribution and they like that, but they couldn't tell you how it would be done. They wanted the wealthy taxed more, but couldn't answer why that should be done since our current taxes are already being used for corruption and not on the things they should pay for. They were all for free education, but couldn't say exactly who would pay for it. They want war stopped, but didn't have an answer for how we would then stop ISIS. It was a morons-on-parade moment if I ever saw one. These students don't even know what a Democratic Socialist is, but they definitely want more of it. Facepalm.
From Right Wing News:
Watters asked several students which of Sanders' policies they support.
''That's so hard to, like, pinpoint,'' one answered.
''I think my favorite of his would probably be his health care policy,'' another said.
''I really like his redistribution of wealth policy,'' one replied.
Watters also asked the kids what the term, ''Democratic socialist'' means. And while they appeared not to really know the meaning, they agreed we ''actually need more of that.''
I especially like the student who said we should just have a conversation with ISIS. Then Watters asked her how that would go if they beheaded her at the negotiations table. Crickets. Watters ran rings around these kids and they didn't even get that they appeared to be nothing more than airhead Marxist tools. Useful idiots to be sure. The crowning glory was the ditz in the polar bear costume protesting global warming. Let's see'... we have a revolutionary gender studies student, a global warming protester, a proud gay and some guy that looked like he was high far too much of the time. If this is representative of our youth now, we might as well call it a day. Sigh.
http://patriotupdate.com/oh-crap-look-what-happens-when-college-kids-are-asked-why-they-support-bernie-sanders/February 8, 2016http://patriotupdate.com/oh-crap-look-what-happens-when-college-kids-are-asked-why-they-support-bernie-sanders/
VIDEO-Beyonce's 'Formation' sparks double backlash - CNN.com
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 21:04
A move to #BoycottBeyonce has some clapping back over what they see as the superstar being unfairly targeted.
It all began when the singer dropped her music video for her song "Formation" on Saturday.
In the song Beyonce speaks of her heritage with lyrics such as "My daddy Alabama/Momma Louisiana/You mix that Negro with that Creole/Make a Texas bamma" and declares, "I like my baby hair, with baby hair and afros/I like my Negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils."
The video, which pays homage to New Orleans and includes references to Hurricane Katrina's devastating aftermath, also features a scene of a young African-American boy wearing a hoodie before a line of police officers while the words "Stop shooting us" appear on a wall.
Beyonce's 'Formation' video: Controversy swirls around footage
Some called the imagery in the video an affront to police and urged viewers ahead of her halftime performance at the Super Bowl to #BoycottBeyonce for her aligning herself with the Black Lives Matters movement.
Beyonce's performance Sunday -- with dancers in Black Panther-like attire -- didn't assuage those feelings.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani criticized the singer when he appeared Monday on Fox News, calling her performance "outrageous."
"This is football, not Hollywood, and I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us and keep us alive."
Beyonce gets political at Super Bowl, pays tribute to Black Lives Matter
But supporters quickly called foul. It's no secret that her loyal fan base, the BeyHive, has a mighty sting when you come for the Queen, but this time support was more wide ranging, with some finding the criticism to be racially motivated.
The provocative conversation is occurring while excitement mounts over Beyonce's upcoming "Formation" tour. Tickets go on presale Tuesday for select cities for members of the singer's fan club and American Express cardholders, and it's fair to say fans are excited.
VIDEO-NEEDED-CSPAN-US intelligence chief: we might use the internet of things to spy on you | Technology | The Guardian
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 20:03
Amateurs are already interested in easily compromised hardware, and one search engine,
, indexes thousands of completely unsecured web-connected devices. Photograph: DrAfter123/Getty Images
The US intelligence chief has acknowledged for the first time that agencies might use a new generation of smart household devices to increase their surveillance capabilities.
As increasing numbers of devices connect to the internet and to one another, the so-called internet of things promises consumers increased convenience '' the remotely operated thermostat from Google-owned Nest is a leading example. But as home computing migrates away from the laptop, the tablet and the smartphone, experts warn that the security features on the coming wave of automobiles, dishwashers and alarm systems lag far behind.
In an appearance at a Washington thinktank last month, the director of the National Security Agency, Adm Michael Rogers, said that it was time to consider making the home devices ''more defensible'', but did not address the opportunities that increased numbers and even categories of connected devices provide to his surveillance agency.
However, James Clapper, the US director of national intelligence, was more direct in testimony submitted to the Senate on Tuesday as part of an assessment of threats facing the United States.
''In the future, intelligence services might use the [internet of things] for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment, or to gain access to networks or user credentials,'' Clapper said.
Clapper did not specifically name any intelligence agency as involved in household-device surveillance. But security experts examining the internet of things take as a given that the US and other surveillance services will intercept the signals the newly networked devices emit, much as they do with those from cellphones. Amateurs are already interested in easily compromised hardware; computer programmer John Matherly's search engine Shodan indexes thousands of completely unsecured web-connected devices.
Online threats again topped the intelligence chief's list of ''worldwide threats'' the US faces, with the mutating threat of low-intensity terrorism quickly following. While Clapper has for years used the equivocal term ''evolving'' when asked about the scope of the threat, he said Tuesday that Sunni violent extremism ''has more groups, members, and safe havens than at any other point in history''.
The Islamic State topped the threat index, but Clapper also warned that the US-backed Saudi war in Yemen was redounding to the benefit of al-Qaida's local affiliate.
Domestically, ''homegrown extremists'' are the greatest terrorist threat, rather than Islamic State or al-Qaida attacks planned from overseas. Clapper cited the San Bernardino and Chattanooga shootings as examples of lethal operations emanating from self-starting extremists ''without direct guidance from [Isis] leadership''.
US intelligence officials did not foresee Isis suffering significant setbacks in 2016 despite a war in Syria and Iraq that the Pentagon has pledged to escalate. The chief of defense intelligence, Marine Lt Gen Vincent Stewart, said the jihadist army would ''probably retain Sunni Arab urban centers'' in 2016, even as military leaders pledged to wrest the key cities of Raqqa and Mosul from it.
Contradicting the US defense secretary, Ashton Carter, Stewart said he was ''less optimistic in the near term about Mosul'', saying the US and Iraqi government would ''certainly not'' retake it in 2016.
The negative outlook comes as Carter met on Tuesday with his fellow defense chiefs in Brussels to discuss increasing their contributions against Isis.
On the Iran nuclear deal, Clapper said intelligence agencies were in a ''distrust and verify mode'', but added: ''We have no evidence thus far that they're moving toward violation.''
Clapper's admission about the surveillance potential for networked home devices is rare for a US official. But in an overlooked 2012 speech, the then CIA director David Petraeus called the surveillance implications of the internet of things ''transformational '... particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft''.
During testimony to both the Senate armed services committee and the intelligence panel, Clapper cited Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and the Islamic State as bolstering their online espionage, disinformation, theft, propaganda and data-destruction capabilities. He warned that the US's ability to correctly attribute the culprits of those actions would probably diminish with ''improving offensive tradecraft, the use of proxies, and the creation of cover organizations''.
Clapper suggested that US adversaries had overtaken its online capabilities: ''Russia and China continue to have the most sophisticated cyber programs.''
The White House's new cybersecurity initiative, unveiled on Tuesday, pledged increased security for nontraditional networked home devices. It tasked the Department of Homeland Security to ''test and certify networked devices within the 'Internet of Things'.'' It did not discuss any tension between the US's twin cybersecurity and surveillance priorities.
Connected household devices are a potential treasure trove to intelligence agencies seeking unobtrusive ways to listen and watch a target, according to a study that Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society released last week. The study found that the signals explosion represented by the internet of things would overwhelm any privacy benefits by users of commercial encryption '' even as Clapper in his testimony again alleged that the growth of encryption was having a ''negative effect on intelligence gathering''.
The report's authors cited a 2001 case in which the FBI had sought to compel a company that makes emergency communications hardware for automobiles '' similar by description to OnStar, though the company was not named '' to assist agents in Nevada in listening in on conversations in a client's car.
In February 2015, news reports revealed that microphones on Samsung ''smart'' televisions were ''always on'' so as to receive any audio that it could interpret as an instruction.
''Law enforcement or intelligence agencies may start to seek orders compelling Samsung, Google, Mattel, Nest or vendors of other networked devices to push an update or flip a digital switch to intercept the ambient communications of a target,'' the authors wrote.
VIDEO-Eyewitness News Investigates: Flaws Within California's Gun
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:51
Eyewitness News Investigates a controversial state gun confiscation program that went online back in 2007. It's mission is to take guns away from criminals and those with severe mental illness. Recently, the program launched a local man into the spotlight.
After taking a closer look at the program, we found several mistakes that have been made along the way, as well as flaws that have been documented by state officials.
In the quiet Southern California neighborhood of Upland, Lynette Phillips lives a quiet, ordinary life. But in the spring of 2013, it was interrupted by a loud knock on the door. Phillips was greeted by police officers.
Phillips says, "It was traumatizing."
And shocking for the retired nurse, now a stay at home grandma, who'd never been in trouble before.
"My first thought was 'oh no what did my kid do.' "
The officers were there for one thing.
"They were looking for the guns, because one was registered to me."
Phillips didn't know yet, but her name was listed in California's Armed and Prohibited Persons Systems. She was now considered someone who wasn't allowed to own, or be around, firearms. So, all of her husband's guns were confiscated, but not before being laid out on the front porch for neighbors to see.
"It was scary, embarrassing."
Rewind to a night three months earlier. Phillips, who tells us she suffers from depression and anxiety, had an adverse reaction while switching anti-depressant medications. So, she checked herself into a local mental health hospital for some quick relief.
Phillips says, "The first thing I said to her is I just want you to know that I am not a threat to myself or to anyone, I just can't stop crying. Then she started asking me some really bizarre questions."
Like what she would do if she got into a car accident, which Phillips later found out the nurse used to deem her suicidal, writing this in her notes, "You stated that if you got into a car accident you wouldn't care and you drive yourself off a cliff."
Phillips says, "That was never said. That was false documentation."
That is what landed Phillips on the "APPS" list. It's a database that as of December 2014, included 17,479 people, associated with nearly 34,868 firearms and 1,419 assault rifles. So far, more than 3,000 guns have been seized.
The goal is to get guns out of the hands of dangerous, or potentially dangerous people. That includes felons, people with any domestic violence charge and those placed on mental health holds after being involuntarily committed.
Local attorney Jeff Hammerschmidt says, "I think they need to be a lot more careful."
Eyewitness News took a deeper look into the program, and found several cases where mistakes were made. Michael Merritt of Bakersfield had 18 of his guns seized for a felony charge from the 1970's that no longer exists.
Merritt says, "I almost fainted and passed out when they said they wanted all of my guns."
His guns were later returned.
In November, Clovis business owner Albert Sheakalee had his names and 541 of his seized guns put on a big display by state agents. The licensed gun dealer had previously been put on a mental health hold. The state says Sheakalee had been committed involuntarily, but his attorney argues Sheakalee sought help on his own for a temporary crisis.
Sheakalee's attorney Mark Coleman says, "He's never bee adjudicated by the court as being dangerous, he's never been adjudicated by a mental health professional as being dangerous."
According to reports and audits dug up by Eyewitness News, problems with the APPS program run deep, especially in regards to mental health tracking.
State law requires all California mental health facilities to report to the Department of Justice if a person has been involuntarily committed. But, according to a section of a 100-page state audit, 22 key facilities were missing from the DOJ list, meaning potentially dangerous people went unreported. The report went on to say incorrect decisions were being made due to a lack of supervision. But, Hammershmidt says even more alarming is the amount of time, in many cases, it takes for guns to be seized. In Sheakalee's case, the raid didn't happen for six months. For Phillips, it took three months.
"That doesn't make sense. If they're that dangerous it should be a priority and it should be done right away. In three months someone could be dead," says Hammerschmidt.
We contacted the Department of Justice, in hopes of an interview with attorney general Kamala Harris, who oversees the program. Our request was denied.
The DOJ did answer our question regarding how many mistakes have been made, saying it takes extreme measures to confirm information before taking enforcement action, but says there have been rare instances in which firearms have been returned.
Phillips and her husband also got their guns back. While she says the intent behind the apps program is good, she says the way it's being carried out could also be potentially harmful.
"I'm afraid that's going to happen to a lot of people, people who may need mental health attention mentally will not seek it out because of this," says Phillips.
Sheakalee's attorney also says he's confident his client will get his guns back.
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
VIDEO-Meet Vermin Supreme, the presidential candidate who wants to give you a free pony '' Rare
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:45
Rare is closely following the 2016 presidential race from the latest primary state of New Hampshire. Our political reporter Yasmeen Alamiri got a chance to interview performance artist, activist and presidential candidate, Vermin Supreme, Monday.
Supreme has run for various elected offices, both locally and nationally, on platforms that include zombie preparedness and mandatory toothbrushing laws. Supreme calls himself a ''friendly fascist.''
He told Alamiri that he will give Americans free ponies and believes Americans should let him run their lives because ''he knows what's best'' for them.
Supreme tried to run his toothbrushing platform by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Monday. Cruz brushed it off saying he believes in individual liberty and does not think we need a nanny state.
''He seemed like a very nice guy. I don't think I'd want him to be my president,'' Supreme told The Dallas Morning News. ''I think I would make a much better president than Ted Cruz, and with a little luck maybe I'll get more votes, but I'm not counting on it.''
Like Rare Politics on FacebookYolanda R. Arrington is a content editor for Rare. Follow her on Twitter @iamyolanda.
VIDEO-Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Talks to Young Voters ' Triumph on Hulu - YouTube
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:12
VIDEO-STORY-FBI | Countering Violent Extremism
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:09
More and more, violent extremists are trying to radicalize and recruit our nation's youth, especially through the Internet and social media.
It's the FBI's primary responsibility'--working with its many partners'--to protect the nation from attacks by violent extremists. One important way to do that is to keep young people'--the future of our country'--from embracing violent extremist ideologies in the first place.
This website is designed to help do just that. Built by the FBI in consultation with community leaders and other partners, it uses a series of interactive materials to educate teens on the destructive nature of violent extremism and to encourage them to think critically about its messages and goals.
The site emphasizes that by blindly accepting radical ideologies, teens are essentially becoming the ''puppets'' of violent extremists who simply want them to carry out their destructive mission'--which often includes targeting or killing innocent people.
The FBI encourages community groups, families, and high schools across the United States to use this site as part of their educational efforts. All Americans are asked to join the FBI in exposing the seductive nature of violent extremist propaganda and offering positive alternatives to violence.
VIDEO-Martin Shkreli Interview at The Breakfast Club Power 105.1 (02/03/2016) - YouTube
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:03
VIDEO-What researchers know about microcephaly and zika
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 15:10
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Fifth aniversary of Egypt's 2011 uprisngTue, Jan 26, 2016 -(2:15)
Famous Faces of the World Economic Forum 2016Fri, Jan 22, 2016 -(1:18)
Gaza's parkour teamThu, Jan 21, 2016 -(0:44)
Kicking the habit in KabulThu, Jan 21, 2016 -(1:27)
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The stories of Japan's wartime ''comfort women''Wed, Dec 30, 2015 -(1:47)
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VIDEO-Unfolding The Brain - YouTube
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 05:54
Raw
Bloomberg Law - Document - Zika Vaccine Possible by End of 2017, Fauci Says, Life Sciences Law & Industry Report (BNA)
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 14:58
Zika Vaccine Possible by End of 2017, Fauci Says
BNA Snapshot
House Foreign AffairsHearing on Zika
Development: NIH's Fauci says vaccine possible as early as end of 2017.
Takeaway: Initial human testing of vaccine candidate by August.
Next Step: Senate appropriators to hold Zika hearing Feb. 11.
By Jeannie Baumann
Feb. 10 '-- Early phase, human testing of a Zika vaccine could happen as early as August with approval by the end of 2017, the head of the nation's infectious disease research programs told a House panel Feb. 10.
Vaccine development typically takes anywhere from three to eight years to demonstrate safety and efficacy that would yield approval from the Food and Drug Administration. But Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, said that in the case of Zika, scientists have the advantage of already having certain vaccine candidates in place as well as regulatory mechanisms to speed up the approval process. The FDA could conceivably grant accelerated approval for a Zika virus vaccine by the end of 2017, he said, ''which is really rocket speed for a vaccine.''
''If you look at the timetable, you always know that in vaccinology you have to be careful that things could slip,'' he said. ''We feel pretty confident that we'll have enough construct to be able to do preclinical [testing] by the summer, which means we could start a phase I trial let's say in August. And they usually take three to four months, which means we'll be finished by the end of 2016.''
Fauci was one of three public health witnesses testifying before a joint Global Health and Western Hemisphere panel of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the Zika virus. The Obama administration is asking Congress for $1.8 billion to combat the outbreak, which has spread to 33 countries and has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (10 LSLR 04, 2/19/16) . The Senate Appropriations panel will hold a similar hearing Feb. 11.
Testing Phases
Phase I clinical trials typically test for toxicity, and it's the second phase that studies whether the vaccine candidate is safe and effective. Fauci said scientists may be able to demonstrate safety and efficacy in phase II trials in six to eight months, which means the FDA could grant an accelerated approval of the drug by the end of 2017, if there is still an outbreak. Full approval would still take a few years, he said.
When asked by Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) if he foresees any problems getting a vaccine commercialized, Fauci said he didn't think so. ''Unlike other emerging infections, we're getting calls from pharmaceutical companies'--big pharmaceutical companies'--that are very interested in partnering with us.''
Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.), who presided over the hearing and is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Global Health, criticized the Obama administration for cutting global health funding. He called for enactment of his bill (H.R. 1798) to support research and treatment on neglected tropical diseases.
''In the face of the waves of infectious disease epidemics in recent years,'' Smith said in his opening statement, ''the administration's habitual disregard of the increasing danger from infectious disease is simply inexcusable.'' He added later, ''Before the next explosive global health crises appears, we must provide sufficient resources to the study of tropical diseases.''
''We have to step up our domestic efforts to control mosquitoes before warmer weather leads to an explosion of the mosquito population during an imminent epidemic in the homeland,'' Smith said.
The hearing was a joint effort by the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations and the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. Ariel Pablos-Mendez, assistant administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development's Bureau for Global Health, and Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also testified.
Fauci and Frieden also are scheduled to testify before the Senate appropriations panel Feb. 11.
Zika Legislation
Meanwhile, lawmakers in both houses have introduced bills to authorize the use of Ebola funds for Zika response and preparedness. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) introduced such a bill (S. 2518) Feb. 9, which has been referred to the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee; Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) introduced similar legislation (H.R. 4446) Feb. 3, which has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, as well as to the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services committees.
''We need to be prepared for emerging diseases that could prove devastating,'' Johnson said in a Feb. 9 statement. ''The swiftest way of funding necessary steps is to broaden the uses permitted for unspent funds reserved for an outbreak that has generally been contained in the United States.''
A separate team of senators is pushing for Zika to be added to the Food and Drug Administration's priority review voucher program, which allows the developer of a vaccine or treatment for a qualifying tropical disease to receive a voucher for FDA priority review for a second product of its choice. Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) introduced legislation (S. 2512) Feb. 9 to add Zika and asked Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to ''expeditiously consider the addition of Zika'' to the program in a Feb. 5 letter. Reps. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) and Susan W. Brooks (R-Ind.) already introduced a similar bill (H.R. 4400) in the House. But the voucher program doesn't need congressional authorization; the FDA can add Zika on its own, and the agency previously declined to comment on diseases that may be under consideration (10 LSLR 03, 2/5/16).
To contact the reporter on this story: Jeannie Baumann in Washington at jbaumann@bna.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lee Barnes at lbarnes@bna.com
Van der Steur: agent mag mensen opzoeken na tweets over azc - NRC
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 14:50
Agenten mogen mensen aanspreken die via sociale media ''op een abnormale manier'' protesteren tegen de komst van een asielzoekerscentrum. Dat zei minister Ard van der Steur (VVD) woensdag in de Tweede Kamer.
De afgelopen maanden kreeg een aantal tegenstanders van asielzoekerscentra in Sliedrecht, Leeuwarden, Enschede Kaatsheuvel een huisbezoek van agenten, nadat ze zich via sociale media kritisch hadden uitgelaten over de komst van vluchtelingen.
Rechercheurs hielden daartoe Facebookpagina's en Twitteraccounts in de gaten. Soms kwamen verzoeken voor een bezoek aan huis vanuit gemeenten. Mensen die agenten aan de deur hebben gehad, waren daar in sommige gevallen van geschrokken, zo bleek uit berichtgeving van NRC.
'Verkeerd signaal'De minister sprak woensdag uit dat agenten daar wat hem betreft zelf voor mogen kiezen. De VVD vindt echter dat dit te ver gaat. ''De politie geeft hiermee een verkeerd signaal af. Mensen moeten hun zorgen kunnen uiten'', zegt VVD-Kamerlid Ockje Tellegen volgens ANP.
Volgens Van der Steur gaat het niet om huisbezoeken, er wordt aangebeld en als iemand instemt een praatje gemaakt.
De minister zei verder tegen de Tweede Kamer dat hij niet van plan is om meer politiemensen aan te stellen, waar de oppositie op aandringt. Die vreest dat er te weinig agenten zijn om alle taken naar behoren te kunnen uitvoeren, door de grote toestroom van vluchtelingen en problemen die dat oplevert in en rondom opvanglocaties. Volgens Van der Steur is er geen geld voor extra agenten.
Mail de redactieHeeft u een tip over dit onderwerp, ziet u een spelfout of feitelijke onjuistheid? We stellen het zeer op prijs als u ons daarover een bericht stuurt.
Opinion: It's time to consider privatized policing
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 07:56
Since Sharpstown, Texas switched their contract from a constable to the security firm SEAL security last year, they've experienced a 61 percent drop in crime. (photo: SEAL security)
The problemQuestions of police accountability and efficacy have been prominent topics in the news of late. On a disturbingly regular basis, we hear and read stories of heavy-handed responses by officers, who, instead of de-escalating confrontations as a domestic police force ought, seem to prefer committing violence on the citizenry they're ostensibly charged to protect.
What's more, pursuant to supreme and federal court cases such as Castle Rock v. Gonzales and Warren v. District of Columbia, it is established precedent that police have no legal obligation to ''protect and serve'' the population. Law enforcement officers can and have, quite literally, stood by and watched while victims were brutally assaulted, done nothing, and because of their special legal status, could not be held liable afterwards.
So where does that leave the citizenry who pays both the fiscal and physical price for maintaining a police force of increasingly questionable legitimacy? In short, we have an overly aggressive, militarized law enforcement community that embraces an ''us vs. them'' mentality, who has no real obligation to protect or serve, and because of legal precedent cannot be held accountable when they overstep their authority. Maybe it's time to reexamine the entire paradigm of modern, government sanctioned policing.
A potential solution: the private sectorIn 2012, Sharpstown, a community just southwest of Houston, Texas, declined to renew its contract with the constable's office, and hired S.E.A.L. Security Solutions, a private firm, to patrol their streets. Although calls to the Sharpstown Civic Association were not returned, it's easy to deduce why they embraced the idea of a privatized security solution.
''Since we've been in there, an independent crime study that they've had done [indicates] we've reduced the crime by 61%'' in just 20 months, says James Alexander, Director of Operations for SEAL. You read that right: Crime dropped 61% in Sharpstown in just over a year and a half.
The reason for their striking success is two-fold, Alexander states. He cites the continuous patrol of SEAL's officers in their assigned neighborhoods as opposed to the strategy of intermittent presence that the constable embraced. ''On a constable patrol contract, it's either a 70/30 or an 80/20. Meaning they say they patrol your community 70 percent of the time, [while] 30 percent of the time they use for running calls out of your area or writing reports.''
He continues, ''The second thing that drastically reduces the crime is that we do directed patrols, meaning we don't just put an officer out there and say 'here, go patrol.' We look at recent crime stats, and we work off of those crime stats. So if we have hotspots in those areas say for that month, we focus and concentrate our efforts around those hotspots.''
Personal accountabilityWhen asked to compare traditional law enforcement to the SEAL model, Alexander explains, ''Law enforcement officers are trained to be reactive. They're out there to run calls, they're running one call to another, so they're reacting to something that's already happened. Private security, the way that we train our guys, is more proactive, meaning that we're in the community proactively patrolling to prevent those crimes.''
Not only is SEAL more successful at crime prevention than traditional law enforcement, they're cheaper. Sharpstown is saving $200,000 per year over their previous contract with the constable, and they get more patrol officers for less money.
Civil libertarians will appreciate the accountability of SEAL's officers; they cannot hide behind qualified immunity and police unions. ''We do not receive the same protection, as we are in the private sector,'' Alexander states, ''However we are not bound by the same restraints either, like violating civil rights.'' While his second statement may be a little troubling, it should be noted that because of their private sector status, any SEAL officer who crosses the line can be held personally liable, both criminally and financially, unlike government agents.
The idea of privatizing policing is catching on. As of this writing, over 70 communities in Harris County and most of the major management districts have contracted with SEAL. They're less expensive, better at crime prevention, they do not target citizens for revenue, and, best of all, each officer is personally accountable for his or her actions. The rest of the country would do well to closely examine the success of Sharpstown's implementation of private security.
The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.
Texas Town Experiences 61% Drop in Crime After Firing Their Police Department | The Free Thought Project
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 07:51
Sharpstown, TX '-- Sharpstown is a Texas community, located just southwest of Houston, and the way they maintain security in this community has gotten our attention.
In 2012, they fired their cops.
The Sharpstown Civic Association then hired S.E.A.L. Security Solutions, a private firm, to patrol their streets.
The statist fearmongers will have you believe that ''privatizing'' anything would result in mass chaos and a Mad Max scenarios of warlords and rampant crime. But they are wrong.
''Since we've been in there, an independent crime study that they've had done [indicates] we've reduced the crime by 61%'' in just 20 months, says James Alexander, Director of Operations for SEAL.
Government police, despite not acting like it, are still part of the government. This means that any progressive change for the better takes ten times longer than it would in the private sector; if it happens at all. Government police are not driven by efficiency and threats from liability, as neither one of these things are needed when you have a tax farm to rob when things get tight.
Contrary to the government apparatus, private police, must be efficient as well as safe, for one small mistake or claim could end their entire operation. If an inefficiency is spotted within the system, changes must be implemented swiftly to avoid the loss of revenue.
The reason for the success rate of SEAL Security is that they can see a problem and quickly adapt versus trying to spin the rusty cogs of the bureaucratic process. And that is exactly what SEAL did in Sharpstown.
According to guns.com, Alexander cites the continuous patrol of SEAL's officers in their assigned neighborhoods as opposed to the strategy of intermittent presence that the constable embraced. ''On a constable patrol contract, it's either a 70/30 or an 80/20. Meaning they say they patrol your community 70 percent of the time, [while] 30 percent of the time they use for running calls out of your area or writing reports.''
He continues, ''The second thing that drastically reduces the crime is that we do directed patrols, meaning we don't just put an officer out there and say 'here, go patrol.' We look at recent crime stats, and we work off of those crime stats. So if we have hotspots in those areas say for that month, we focus and concentrate our efforts around those hotspots.''
Another aspect, and possibly the most important, that sets privatized police apart from agents of the state, is that they have a negative incentive to initiate force. Force and violence are vastly more expensive than today's police lead us to believe.
Causing injury or death, or wrongfully depriving someone of their rights is very expensive if these costs are realized for the ones who cause them. The state does not care, however. They can and will defer their liability to the tax farm.
The act of deferment of liability is a function solely reserved for the state, and it creates an incentive to act in an unethical manner. In the case of SEAL Security, each of their officers, as well as their entire operation, can be held liable, both criminally and financially. This is something about which the state knows nothing.
As guns.com points out, over 70 communities in Harris County and most of the major management districts have contracted with SEAL. They're less expensive, better at crime prevention, they do not target citizens for revenue, and, best of all, each officer is personally accountable for his or her actions.
It's time Americans start seriously considering this option.
Law enforcement is a product that we are forced to buy. When any product is not subject to the forces of consumer demand, there is no way of changing it. It is time we applied the fundamental lesson of competition to our supposed protectors.
Hat tip to guns.com for conducting the interview with SEAL representative James Alexander.
Missouri Senators Call for Dissolving the Entire Ferguson Police Department | The Free Thought Project
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 07:51
Ferguson, Missouri '' This week, it was reported that two senators in Missouri have called for the Ferguson Police Department to be dissolved. This call for action comes on the heels of a federal report that uncovered systematic racial bias within the ranks of the department.
Democratic Sens. Jamilah Nasheed and Maria Chappelle-Nadal suggested on Wednesday that the corruption that exists within the Ferguson Police Department is so deep that other lawmakers should consider disbanding the police department entirely and start from scratch.
According to a report conducted by The U.S. Justice Department, police in Ferguson disproportionately targeted minorities and were more concerned with generating revenue than protecting people and property. Although, it is likely that this much can be said for just about any police department in the country.
Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III responded by saying that the police department may have had a few bad apples, but they have made a number of changes since Brown's death.
The Mayor also dismissed the suggestion of disbanding the entire police force. However, this idea is not very far fetched considering the many difficulties that the community has had with the police in Ferguson.
Other cities throughout the country with far fewer problems than Ferguson have been disbanding their police forces and opting for private security instead.
As we reported last week, the community of Sharpstown, Texas fired its police force and hired S.E.A.L. Security Solutions, a private firm, to patrol their streets. The town then noticed a 61% reduction in crime in just 20 months.
Private Company Conspired With Police To Hold Poor People For Ransom, Lawsuit Charges | ThinkProgress
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 07:50
CREDIT: AP Images
Minutes after a court sentenced Adel Edwards to pay a $500 fine for burning leaves in his yard without a permit, the private probation company tasked with supervising his monthly payments told him he actually owed more than $1,000 and demanded $250 up front. Because Edwards couldn't pay the full amount on the spot, the company had him thrown in jail for several days until a friend came up with the money, according to a new federal lawsuit.
The suit, filed by the Southern Center for Human Rights, charges that Red Hills Community Probation conspired with local police in two small Georgia towns to jail poor people without any court approval or legal authority, effectively holding them for ransom.
The plaintiffs, who live in Bainbridge and Pelham, GA, were ordered by the court to pay exorbitant fees for misdemeanor offenses. Edwards pleaded guilty to burning leaves, while others were told they needed to pay hundreds of dollars for speeding, failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, and driving with a suspended registration.
At this point, these stories are reminiscent of reports coming out of Ferguson and the surrounding area, where municipalities exploit a murky labyrinth of court fees and traffic tickets to make money off poor defendants. But private probation companies like Red Hills, which are used by more than 1,000 court systems in ten states, further feed on these moneymaking schemes by tacking on their own share of fees. In Pelham and Bainbridge, the suit alleges, the probation firm went even further, committing false imprisonment and fraud, among other charges.
Like Edwards, the other plaintiffs met with Red Hills probation officers, who told each of them they could not leave the courthouse until they paid a certain amount of money that same day. Even though they weren't legally required to pay the company the same day as their sentencing, the lawsuit states that police officers were stationed at the doors to keep them from leaving. One woman says she was detained in the courthouse while her fiance pawned her engagement ring to come up with the funds the company demanded.
''Red Hills is able to carry out the policies and practices challenged in this case only with the approval and assistance of city police officers, whose active participation in the seizures adds credibility to threats of Red Hills personnel,'' the lawsuit states.
Additionally, the plaintiffs claim that even after their sentences had expired and they were no longer legally required to report to the probation company, Red Hills officers lied to them, threatening them with jail time if they didn't keep paying the company money and meeting with their probation officers. ''When probationers are finished with their probationary periods but still have not paid all fines and fees, Red Hills personnel have falsely instructed former probationers that they could be taken back to court and jailed for failing to report to Red Hills officers and failing to make payments to Red Hills,'' the lawsuit asserts.
Private probation companies have particularly flourished in Georgia because it is the only state where traffic violations are considered criminal offenses, and state law explicitly authorizes every county to contract with private corporations. While lavishing money on state lawmakers, these companies have been repeatedly caught illegally extending sentences and operating illegal debtors prisons.
But after multiple lawsuits and court rulings affirming that what the companies are doing is illegal, Georgia's legislature recently started backing away from the private probation industry. Gov. Nathan Deal is expected to sign a sweeping overhaul of the probation system, which includes forcing companies to be more transparent, limit how much companies can charge probationers, and create a new state agency to ensure judges and contractors are abiding by the law.
Policing and Profit - Policing and Profit
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 07:42
When residents of Ferguson, Missouri, took to the streets last August to protest the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager killed by a white police officer, the events dramatically exposed an image of modern policing that most Americans rarely see: columns of police pointing military weaponry at peaceful protestors.1—See Julie Bosman & Matt Apuzzo, In Wake of Clashes, Calls to Demilitarize Police, N.Y. Times, Aug. 14, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/15/us/ferguson-missouri-in-wake-of-clashes-calls-to-demilitarize-police.html. But the ongoing tension between residents and police in Ferguson was also indicative of another, less visual development in how the police are used to oppress impoverished communities: using law enforcement to extract revenue from the poor.
In the late 1980s, Missouri became one of the first states to let private companies purchase the probation systems of local governments.2— Christine S. Schloss & Leanne F. Alarid, Standards in the Privatization of Probation Services: A Statutory Analysis, 32 Crim. Just. Rev. 233, 234''35 (2007). In these arrangements, municipalities impose debt on individuals through criminal proceedings and then sell this debt to private businesses, which pad the debt with fees and interest. This debt can stem from fines for offenses as minor as rolling through a stop sign or failing to enroll in the right trash collection service.3— According to the executive director of ArchCity Defenders, a St. Louis legal aid organization, the ''three main infractions'' Ferguson residents are indebted for are ''driving without insurance, driving with a suspended license, and driving without registration.'' Julia Lurie & Katie Rose Quandt, How Many Ways Can the City of Ferguson Slap You with Court Fees? We Counted, Mother Jones (Sept. 12, 2014, 5:30 AM), http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/09/ferguson-might-have-break-its-habit-hitting-poor-people-big-fines [http://perma.cc/UK2L-SQ5W]. Lawyers from the ArchCity Defenders visited a municipal court in June 2014:At one . . . session, a large group of defendants was waiting to resolve tickets for failing to subscribe to the municipality's trash collection service, an infraction that many defendants felt was just another way for the municipality to make money. One man . . . . insisted that he did in fact get rid of his trash, but . . . couldn't afford a subscription to the only city-approved waste collection service.Another woman . . . was adamant that there were no visible signs that her home didn't have trash service and that she helped maintain the neighborhood by picking up trash from passing cars and cutting the grass of the vacant houses on either side of her property . . . . ''They had to come and dig, they had to come and look in my files. There's no way you could tell I don't have trash service, that can is out there . . . .''ArchCity Defenders, Municipal Courts White Paper 16''17, http://03a5010.netsolhost.com/WordPress/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/ArchCity-Defenders-Municipal-Courts-Whitepaper.pdf [http://perma.cc/8BHC-7A3D]. In Ferguson, residents who fall behind on fines and don't appear in court after a warrant is issued for their arrest (or arrive in court after the courtroom doors close, which often happens just five minutes after the session is set to start for the day) are charged an additional $120 to $130 fine, along with a $50 fee for a new arrest warrant and 56 cents for each mile that police drive to serve it.4— Lurie & Quandt, supra note 3. Once arrested, everyone who can't pay their fines or post bail (which is usually set to equal the amount of their total debt) is imprisoned until the next court session (which happens three days a month).5—Id. Anyone who is imprisoned is charged $30 to $60 a night by the jail.6—Id. If an arrestee owes fines in more than one of St. Louis County's eighty-one municipal courts, they are passed from one jail to another to await hearings in each town.
The number of these arrests in Ferguson is staggering: in 2013, Ferguson's population was around 21,0007—Ferguson (City), Missouri, U.S. Census Bureau: St.&County QuickFacts, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/29/2923986.html (last visited Mar. 1, 2015) [http://perma.cc/N4E3-TFJN]. and its municipal court issued 32,975 arrest warrants for nonviolent offenses.8—Mo. Supreme Court, 2013 Missouri Judicial Report Supplement: Fiscal Year 2013, at 302, 303, http://www.courts.mo.gov/file.jsp?id=68905 [https://perma.cc/Y99G-4YGM]. Ferguson has a per capita income of $20,472, and nearly a quarter of residents and over a third of children live below the poverty line.9—Selected Economic Characteristics, U.S. Census Bureau: Am. FactFinder, http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/13_5YR/DP03/0400000US29|1600000US2923986 (last visited Mar. 1, 2015). Court fines and fees are Ferguson's second-largest source of income, generating over $2.4 million in revenue in 2013.10—City of Ferguson, Annual Operating Budget: Fiscal Year 2014''2015, at 50, 52, http://www.fergusoncity.com/DocumentCenter/View/1701 [http://perma.cc/BDU4-3WX3]. Though many of the towns that surround St. Louis draw significant revenue through their courts,11— In Edmundson, another small St. Louis town, the mayor told local police in 2014 that evidence of a ''downturn in traffic and other tickets written'' was ''disappointing'' and reminded officers that tickets ''add to the revenue on which the [police department] budget is established and will directly affect pay adjustments at budget time.'' Memorandum from John Gwaltney, Mayor, Edmundson, Mo., to Sergeants and Patrolmen, Edmundson Police Dep't (Apr. 18, 2014), http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/local/2014/04/24/edmundson-write-more-tickets-memo/8115569. Ferguson is an outlier: in 2013, its municipal court issued over twice as many arrest warrants per capita as any other town in Missouri.12— Frances Robles, Ferguson Sets Broad Change for City Courts, N.Y. Times, Sept. 8, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/09/us/ferguson-council-looks-to-improve-community-relations-with-police.html.
Widespread hostility toward Ferguson's municipal court is the tinder that helped set the town on fire after Michael Brown was killed. Professor Jelani Cobb visited the town just after the shooting and saw this hostility as one of the ''intertwined economic and law-enforcement issues underlying the protests.''13— Jelani Cobb, What I Saw in Ferguson, New Yorker (Aug. 14, 2014), http://newyorker.com/news/news-desk/saw-ferguson?currentPage=all [http://perma.cc/LL4V-RSM6]; see also Mike Maciag, Skyrocketing Court Fines Are Major Revenue Generator for Ferguson, Governing (Aug. 22, 2014), http://governing.com/topics/public-justice-safety/gov-ferguson-missouri-court-fines-budget.html [http://perma.cc/2DXW-LA3J] (''[A]n assistant professor at the Saint Louis University School of Law . . . said practices of the local court system are a major driver of Ferguson residents' distrust of government and law enforcement.''); Robles, supra note 12. ''We have people who have warrants because of traffic tickets and are effectively imprisoned in their homes,'' a resident told Cobb. ''They can't go outside because they'll be arrested. In some cases people actually have jobs but decide the threat of arrest makes it not worth trying to commute outside their neighborhood.''14— Cobb, supra note 13 (internal quotation marks omitted). Though state legislators are considering various reforms of municipal court practices in response to the protests,15—See Marshall Griffin, Debate Begins on Traffic Revenue Limits in Missouri Legislature, St. Louis Pub. Radio (Jan. 22, 2015, 8:48 PM), http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/debate-begins-traffic-revenue-limits-missouri-legislature [http://perma.cc/H37E-SGY3]; Robles, supra note 12. In St. Louis, officials promised to forgive nearly a quarter million outstanding warrants for traffic offenses in response to the protests. Nicholas J.C. Pistor, St. Louis to Forgive About 220,000 Warrants for Nonviolent Municipal Offenses, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Oct. 1, 2014, 12:00 AM), http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/st-louis-to-forgive-about-warrants-for-nonviolent-municipal-offenses/article_7f9dbef3-7409-5e81-ae28-3c79faa8b147.html [http://perma.cc/3BA7-84GU]. Ferguson's budget for 2015 increases the town's reliance on police-issued tickets.16—See Katherine Smith, Ferguson to Increase Police Ticketing to Close City's Budget Gap, Bloomberg (Dec. 12, 2014, 8:27 AM), http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-12/ferguson-to-increase-police-ticketing-to-close-city-s-budget-gap.html [http://perma.cc/NPE8-REV2].
Two months after the protests began they flared again as a result of another form of profit-based policing when an off-duty police officer killed another black teenager, this time in the nearby town of Shaw.17— Paul Hampel & Valerie Schremp Hahn, Violence Erupts After Vigil at Shaw Shooting Scene in St. Louis, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Oct. 10, 2014, 7:15 AM), http://stltoday.com/news/local/violence-erupts-after-vigil-at-shaw-shooting-scene-in-st/article_84c932e2-00b9-524b-8188-145109d228ac.html [http://perma.cc/L64B-TLAP]. This officer was being paid by a private company to patrol the area. Though he was not on duty, the company required him to wear his official uniform.18— Jeremy Kohler, Public Police, Private Employer: A St. Louis Oddity, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Oct. 9, 2014, 6:00 PM), http://stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/public-police-private-employer-a-st-louis-oddity/article_f57f630d-cd97-516b-b619-1dc7fd2fea33.html[http://perma.cc/5T7X-UK9D]. Shaw is among many St. Louis neighborhoods that ''pay private companies for the services of public employees to patrol public places.''19—Id. These businesses capitalize on the fact that wealthier neighborhoods like Shaw want (and can afford) more police. In turn, towns can cut official funding to police while ensuring a separate source of income for officers.
These trends of allocating police according to profit and criminalizing poverty to raise revenue extend well beyond St. Louis. Section A of this Chapter examines three examples of how governments raise revenue through policing. Section B identifies how this trend perverts the role of police. Section C examines when these developments might be unlawful.
A.In April 2012, Tom Barrett was arrested for stealing a can of beer from a convenience store in Augusta, Georgia.20—Human Rights Watch, Profiting from Probation 34 (2014), http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/us0214_ForUpload_0.pdf [http://perma.cc/K6WC-T2XT]. When Barrett appeared in court, he was offered the services of a court-appointed attorney for a $80 fee.21— Joseph Shapiro, Measures Aimed at Keeping People Out of Jail Punish the Poor, NPR (May 24, 2014, 4:58 PM), http://www.npr.org/2014/05/24/314866421/measures-aimed-at-keeping-people-out-of-jail-punish-the-poor. Barrett refused to pay and pled ''no contest'' to a shoplifting charge. The court sentenced Barrett to a $200 fine plus a year of probation.22— Terry Carter, Privatized Probation Becomes a Spiral of Added Fees and Jail Time, A.B.A. J. (Oct. 1, 2014, 5:50 AM), http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/probationers_prison_privatized_supervision_becomes_a_spiral_of_added_fees_j [http://perma.cc/YYK2-AU78]. Barrett's probation terms required him to wear an alcohol-monitoring bracelet. Even though Barrett's sentence did not require him to stop drinking alcohol (and the bracelet would thus detect all the alcohol Barrett chose to drink with no consequences), he was ordered to either rent this bracelet or go to jail.23—Human Rights Watch, supra note 20, at 34''35. The bracelet cost Barrett a $50 startup fee, a $39 monthly service fee, and a $12 daily usage fee. Though Barrett's $200 fine went to the city, these other fees (totaling over $400 a month) all went to Sentinel Offender Services, a private company.
Unable to pay Sentinel's fees, Barrett spent more than a month in jail before he convinced a friend to lend him the $80 startup fee.24—Id. at 34. But Barrett, whose only source of income at the time was selling his blood plasma, struggled to keep up with Sentinel's fees. ''You can donate plasma twice a week as long as you're physically able to . . . . I'd donate as much plasma as I could and I took that money and I threw it on the leg monitor.''25—Id. (internal quotation marks omitted). As Barrett began skipping meals to pay Sentinel, his protein levels dropped so much that he was ineligible to donate plasma. After Barrett's debt grew to over $1,000, Sentinel obtained a warrant for his arrest.26—Id. at 34''35. Barrett was arrested and told by a judge that he could stay out of jail if he paid Sentinel several hundred dollars.27—Id. at 35. Barrett was still unable to pay: ''I'm thinking, 'But the whole problem is, I don't have money.' So they locked me up. And I just said, 'Golly.'''28—Id.
Barrett's story cuts across several aspects of how local governments use policing, how private companies profit from policing, and how poor people experience policing. This section describes three examples of this development: (1) ''usage'' fees imposed by criminal courts, (2) private probation supervision, and (3) civil forfeiture.
1. Usage Fees. '-- The first example of how governments use policing to raise revenue is through fees imposed on arrestees and defendants for their arrest, adjudication, and incarceration. For example, local governments charge defendants for police investigation,29—See, e.g., Mich. Comp. LawsAnn. § 769.1f(2) (West 2000 & Supp. 2014); 42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 9728(g) (West 2014); Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 10.01.160(2) (West 2002 & Supp. 2014); Wis. Stat. § 973.06(1)(a) (2011). prosecution costs,30—See, e.g., Ga. Code Ann. § 17-11-1 (2013); Iowa Code Ann. § 815.13 (West 2003); Mich. Comp. Laws § 769.1f(1) (2014); Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2947.23(A)(1) (LexisNexis 2010); 16 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 1403 (West 2001) (''In any case where a defendant is convicted and sentenced to pay the costs of prosecution and trial, the expenses of the district attorney in connection with such prosecution shall be considered a part of the costs of the case and be paid by the defendant.''). a public defender,31— For decades, ''every jurisdiction in the United States has [had] either a statutory or judicially recognized ability to order recoupment'' from defendants for the expense of providing them Sixth Amendment counsel. Beth A. Colgan, Essay, Paying for Gideon, 99 Iowa L. Rev. 1929, 1931 n.4 (2014). a trial (sometimes with different fees depending on how many jurors a defendant requests),32—See, e.g., Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 102.004(a) (West 2006); Va. Code Ann. § 17.1-275.5.A (2010 & Supp. 2014). In Washington, a trial by twelve jurors requires double the fee of a trial by six jurors. Wash. Rev. Code. Ann. § 36.18.016(3)(a) (West Supp. 2014). and incarceration.33—See, e.g., Ala. Code § 14-6-22(a)(1)''(3) (2011); Fla. Stat. Ann. § 951.033(2)''(3) (West 2012); 730 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/3-7-6, 125/20(a) (2013); Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 801.83 (West 1998 & Supp. 2014); Mo. Ann. Stat. § 221.070 (West 2013); N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 7A-313 (West 2013).
Some cities charge all arrestees a fee, thereby raising revenue ''based on only the say-so and perhaps even the whim of one arresting officer, regardless of whether the arrestee was ever prosecuted or convicted, and regardless of whether the arrest was lawful in the first place.''34— Markadonatos v. Vill. of Woodridge, 760 F.3d 545, 567 (7th Cir. 2014) (en banc) (Hamilton, J., dissenting). In some of these schemes, fees are a way for prosecutors to avoid any inquiry into guilt. For example, arrestees in Washington, D.C., can pay police to end a case on the spot rather than exercise their right to adjudicate the charge.35—See, e.g., Fox v. District of Columbia, 851 F. Supp. 2d 20, 24 (D.D.C. 2012). Prosecutors can get in on the action too by promising to suspend prosecution in exchange for a fee.36—See generallyNat'l Ass'n of Pretrial Servs. Agencies, Pretrial Diversion in the 21st Century 8, 15 (2009), http://napsa.org/publications/NAPSAPretrialPracticeSurvey.pdf [http://perma.cc/R2E7-GL8Y]. For example, Oklahoma prosecutors can offer to stall a case for a fee of $40 per month for up to three years, with proceeds funding the prosecutor's office.37—Okla. Stat. Ann. tit. 22, §§ 305.1, 991d(A)(1) (West Supp. 2015). State law initially limited fees to $20 a month; after this limit was raised to $40 in 2009, the number of suspects on supervision rose from 16,000 in 2008 to 38,000 in 2010.38—See Wayne A. Logan & Ronald F. Wright, Mercenary Criminal Justice, 2014 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1175, 1188. This change was specifically intended to offset a cut to prosecutor funding. Id. Unlike plea bargains, these agreements require no finding or admission of guilt.
Because these fees are not governed by the substantial legal constraints that states impose on locally raised taxes,39—See generallyGerald E. Frug&David J. Barron, City Bound 76''90 (2008). they have emerged as an easy source of revenue for cash-strapped municipalities.40—See, e.g., Carl Reynolds&Jeff Hall, Conference of State Court Adm'rs, 2011''2012 Policy Paper: Courts Are NotRevenue Centers 1 (2011), http://cosca.ncsc.org/~/media/Microsites/Files/COSCA/Policy%20Papers/CourtsAreNotRevenueCenters-Final.ashx [http://perma.cc/FB2T-CYB9] (''In traffic infractions, whether characterized as criminal or civil, court leaders face the greatest challenge in ensuring that fines, fees, and surcharges are not simply an alternate form of taxation.''); id. at 9 (criticizing how these schemes ''recast the role of the court as a collection agency for executive branch services''); see also Markadonatos v. Vill. of Woodridge, 739 F.3d 984, 1001 (7th Cir.) (Hamilton, J., dissenting) (''For governments under fiscal pressure, the temptation may be strong to raise money with such fees on a group unlikely to have political clout.''), aff'd en banc, 760 F.3d 545 (7th Cir. 2014). In 1991, around a quarter of inmates said they owed court-imposed fines, restitution, or fees.41— Alexes Harris, Heather Evans & Katherine Beckett, Drawing Blood from Stones: Legal Debt and Social Inequality in the Contemporary United States, 115 Am. J. Soc. 1753, 1769 fig.1 (2010). By 2004, the last time the Department of Justice ran this survey,42—SeeBureau of Justice Statistics, Data Collection: Survey of Inmates in State Correctional Facilities (2004), http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=dcdetail&iid=275 [http://perma.cc/VF9J-7RRV]. that number was sixty-six percent.43— Harris, Evans & Beckett, supra note 41, at 1769. In twelve states, over eighty percent of surveyed inmates reported these debts. See id. at 1772''73. These figures are based on prison inmates serving felony prison sentences, so the rates may be higher when counting probationers not sentenced to prison. Id. at 1770. The exceptional sovereign authority to proscribe and punish crime makes law enforcement a uniquely lucrative monopoly.
These fees serve to criminalize poverty and severely amplify the burden that criminal punishment imposes on poor communities. In many jurisdictions, debt from criminal courts carries interest and late fees,44—See, e.g., Ala. Code § 12-17-225.4 (2012); Cal. Penal Code § 1214.5 (West 2004); Fla. Stat. Ann. § 28.246(6) (West 2010); 730 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/5-9-3(e) (2013); Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 600.4803(1) (West 2013); N.C. Gen. Stat. § 7A-321(b)(1) (2013); Tex. Loc. Gov't Code Ann. § 133.103(a) (West 2008); Wash. Rev. Code. Ann. § 4.56.110(4) (West Supp. 2014). thereby multiplying the financial burden solely on those debtors who are least able to pay. When probation or parole terms require payment of these fees, inability to do so can foreclose housing,45— Failure to abide by probation or parole terms can make a debtor ineligible for public housing benefits. 42 U.S.C. §§ 1437d(l)(9)(2), 1437f(d)(1)(B)(v)(II) (2012), amended by Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, Pub. L. No. 113-4, 127 Stat. 54. welfare assistance,46—See 7 U.S.C. § 2015(k)(1)(B) (2012); 42 U.S.C. § 608(a)(9)(A)(ii). and employment options.47—See Harris, Evans, & Beckett, supra note 41, at 1762. When coupled with these debilitating collateral consequences, these debts impose an enduring burden that can exceed the penalty imposed for a crime.
2. For-Profit Probation Supervision. '-- Some jurisdictions go further than simply charging for ''use'' of the criminal legal system and directly sell components of law enforcement to private businesses. While private prisons have received broad scrutiny,48—See Sharon Dolovich, State Punishment and Private Prisons, 55 Duke L.J. 437, 440 n.4 (2005) (listing sources). privatization of probation supervision places discretionary law enforcement authority directly in the hands of private businesses. In these arrangements, a business buys exclusive use of a local government's probation system in exchange for assuming its full cost.49— Carter, supra note 22; Sarah Stillman, Get Out of Jail, Inc., New Yorker, June 23, 2014, http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/06/23/get-out-of-jail-inc [http://perma.cc/423E-YFSD]. These companies charge cities nothing and depend entirely on the fees they charge probationers.50—See Carter, supra note 22 (''The industry's pitch caught on with court systems looking for ways to save money and ensure collection of what they're owed: You pay us nothing; we supervise them and collect revenues for you.''). The entire business model is to pad state punishment with additional fees for whoever can't pay a fine immediately. These fees can amount to double or triple the fine directly imposed by the court.51—See Sarah Geraghty & Melanie Velez, Bringing Transparency and Accountability to Criminal Justice Institutions in the South, 22 Stan. L.&Pol'y Rev. 455, 475 (2011).
The traditional purpose of probation is to provide an opportunity for criminal offenders to earn relief from incarceration if they can meet regularly with a probation officer and satisfy various judge-ordered benchmarks for good behavior.52—See generallyHoward Abadinsky, Probation and Parole (8th ed. 2003). In this arrangement, probation offi-cers are usually court employees, so their conduct is both protected and governed by the principles that apply to other judicial officers.53—Seeinfra note 114 and accompanying text. But a business whose only work is to extract fees from probationers is simply a debt collector backed by carceral power.54—See Carter, supra note 22 (''In states that permit private probation, the companies become, in effect, collection agencies for the courts, routinely holding the threat of arrest over the heads of those who can't pay.''). See generally Stillman, supra note 49. Unlike when probation officers work for a court, local governments have little control over how fee schemes are structured or which probationers are hounded. Yet these companies threaten probationers with incarceration or arrest, often via coercion from state officials.55—See, e.g., Stillman, supra note 49 (''Last June, [Harriet] Cleveland received a letter from the District Attorney's office. 'Balance Due: $2,714,' it warned. 'You MUST pay this amount in full . . . or you may be ARRESTED.' Cleveland noticed that the amount she owed was far higher than the original fees she had chipped away at for more than two years . . . .''). These threats can extend to friends and family members: Cleveland, a forty-nine-year-old mother of three who was put on probation with a private company for driving without a license and insurance, reported that her probation officer ''had taken down the names and phone numbers of her family members'' and began telling ''her daughter, her estranged mother, [and] her daughter's paternal grandmother . . . that if she couldn't come up with the money she would be sent to 'sit out' her probation debts in jail.'' Id. One Alabama judge who temporarily enjoined a municipal court's private probation system called it ''a judicially sanctioned extortion racket.'' Burdette v. Town of Harpersville, No. CV 2010-900183, 2012 WL 2995326, at *1 (Ala. Cir. Ct. Shelby Cnty. July 11, 2012) (order granting a motion for a preliminary injunction hearing). Then, when a company decides a probationer is not complying with probation terms (or is no longer worth the cost of supervising from among all the probationers who are also not complying), the company can obtain an arrest warrant and summon the probationer to court. If a probationer fails to appear (often because the probation company has been threatening jail time based on the failure to pay fines), she can be jailed for contempt. If the probationer does show up, the decision to revoke probation is directly informed by the recommendation and representations of the probation company, with the probationer rarely represented by counsel.56—See, e.g., Stillman, supra note 49 (''Many cases are resolved in less than two minutes, without a lawyer representing the defendant or a court reporter present.'').
3. Civil Forfeiture. '-- Another way municipalities extract revenue through policing is civil forfeiture, a mechanism by which police confiscate assets that they claim are linked to crime. These seizures can happen even when the property owner is never arrested (or is acquitted of the underlying crime), so long as the police assert that the seized property was probably used in a crime.57—See The Palmyra, 25 U.S. (12 Wheat.) 1, 15 (1827) (holding that ''no personal conviction of the offender is necessary to enforce a forfeiture''); see also United States v. One Assortment of 89 Firearms, 465 U.S. 354, 361''62 (1984) (holding that even acquittal doesn't estop forfeiture). If property owners do not come to court to contest a seizure within a certain time, police sell the property and keep the proceeds.58— The fundraising justification for civil forfeiture statutes was celebrated in Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered v. United States, 491 U.S. 617 (1989): ''[T]he Government has a pecuniary interest in forfeiture . . . . The sums of money that can be raised for law enforcement this way are substantial, and the Government's interest in using the profits of crime to fund these activities should not be discounted.'' Id. at 629 (footnote omitted). Police often preempt this process by offering not to charge the underlying crime or initiate civil sanctions (such as taking away the property owner's children) if the property owner promises not to contest the seizure.59—See Catherine E. McCaw, Asset Forfeiture as a Form of Punishment: A Case for Integrating Asset Forfeiture into Criminal Sentencing, 38 Am. J. Crim. L. 181, 207 (2011). For vivid accounts of this coercion, see Sarah Stillman, Taken, New Yorker, Aug. 12, 2013, http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/08/12/taken [http://perma.cc/F6GG-73S5]; and Danny Robbins, Texas DA Reportedly Offered Leniency for Cash, Hous. Chron. (Oct. 25, 2011), http://www.chron.com/news/article/Texas-DA-reportedly-offered-leniency-for-cash-2235636.php [http://perma.cc/43MP-BW5A].
Civil forfeiture lets governments aggrandize their criminal authority without actually operating through criminal law. For example, police seize family homes based on allegations that a resident sold drugs or stop motorists whom they suspect might be transporting cash (even for completely benign purposes) and then seize assets based on suspicion that criminals often use these kinds of assets.60— Robert O'Harrow Jr. & Michael Sallah, Police Intelligence Targets Cash, Wash. Post, Sept. 7, 2014, http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2014/09/07/police-intelligence-targets-cash [http://perma.cc/N6K3-NLHX]. These efforts are often the product of sophisticated coordination between state and federal law enforcement officials. Using privately maintained networks, police exchange ''law enforcement sensitive information about traffic stops and seizures, along with hunches and personal data about drivers, including Social Security numbers.'' Id. These private networks circulate information that is gathered from official police activity and ''funneled to the DEA, ICE, CBP and other federal agencies.'' Id. The company that runs this network was founded through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security and has since received over $2.5 million in contracts with various federal agencies. Id. The legality of these seizures generally turns on the conceit that a forfeiture action is against property, not a person. This conceit has operated for centuries without any requirement that the government prove any underlying crime.61—SeeThe Palmyra, 25 U.S. (12 Wheat.) at 14 (upholding seizure of a Spanish ship that had fired on an American one because the ship itself was ''the offender''). In a 1996 case upholding the seizure of a car in which the owner's husband had sex with a prostitute (without the owner's knowledge), the Court explained that civil forfeiture was ''too firmly fixed in the punitive and remedial jurisprudence of the country to be now displaced.'' Bennis v. Michigan, 516 U.S. 442, 453 (1996) (quoting J.W. Goldsmith, Jr.-Grant Co. v. United States, 254 U.S. 505, 511 (1921)) (internal quotation marks omitted). While civil forfeiture may seem unfair, it has been justified on the grounds that it ''fosters the purposes served by the underlying criminal statutes, both by preventing further illicit use of the conveyance and by imposing an economic penalty, thereby rendering illegal behavior unprofitable.''62— Calero-Toledo v. Pearson Yacht Leasing Co., 416 U.S. 663, 687 (1974).
Beginning with the war on drugs, civil forfeiture has become more a way to fund supposed crime-fighting than a way to actually fight crime. Before the modern federal forfeiture statute was enacted in 1970, ''forfeiture outside the maritime context had been largely dormant.''63— El-Ali v. State, 428 S.W.3d 824, 828 (Tex. 2014) (Willett, J., dissenting); see also Stephan B. Herpel, Toward a Constitutional Kleptocracy: Civil Forfeiture in America, 96 Mich. L. Rev. 1910, 1916''23 (1998) (book review). This statute was later expanded to allow the Department of Justice to pocket proceeds from forfeitures and to allow state police to initiate seizures and keep up to 80% of the proceeds.64— As a result, local police can bypass restrictions imposed by state civil forfeiture statutes and directly earn a predictable share of assets they seize through the federal law. Eric Blumenson & Eva Nilsen, Policing for Profit: The Drug War's Hidden Economic Agenda, 65 U. Chi. L. Rev. 35, 51''53 (1998). These changes were meant ''to encourage more robust use'' of the statute. Margaret H. Lemos & Max Minzner, For-Profit Public Enforcement, 127 Harv. L. Rev. 853, 868 (2014). Though the DOJ has announced plans to limit one aspect of this program, initial projections suggest that the ''new policy at most will restrict about 3 percent of all federal forfeiture revenue.'' Radley Balko, How Much Civil Asset Forfeiture Will Holder's New Policy Actually Prevent?, Wash. Post: The Watch (Jan. 20, 2015), http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2015/01/20/how-much-civil-asset-forfeiture-will-holders-new-policy-actually-prevent/[http://perma.cc/M742-NWZ3]. Federal agencies ranging from the Postal Service to the Department of the Treasury are now authorized to fund themselves through forfeitures.65— Lemos & Minzner, supra note 64, at 870. In thirty-nine states, police departments are also allowed to keep forfeiture proceeds for their own use.66— Marian R. Williams, Civil Asset Forfeiture: Where Does the Money Go?, 27 Crim. Just. Rev. 321, 324''25 (2002). Since 2001, local police have seized over $2.5 billion through the federal statute, 81% of which came from people who were not charged with a crime.67— Robert O'Harrow Jr. & Steven Rich, Asset Seizures Fuel Police Spending, Wash. Post, Oct. 11, 2014, http://washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2014/10/11/cash-seizures-fuel-police-spending [http://perma.cc/YA6P-ME4M]. Police used this revenue to pay for everything from informants and weaponry to publicity efforts (such as clowns for parties and trading cards with pictures of officers) and luxury vehicles.68—Id.
Civil forfeiture is even used for noncriminal conduct. For example, the IRS has a practice of seizing bank accounts to which businesses have made individual deposits smaller than $10,000 based on a suspicion that these deposits are meant to avoid income-reporting requirements.69— Shaila Dewan, Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required, N.Y. Times, Oct 25, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/26/us/law-lets-irs-seize-accounts-on-suspicion-no-crime-required.html. States even use civil forfeiture to enforce licensing requirements, such as when ''forty Detroit police officers dressed in commando gear''70— Sarah Stillman, SWAT-Team Nation, New Yorker (Aug. 8, 2013), http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/swat-team-nation [http://perma.cc/9DV2-QRDA]. raided an event at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit based on a warrant charging that the gallery had sold beer without a license.71— Mobley v. City of Detroit, 938 F. Supp. 2d 669, 675 (E.D. Mich. 2012). Though this warrant ''did not authorize any arrests or searches of patrons,'' police detained 130 patrons and seized the cars of 44.72—Id. Detained patrons ''had to pay more than a thousand dollars for the return of their cars; if payment wasn't made promptly, the car would become city property.'' Stillman, supra note 59. After some of the patrons sued, the city insisted it could seize any vehicle used to drive someone ''to the location of an unlawful sale of alcohol.''73—Mobley, 938 F. Supp.2d at 677. The court disagreed and enjoined the city's ''widespread practice'' of ''detaining, searching, and prosecuting large groups of persons'' where alcohol was served without a license and ''impounding all the cars that are driven to such places, based solely on the drivers' mere presence.'' Id. at 684. For struggling cities like Detroit, these schemes promise an easy source of revenue.74— For example, between 2003 and 2007, the revenue that Detroit raised through civil forfeiture rose more than fifty percent to at least $20.6 million. George Hunter & Doug Guthrie, Police Property Seizures Ensnare Even the Innocent, Detroit News, Nov. 12, 2009, http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20091112/METRO/911120388 [http://perma.cc/BBM2-TB2S].
B.The three examples listed in section A by no means cover the full range of how profit motives are changing policing. Instead, they each illustrate the idea that policing can be a source of revenue rather than a broadly socialized public good.75—See Paul LaCommare, Generating New Revenue Streams, Police Chief, June 2010, http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=2108&issue_id=62010 [http://perma.cc/5QM9-NRG7] (proposing dozens of creative ways for police to generate revenue); see also Thomas B. Edsall, Op-Ed., The Expanding World of Poverty Capitalism, N.Y. Times, Aug. 26, 2014, http://nytimes.com/2014/08/27/opinion/thomas-edsall-the-expanding-world-of-poverty-capitalism.html; John Schwartz, Pinched Courts Push to Collect Fees and Fines, N.Y. Times, Apr. 6, 2009, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/07/us/07collection.html. In turn, decisions about which laws to enforce and how people should be punished are driven by profit. Instead of distributing the cost of policing throughout society, police are allowed to single out who will shoulder this burden. Section B of this Chapter examines how this transformation threatens to pervert the role of policing.
Using law enforcement to raise revenue is part of a larger trend of thinking about government through the logic of business.76—See, e.g., Sharon Dolovich, How Privatization Thinks: The Case of Prisons, inGovernment by Contract 128 (Jody Freeman & Martha Minow eds., 2009); Jon Michaels, Running Government Like a Business . . . Then and Now, 128 Harv. L. Rev. 1152, 1156 (2015) (reviewing Nicholas R. Parrillo, Against the Profit Motive (2013)). For analysis of how this logic maps on to policing, see Elizabeth E. Joh, The Paradox of Private Policing, 95 J. Crim. L.&Criminology 49, 65''66 (2004); and David Alan Sklansky, Essay, Private Police and Democracy, 43 Am. Crim. L. Rev. 89, 96''99 (2006). In the criminal context, critiques of privatization has primarily focused on how these developments transfer state authority to private actors.77— This line of critique examines the structure of delegation and emphasizes how law enforcement responsibility is placed where it does not belong. See, e.g., Dolovich, supra note 48, at 516; Roger A. Fairfax, Jr., Outsourcing Criminal Prosecution?: The Limits of Criminal Justice Privatization, 2010 U. Chi. Legal F. 265, 297; Sklansky, supra note 76, at 94''101. Other scholarship has focused on how private parties pressure political actors to outsource government functions and take other action that benefits private contractors. See, e.g., PaulR. Verkuil, Outsourcing Sovereignty 40''41 (2007); Alfred C. Aman Jr., Privatization and Democracy: Resources in Administrative Law, inGovernment by Contract, supra note 76, at 261, 274''75; Dolovich, supra note 48, at 523''36. One other type of critique emphasizes how private counterparts to police might resemble or cooperate with the state to an extent that they blur the category of state action. See, e.g., Joh, supra note 76, at 84''86, 90''118; David A. Sklansky, The Private Police, 46 UCLA L. Rev. 1165, 1170, 1229''73 (1999). But the examples in section A share another important feature, regardless of whether a private actor is involved: a financial motive structured right into the immense discretion (on the part of police, prosecutors, or judicial officers) that runs law enforcement.78—SeeStephanos Bibas, The Machinery of Criminal Justice 41''43 (2012). These actors then use their considerable discretion to shape not only the substance of criminal law but also its funding structure, in the way a legislature normally would.79—See Lemos & Minzner, supra note 64, at 871''75. Budget authorities have even started to cut police funding in response to these departments' raising their own revenue, in turn spurring police to raise even more money in these ways.80—See Katherine Baicker & Mireille Jacobson, Finders Keepers: Forfeiture Laws, Policing Incentives, and Local Budgets, 91 J. Pub. Econ. 2113, 2135 (2007).
Coupling discretionary police power with an ability to raise revenue amplifies the pathologies that are perverting modern criminal justice. By enacting both more and broader criminal laws, legislatures have delegated immense power to police and prosecutors to choose which crimes to investigate, prosecute, and punish.81—See William J. Stuntz, The Pathological Politics of Criminal Law, 100 Mich. L. Rev. 505, 519''23 (2001). When this discretion encompasses an ability to extract revenue, even more legislative power is delegated since these agencies can both avoid and override normal budgeting politics.82—Seeid. at 554''56; Lemos & Minzner, supra note 64, at 871''75 (explaining how executive agencies that can raise revenue expand their authority and funding); see also Blumenson & Nilsen, supra note 64, at 86 (arguing that the federal civil forfeiture statute may be an unconstitutional delegation of lawmaking authority since ''[a]gencies that can finance themselves through asset seizures need not justify their activities through any regular budgetary process''). This lack of political accountability is compounded by the fact that offender-funded policing solely burdens a uniquely marginalized political minority. Indeed, attempts to raise revenue through policing have been described as a regressive tax, turning the poorest segments of the population into an easy source of revenue, raised based on the discretionary whim of executive actors.83— Alexandra Natapoff, Misdemeanor Decriminalization, 68 Vand. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2015) (manuscript at 5''6).
Profit motives also distort the discretion of police, prosecutors, courts, and local officials in more concrete ways. When courts are used to raise money, officials have less incentive to make adjudications fair: recall Ferguson, where residents who cannot afford traffic fines must appear in a court session that is open only to whoever arrives in the first five minutes, with arrest warrants (and more fees) for anyone who shows up later. Likewise, in private probation, a private company decides who comes to court for alleged probation violations. A company employee is then the chief witness to alleged violations and also tells the court whether to jail the probationer. This entire process is informed by the company's financial stakes. For example, if a probationer is so destitute that she could never pay a fee, it is much cheaper for the company to demand her incarceration than to continue to supervise probation. On the other hand, a company has little financial incentive to report someone who pays fees but violates more substantive conditions. Civil forfeiture changes police behavior too: the allure of cash diverts police attention from nonfinancial crimes toward more lucrative drug cases. Within drug cases, police prefer to raid drug buyers instead of sellers because the former are more likely to have cash.84— Lemos & Minzner, supra note 64, at 869. Some police departments even select raid targets based on ''wish lists'' of cars or consumer electronics they covet.85— Shaila Dewan, Police Use Department Wish List When Deciding Which Assets to Seize, N.Y. Times, Nov. 9, 2014, http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/10/us/police-use-department-wish-list-when-deciding-which-assets-to-seize.html.
To be sure, some of these attempts to monetize law enforcement began with benign intentions. For example, opportunities to conditionally avoid prosecution or incarceration could be thought of as offers of leniency. But not only does charging money for these options necessarily discriminate against the poor, allowing these programs to generate revenue also tends to corrupt whatever value they might otherwise provide.86— For example, in 2008, a study found greater recidivism among a portion of 420 actual domestic-abuse offenders who were randomly sentenced to enroll in programs specifically aimed at preventing domestic violence over those who were sentenced to nothing or required to simply return to court for consultation. Melissa Labriola et al., Do Batterer Programs Reduce Recidivism? Results from a Randomized Trial in the Bronx, 25 Just. Q. 252, 258, 276 (2008). Likewise, in 2013, a state-run study in Pennsylvania ''found that 67 percent of inmates sent to halfway houses were rearrested or sent back to prison within three years, compared with 60 percent of inmates who were released to the streets.'' Sam Dolnick, Pennsylvania Study Finds Halfway Houses Don't Reduce Recidivism, N.Y. Times, Mar. 24, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/nyregion/pennsylvania-study-finds-halfway-houses-dont-reduce-recidivism.html. Despite these findings, revenue-generating programs remain an attractive option for states burdened by the immense cost of both prosecution and incarceration. For more on how profit motives explain both the failure and persistence of these schemes, see Stillman, supra note 49. More broadly, the examples described can all involve offenses that need not carry direct prison time and thus do not trigger costly procedural protections such as the right to counsel.87—See Scott v. Illinois, 440 U.S. 367, 373''74 (1979). In comparison to expensive mass incarceration, this approach allows governments to target and sort certain populations through measures that are not just cheaper than normal criminal adjudication but can also raise money. Through these schemes, policing is not aimed at identifying culpability and gathering evidence but at aggressively managing poor communities through contact with the police.88—See generally Issa Kohler-Hausmann, Managerial Justice and Mass Misdemeanors, 66 Stan. L. Rev. 611 (2014). But rather than reducing the burden of policing, these changes threaten to fuel expansion of law enforcement.89—See Natapoff, supra note 83 (manuscript at 42''45).
Thinking about government as a business is as old as America itself: during the initial era of federal law enforcement, policing was very much organized according to business principles and profit motives.90—See generallyParrillo, supra note 76, at 255''94. Even local policing originally emerged as a wholly private enterprise: through the first half of the nineteenth century, every aspect of law enforcement, from investigation through prosecution and imprisonment, was handled by private actors.91—SeeLawrence M. Friedman, Crime and Punishment in American History 27''29 (1993); Sklansky, supra note 77, at 1202''08. Even once governments began to take over law enforcement, business principles like profit, risk, and entrepreneurialism continued to run the show.92—See Michaels, supra note 76, at 1156. But as policing grew more pervasive over the past century, it also became one of the most paradigmatically public functions of government.93—See, e.g., Les Johnston, The Rebirth of Private Policing 24 (1992) (''In the twentieth century, . . . it has generally been assumed that policing is an inherently public good, whose provision has to reside in the hands of a single, monopoly supplier, the state.''); Clifford D. Shearing, The Relation Between Public and Private Policing, inModern Policing 399, 409''10 (Michael Tonry & Norval Morris eds., 1992) (calling policing ''a quintessentially public service''); see also Gilmore v. City of Montgomery, 417 U.S. 556, 574 (1974) (describing police, along with ''electricity, water, and . . . fire protection,'' as ''[t]raditional state monopolies''). This shift from private to public policing has been called ''the only episode in our social history to realize Marx's prescription for the transformation of capitalistic private property into socialized property.'' Murray Kempton, Son of Pinkerton, N.Y. Rev. Books, May 20, 1971, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1971/may/20/son-of-pinkerton [http://perma.cc/VU3A-9SJN]. During the same time, a legal framework emerged that imposed many constitutional limits on what police can do.94—SeeBibas, supra note 78, at 16; Friedman, supra note 91, at 71''73. These restrictions might forbid the use of policing to raise revenue.
C.Government schemes that use policing to raise revenue could violate at least three provisions of the federal constitution: the Due Process Clause, which requires neutral administration of criminal law; the Equal Protection Clause, which bans discriminatory punishment; and the Eighth Amendment, which forbids excessive fines. By focusing on the substance of these restrictions, this Chapter takes a different (and perhaps more pedestrian) approach to financial motives in law enforcement than scholarship that focuses on how these developments delegate government authority to private actors.95— This other literature is described in note 77, supra. Instead, this Chapter examines how profit motives violate the requirements of neutrality, fairness, equality, and proportionality that constitutional criminal procedure '-- the law of policing '-- imposes on law enforcement.
1. The Due Process Clause. '-- The Due Process Clause bars criminal adjudication by individuals who have a financial stake in cases they decide.96—See Tumey v. Ohio, 273 U.S. 510, 523 (1927) (''[I]t certainly violates the Fourteenth Amendment . . . to subject [a criminal defendant's] liberty or property to the judgment of a court the judge of which has a direct, personal, substantial, pecuniary interest in reaching a conclusion against him in his case.''). The Court recently extended this impartiality requirement even further, to require recusal of an elected judge who had indirectly received campaign contributions from a party in the case. See Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., 556 U.S. 868 (2009). The Supreme Court has suggested that this requirement could extend to enforcement actors when the risk of bias is severe enough. In Marshall v. Jerrico, Inc.,97— 446 U.S. 238 (1980). the Court questioned the notion ''that the Due Process Clause imposes no limits'' on prosecutors: instead, the Court explained, a ''scheme injecting a personal interest, financial or otherwise, into the enforcement process may bring irrelevant or impermissible factors into the prosecutorial decision.''98—Id. at 249. According to the Court, ''traditions of prosecutorial discretion do not immunize from judicial scrutiny cases in which the enforcement decisions of an administrator were motivated by improper factors.'' Id.Marshall dealt with a statute that awarded a portion of proceeds from prosecution of child labor regulations to the offices that enforced these regulations.99—Id. at 245. Despite its warnings about improper bias, the Court held that the bias alleged in the case was ''exceptionally remote'' since ''[n]o government official [stood] to profit'' and the awards in question were ''substantially less than 1% of the [agency's] budget.''100—Id. at 250.
Even though the Court found no risk of improper bias in Marshall, the modern examples of financial motives in law enforcement may reach the level of bias that the Court warned of. When a city relies on fees collected by its criminal courts or when police departments depend on the assets they seize to fund their operations, the threat of improper influence seems far less ''remote'' than in a scheme that generates ''substantially less than 1%'' of an agency's budget. The Court in Marshall also emphasized that the statute allowed repayment only for the expenses of prosecution, rather than reimbursement of offices based on how much their prosecutions collected.101—Id. at 251. In contrast, when a private probation company decides which violations to enforce based on financial motives, ''a direct, personal, substantial, pecuniary interest''102— Ward v. Village of Monroeville, 409 U.S. 57, 60 (1972) (quoting Tumey v. Ohio, 273 U.S. 510, 523 (1927)). is the whole reason the arrangement exists.103— In Tumey, the Court noted that the improper financial incentive ''was not exceptional, but was the result of the normal operation of the law and the ordinance.'' 273 U.S. at 523.Marshall even suggests that the requirement of impartiality could govern decisions ''not to enforce'' a law when the influence is severe enough.104— 446 U.S. at 249. This requirement could forbid schemes in which prosecutors promise not to prosecute the crime underlying a forfeiture.
The Due Process Clause might also forbid combining the executive function of prosecution with the legislative function of budget management. The Court has held that the right to a neutral adjudicator is more than a protection against personal financial incentive: it also bars adjudicative actors from generally managing a government's finances because this combination of functions could make an adjudicator more likely to impose financial penalties that enrich the government.105—Ward, 409 U.S. at 62 (overturning a conviction adjudicated by the town's mayor, who was not personally enriched by revenue generated through penalties but was responsible for managing the town's finances). This rationale may have special force when executive agents use their discretionary enforcement authority to choose who will fund their activities.106— At the least, this discretion gives rise to ''a serious risk of actual bias '-- based on objective and reasonable perceptions.'' Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., 556 U.S. 868, 884 (2009). Since prosecutors are increasingly the most powerful discretionary actors in criminal adjudication,107—See, e.g., Gerard E. Lynch, Screening Versus Plea Bargaining: Exactly What Are We Trading Off?, 55 Stan. L. Rev. 1399, 1403''04 (2003); William J. Stuntz, Plea Bargaining and Criminal Law's Disappearing Shadow, 117 Harv. L. Rev. 2548 (2004). extending this requirement to them would root out improper influences from the point where they are most pernicious.108— In the right case, this concern about executive actors influenced by direct financial stakes in the outcomes of their enforcement decisions could have unique resonance among judges generally hostile toward administrative agencies stacking the deck in favor of proregulatory outcomes. See generally Cass R. Sunstein & Adrian Vermeule, Libertarian Administrative Law, 82 U. Chi. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2015).
The Due Process Clause might also require special scrutiny whenever a financial motive is personal. Compared to government action, the activity of a private business is more likely to be based on arbitrary considerations. In Young v. United States ex rel. Vuitton et Fils S.A.,109— 481 U.S. 787 (1987). the Supreme Court overturned a contempt conviction that was prosecuted by a private lawyer who also ''represent[ed] the private beneficiary of the court order allegedly violated.''110—Id. at 814. Though the Court quoted the due process reasoning from Marshall (that a ''scheme injecting a personal interest, financial or otherwise, into the enforcement process may bring irrelevant or impermissible factors into the prosecutorial decision''), the Court grounded its decision in its authority to supervise the federal judiciary.111—Id. at 808 (quoting Marshall v. Jerrico, Inc., 446 U.S. 238, 249''50 (1980)). Justice Blackmun filed a concurrence explaining that he believed these conflicts of interest were unconstitutional in both federal and state courts, as a violation of due process. Id. at 815 (Blackmun, J., concurring). Due process, he explained, ''requires a disinterested prosecutor with the unique responsibility to serve the public, rather than a private client, and to seek justice that is unfettered.'' Id. In other cases, the Court has used its supervisory authority over federal courts to develop limits that it subsequently constitutionalized as due process rights, incorporated against the states. See, e.g., Doyle v. Ohio, 426 U.S. 610, 617 n.8 (1976). This reasoning about improper financial influence has even more force when a private individual threatens probationers with arrest and then tells the court to imprison them, all as part of a venture to extract revenue through this threat. These cases involve more than just a risk of financial influence: a financial bottom line is structured directly into the arrangement.
Another way the due process bar on financial interests in the outcome of criminal proceedings could apply to private probation is through the principle that probation agents perform a quasi-judicial function. The legal strictures surrounding probation presume that probation officers are unlike police and prosecutors in that they have a relationship of trust with the probationer whose conditional release the court is supervising.112—See Pa. Bd. of Probation & Parole v. Scott, 524 U.S. 357, 368 (1998); Minnesota v. Murphy, 465 U.S. 420, 459 (1984) (Marshall, J., dissenting). While the Supreme Court has not considered whether this relationship requires extending the bar on personal financial stakes to probation officers, circuit courts have established that both state and federal probation officers are ''neutral information gatherer[s]''113— Williams v. Chrans, 945 F.2d 926, 951 (7th Cir. 1991) (quoting United States v. Cortes, 922 F.2d 123, 127 (2d Cir. 1990)). and ''arm[s] of the court.''114— Brown v. Butler, 811 F.2d 938, 941 (5th Cir. 1987) (describing a state probation officer as ''an arm of the court charged with assisting the court in arriving at a fair sentence''); see also, e.g., United States v. Horvath, 492 F.3d 1075, 1078 (9th Cir. 2007) (''[T]he probation officer . . . is acting 'as a neutral information gatherer for the judge.'''); United States v. Morris, 76 F.3d 171, 176 (7th Cir. 1996) (describing a federal probation officer as ''a court-appointed judicial officer''). To the extent probation officers are judicial agents, they should be governed by the same requirements of neutrality as other such actors.
2. The Equal Protection Clause. '-- In Bearden v. Georgia,115— 461 U.S. 660 (1983). the Supreme Court held that the Equal Protection Clause, in combination with the Due Process Clause, forbids imprisoning people simply because they cannot afford to pay a fine.116—Id. at 672''73.Bearden requires courts to determine whether a defendant is indigent before imposing jail time for failure to pay a fine. The Court did not distinguish the equal protection basis of the holding in much detail,117— This same conflation of due process and equal protection principles appears throughout the Court's jurisprudence on when access to courts or the exercise of constitutional rights can lawfully be conditioned on payment of a fine. See, e.g., Ross v. Moffitt, 417 U.S. 600, 611 (1974); Griffin v. Illinois, 351 U.S. 12, 19 (1956). but lower courts had previously decided the same issue by reasoning, for example, that imprisonment for failure to pay a fine ''creates two disparately treated classes: those who can satisfy a fine immediately upon its levy, and those who can pay only over a period of time, if then.''118— Frazier v. Jordan, 457 F.2d 726, 728 (5th Cir. 1972). The Supreme Court cases that led to Bearden also featured similar reasoning. See, e.g., Williams v. Illinois, 399 U.S. 235, 241''42 (1970) (holding that extending a maximum prison term because a person is too poor to pay a fine violated ''the basic command that justice be applied equally to all persons'' since it ''visited different consequences on two categories of persons''). But by the time Bearden reached the Supreme Court, the Court had already held in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez119— 411 U.S. 1 (1973). that the Equal Protection Clause permits uniform fees that by their nature impose a heavier burden on the poor.120—Id. at 22''23. Though Rodriguez held that wealth is not a suspect classification under the Equal Protection Clause,121—Seeid. at 28''29.Bearden established nearly a decade later that the clause combines with the Due Process Clause to bar certain forms of wealth-based discrimination.122— Bearden v. Georgia, 461 U.S. 660, 672''73 (1983). In another line of cases, the Court held that indigent defendants cannot be kept out of the judicial process through uniform fees.123—See, e.g., Mayer v. City of Chicago, 404 U.S. 189 (1971); see also generally Henry Rose, The Constitutionality of Government Fees as Applied to the Poor, 33 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 293, 294''95 (2013). Like Bearden, these cases require courts to waive uniform fees for everyone who shows they cannot pay.
But Bearden, which governs when probation can be revoked, did not address the discrimination of schemes in which people who cannot pay fines are put on probation. These schemes impose two different sentences depending on wealth status: someone who can pay a traffic ticket when it is levied faces no other obligation, but everyone who cannot pay is put on probation, often with a range of other conditions and restrictions. These distinct sentences, based solely on wealth, are discriminatory long before incarceration, when Bearden requires an inquiry into whether the failure to pay was due to poverty. Even when the only distinction between two otherwise identical sentences is the fees imposed, this still discriminates by extracting fees solely from whoever has the most difficulty paying. Not only are these burdens not uniform, they multiply and increase only for those who cannot afford them. Though the equal protection reasoning that motivated Bearden seems to forbid this discrimination, Bearden simply requires assurance that a person who failed to pay a fine did not do so because she could not afford the fine, at the moment she would be incarcerated. But long before this point, a defendant who could not afford to pay a fine immediately will already have been asked to pay more money than whoever paid at once. Bearden does not require a hearing on whether the decision to pay incrementally was due to poverty rather than preference. The Equal Protection Clause should require governments to impose at most uniform financial burdens (as the Court allowed in Rodriguez) rather than discriminating based on poverty.
Though discriminatory burdens can be constitutional if they serve a sufficiently weighty government interest, schemes that multiply penalties only for the poor seem to lack a valid purpose. In Bearden, the Court reasoned that a state's interests in deterring crime by imprisoning people who can't pay fines can be served by alternative measures, such as reducing fines, extending deadlines, or allowing community service.124—Bearden, 461 U.S. at 672''73. Elsewhere, the Court has explained that the Equal Protection Clause restricts discrimination between criminals and other individuals for the purpose of debt collection: In James v. Strange,125— 407 U.S. 128 (1972). it unanimously held that a state could not deny indigent criminal debtors the same protections that are afforded to private debtors.126—See id. at 138''39. The Court explained that this discrimination lacked rational basis because a state's interests in collecting fines and fees ''are not thwarted by requiring more even treatment of indigent criminal defendants with other classes of debtors.''127—Id. at 141. Unlike civil debt, criminal-court debt is backed by the threat of arrest and incarceration either for violation of probation or for criminal contempt.128— The Court also explained that an ''indigent defendant who is found guilty is uniquely disadvantaged'' because a ''criminal conviction usually limits employment opportunities,'' especially ''where a prison sentence has been served.'' Id. at 139. This is a form of coercion that private creditors trying to collect normal private debt cannot use, but private probation companies trying to enforce criminal debt can '-- and do. This discrepancy between indigent defendants and other debtors ''embodies elements of punitiveness and discrimination which violate the rights of citizens to equal treatment under the law.''129—Id. at 142.
Short of a broad prohibition on any scheme that multiplies financial penalties solely for the poor, courts could root out discrimination by requiring hearings into indigence at different points in the process.130— To the extent this inquiry requires looking at an individual's finances in a way not normally attempted to establish indigence, it may seem difficult to administer. Consider a probationer who faces a $100 fee and has to decide whether to pay it immediately, to enroll in a payment plan, or to default and assume penalties. If she chooses the second or third option, the question of whether this refusal to pay is willful is more complicated than simply checking whether she possesses $100. But this is the same inquiry Bearden requires, without much guidance on when exactly nonpayment is willful. One solution may be to simply require an affidavit, as suggested in the civil context in Adkins v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., 335 U.S. 331 (1948): ''We think an affidavit is sufficient which states that one cannot because of his poverty 'pay or give security for the costs . . . and still be able to provide' himself and dependents 'with the necessities of life.''' Id. at 339 (omission in original). One possibility would be to require a finding that an individual's decision to pay either incrementally or later (rather than immediately, at a smaller total cost) is not due to poverty. Another option would be to require a showing that an individual is not indigent before imposing any new penalty or fee (just as Bearden requires before incarceration).131— In Alabama v. Shelton, 535 U.S. 654 (2002), the Court similarly extended the right to counsel from any case in which imprisonment is actually imposed to any case in which the imposition of a conditional sentence makes imprisonment an eventual possibility. Id. at 674. After all, if the failure to pay the initial fine was due to poverty, then the additional burden would be applied solely based on separating those who can pay from those who can't. This rule would functionally ban payment plans in which a financial burden grows automatically, outside court supervision, such as through additional fees. Finally, another option might be to prohibit fees (or punishments for failing to pay fees) that extend a sentence beyond the extent authorized by the relevant substantive criminal law.132— This rule might not flow intuitively from equality principles and also seems hard to administer, since debtors could simply refuse to pay fees whenever imprisonment was not authorized for an offense. But this principle of congruence between the penalty authorized for a crime and the sanctions imposed to ensure payment was a feature of early cases prohibiting incarceration for nonpayment of fines: ''[A] State may not constitutionally imprison beyond the maximum duration fixed by statute a defendant who is financially unable to pay a fine. . . . [T]he Equal Protection Clause . . . requires that the statutory ceiling placed on imprisonment for any substantive offense be the same for all defendants irrespective of their economic status.'' Williams v. Illinois, 399 U.S. 235, 243''44 (1970). This rule would forbid imprisonment for offenses that were not serious enough to warrant jail time in the first place.
3. The Excessive Fines Clause. '-- The Eighth Amendment forbids ''excessive fines.''133—U.S. Const. amend. VIII. This ban may be uniquely suited to restricting the use of policing to raise revenue. Though the clause applies only to penalties that are deemed fines (unlike the Fourth Amendment and due process clauses, which govern any seizure or denial of property), the Supreme Court has held that the clause can apply to in rem civil forfeiture proceedings given ''the historical understanding of forfeiture as punishment.''134— Austin v. United States, 509 U.S. 602, 621 (1993); see also United States v. Bajakajian, 524 U.S. 321, 331 n.6 (1998) (''[A] forfeiture is a 'fine' for Eighth Amendment purposes if it constitutes punishment even in part, regardless of whether the proceeding is styled in rem or in personam.''). As for other fees and costs imposed through criminal proceedings, the historical record suggests that the clause was meant to encompass the entire burden imposed through punishment, which should include the collateral consequences of a conviction or of criminal-court debt.135—See Beth A. Colgan, Reviving the Excessive Fines Clause, 102 Calif. L. Rev. 277, 340''47 (2014). Especially as punishment other than incarceration becomes more pervasive (and particularly in light of the increasing constitutional significance of the collateral consequences of criminal proceedings136—See Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473, 1480''82 (2010) (extending constitutional significance to a lawyer's failure to advise a defendant about immigration consequences of a guilty plea, in light of how changes in law had ''dramatically raised the stakes,'' id. at 1480, of these consequences in recent decades). ), the Supreme Court may have an opportunity to specify which of these penalties come under the ambit of the clause.
Even for financial obligations that are deemed fines for the purpose of the clause, the question remains whether they are also excessive. This word has only been interpreted once by the Supreme Court, when it held in United States v. Bajakajian137— 524 U.S. 321. that forcing a traveler to forfeit all the money that he had failed to report carrying out of the United States violated the Excessive Fines Clause. Rather than debating the historical meaning of the term ''excessive'' as in cases considering the definition of ''fines,''138—See, e.g., Austin, 509 U.S. at 611''14. Justice Kennedy's dissenting opinion in Bajakajian compared the undeclared cash to property that the government had a more historically sound basis to seize. 524 U.S. at 345''46 (Kennedy, J., dissenting). the Court imported the proportionality test it uses for the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause.139—Bajakajian, 524 U.S. at 334 (''The touchstone of the constitutional inquiry under the Excessive Fines Clause is the principle of proportionality: The amount of the forfeiture must bear some relationship to the gravity of the offense that it is designed to punish.''). Indeed, the Court applied the stronger version of this test normally applied only in capital cases,140—See Pamela S. Karlan, Lecture, ''Pricking the Lines'': The Due Process Clause, Punitive Damages, and Criminal Punishment, 88 Minn. L. Rev. 880, 900''02 (2004). The choice was perhaps peculiar since Justice Thomas, who wrote the majority opinion, would later call this kind of proportionality test ''incapable of judicial application.'' Ewing v. California, 538 U.S. 11, 32 (2003) (Thomas, J., concurring in the judgment). perhaps since the word ''excessive'' implies proportionality more clearly than does ''cruel and unusual.'' To this day, Bajakajian is the only case in which the Court has held that a financial penalty violated the Excessive Fines Clause.141—See Colgan, supra note 135, at 298. Because the clause remains undertheorized, it may be due for doctrinal development.
The proportionality test in Bajakajian could have unique force when penalties are intended to raise money. Bajakajian provides ''that a punitive forfeiture violates the Excessive Fines Clause if it is grossly disproportional to the gravity of a defendant's offense.''142—Bajakajian, 524 U.S. at 334. This inquiry requires an examination of the substance of an offense to determine whether the punishment is calibrated to it. In Bajakajian, the Court held that the forfeiture in the case was excessive to the extent that it was calibrated to the amount of money an offender had failed to declare, rather than to the defendant's culpability in failing to disclose this information.143—See Youngjae Lee, The Constitutional Right Against Excessive Punishment, 91 Va. L. Rev. 677, 729 (2005). For comparison, fines that exist to support a private business lack a valid retributive function, especially when the financial burden is tied to delays in repayment rather than to the severity of the offense.144—Bajakajian and other proportionality cases even seem to reject the idea that deterrence is a justification that can excuse excessive punishment. Id. at 706. The Bajakajian Court acknowledged that full forfeiture of undeclared assets served the purpose of deterrence, which ''has traditionally been viewed as a goal of punishment,'' but held that this purpose did not excuse the excessiveness of the punishment. 524 U.S. at 329. Even absent privatization, courts might hold that the Excessive Fines Clause bars financial burdens that are calibrated to the amount of debt an individual owes (or how long they have owed this debt), rather than to culpability. The majority in Bajakajian noted that ''the maximum fine'' the defendant was subject to for his conduct was ''but a fraction of the penalties authorized'' through forfeiture.145—Bajakajian, 524 U.S. at 339 n.14. Along similar lines, circuit courts have compared the value of forfeited property to potential criminal penalties for an offense to determine whether forfeitures are excessive. See, e.g., United States v. 817 N.E. 29th Drive, 175 F.3d 1304, 1310 (11th Cir. 1999). Fees and interest that significantly multiply the penalty imposed by a statute could similarly be unlawful, as could fees imposed by a private company on top of the penalty for the offense. Because these fees are not imposed based on culpability '-- they apply only to people who are too poor to pay '-- they are by definition excessive.
Applying the Excessive Fines Clause to government schemes that attempt to raise revenue through policing also channels original intent. Even though the bar on punishment for inability to pay fines arises from due process and equal protection principles,146—Seesupra p. 1739. the historical record suggests that the Eighth Amendment was intended to forbid fines that are so onerous they lead to imprisonment: ''One of the main purposes of the ban on excessive fines was to prevent the King from assessing unpayable fines to keep his enemies in debtor's prison. . . . Concern with imprisonment may explain why the Excessive Fines Clause is coupled with, and follows right after, the Excessive Bail Clause.''147—Bajakajian, 524 U.S. at 354''55 (Kennedy, J., dissenting). Applying the Eighth Amendment to these cases would extend an underused constitutional right to a problem that strongly resembles its inspiration.
As for civil forfeiture, the Excessive Fines Clause could also restrict seizures that are either unrelated or disproportionate to culpability. For example, a comparison between the value of a forfeiture and the ''harm'' and ''gravity'' of an offense could forbid the seizure of cars used to drive to an art gallery that sells alcohol without a license.148—See id. at 339''40 (majority opinion). The Bajakajian Court also considered whether the defendant ''fit into the class of persons for whom the statute was principally designed.''149—Id. at 338. This same comparison of an individual offender and legislative intent could limit the expansive use of civil forfeiture to raise revenue. The Excessive Fines Clause could provide for a more textured analysis of statutes that punish through financial burdens, while keeping the scope of the Fourth Amendment and due process clauses intact.150— Indeed, because the Excessive Fines Clause solely applies to pecuniary punishments, courts may be more willing to innovate with its scope than they would be with the due process clauses and the Fourth Amendment, which apply to all government seizures or denials of property.
* * *
On January 26, 2014, Sharnalle Mitchell was with her children in Montgomery, Alabama when police showed up at her home to arrest her.151— Joseph Shapiro, Alabama Settlement Could Be Model for Handling Poor Defendants in Ferguson, Mo., NPR (Nov. 20, 2014, 5:18 PM), http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/11/20/365510846/alabama-settlement-could-be-model-for-handling-poor-defendants-in-ferguson-mo. Mitchell was not accused of a crime. Instead, the police came to her home because she had not fully paid a traffic ticket from 2010. The single mother was handcuffed in front of her children (aged one and four) and taken to jail. She was ordered to either pay $2,800 or sit her debt out in jail at a rate of fifty dollars a day for fifty-nine days. Unable to pay, Mitchell wrote out the numbers one to fifty-eight on the back of her court documents and began counting days.
Financial motives are perverting law enforcement. Though effective resistance to these transformations must be political, constitutional criminal procedure also offers some doctrinal weapons. Shortly after Mitchell was released from jail, she and fifteen other Montgomery residents filed a federal lawsuit against the city alleging that their detention for failing to pay court debt was unconstitutional.152—See First Amended Class Action Complaint, Mitchell v. City of Montgomery, No. 2:14-cv-186 (M.D. Ala. May 23, 2014), http://equaljusticeunderlaw.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Complaint.pdf [http://perma.cc/3A2B-YGCY]. The judge ordered the city to temporarily suspend its reliance on private probation companies.153—See Preliminary Injunction Order, Mitchell, No. 2:14-cv-186 (May 1, 2014). City officials have since agreed to a settlement that requires broad reform of the city's municipal courts.154—See Agreement to Settle Injunctive and Declaratory Relief Claims, Mitchell, No. 2:14-cv-186(Nov.17,2014),http://equaljusticeunderlaw.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Final-Settlement-Agreement.pdf [http://perma.cc/Q39B-LHC8].
Just as important as using the law to constrain these perverse innovations is rejecting the idea that gave rise to them. Policing should be focused on cooperating with communities to help them flourish. When police start going to people's homes to arrest them in front of their children for traffic fines from four years earlier, the relationship between police and the communities they claim to serve is no longer a partnership. Instead, as policing becomes a way to generate revenue, police start to ''see the people they're supposed to be serving not as citizens with rights, but as potential sources of revenue, as lawbreakers to be caught.''155— Radley Balko, Why We Need to Fix St. Louis County, Wash. Post: The Watch (Oct. 16, 2014), http://washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/10/16/why-we-need-to-fix-st-louis[http://perma.cc/6LA6-PBQ5]. This approach creates a fugitive underclass on the run from police not to hide illicit activity but to avoid arrest for debt or seizure of their purportedly suspicious assets.156—See Sarah Brayne, Surveillance and System Avoidance: Criminal Justice Contact and Institutional Attachment, 79 Am. Soc. Rev. 367, 385 (2014); Alice Goffman, On the Run: Wanted Men in a Philadelphia Ghetto, 74 Am. Soc. Rev. 339, 341, 344, 353 (2009) (describing how arrest warrants, including for court fees mean ''that activities, relations, and localities that others rely on to maintain a decent and respectable identity are transformed into a system that the authorities make use of to arrest and confine them,'' id. at 353); id. at 353 (''The police and the courts become dangerous to interact with, as does showing up to work or going to places like hospitals.''); Cobb, supra note 13 (''We have people who have warrants because of traffic tickets and are effectively imprisoned in their homes. . . . They can't go outside because they'll be arrested. In some cases people actually have jobs but decide the threat of arrest makes it not worth trying to commute outside their neighborhood.'' (quoting a Ferguson, Missouri resident) (internal quotation marks omitted)). The vast demographic and residential disparities between police and the communities they operate in further exacerbate this tension.157—See Emily Badger et al., Where Minority Communities Still Have Overwhelmingly White Police, Wash. Post: Wonkblog (Aug. 14, 2014), http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/08/14/where-minority-communities-still-have-overwhelmingly-white-police[http://perma.cc/PHN7-Q7RY]; Nate Silver, Most Police Don't Live in the Cities They Serve, FiveThirtyEight (Aug. 20, 2014, 4:14 PM), http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/most-police-dont-live-in-the-cities-they-serve [http://perma.cc/Y6L2-FFLB]. In turn, communities like Ferguson begin to see police not as trusted partners but as an occupying army constantly harassing them to raise money to pay their salaries and buy new weapons. This needs to end.
Drive-Stun-TASER Dos and Don'ts | Hendon Publishing
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 07:01
Electronic control devices are now in use by more than 12,000 police agencies, with over 4,000 issuing them to every officer in the field. Anecdotal force data strongly suggest that the TASER outperforms all other resistance control devices'--specifically as it relates to immediate incapacitation and does so without having to rely on the suspect's ability to perceive and submit to pain.This is a key piece of the TASER success puzzle, as many of those encountered by law enforcement today are self-medicated, mentally ill, or enraged. These factors increase suspect tolerance to pain, which correspondingly decreases the effectiveness of more common tools / techniques such as pepper spray, batons, or simply going ''hands on.'' The TASER doesn't rely on pain avoidance and as such, has generated a proven track record of effectiveness when dealing with such hardened adversaries.
The Problem
The TASER does an excellent job of stopping those exposed to it. It has also generated a significant amount of controversy. Some have suggested that the singular issue behind this is safety. The manufacturer says the TASER is safe and offers medical research and a lengthy track record of civil adjudications to support its claim. Some civil rights groups disagree, suggesting that the TASER be shelved pending further studies on safety, or used only when deadly force is justified.
This is an important issue, but not the primary one fanning the flames of controversy outlined above. Law enforcement agencies and manufacturers faced similar concerns in the 1990s with in-custody deaths following the use of pepper spray, but those storms were weathered with far less controversy. What is the difference today? In a few simple words, police credibility.
It has been said that the most serious wounds are often self-inflicted, and in the case of TASER and police credibility, we have done this to ourselves. In American policing, public trust and confidence are everything. With the TASER, law enforcement has made some unique mistakes that have placed us on the wrong side of the debate and raised questions concerning our motives, intent, and, in some cases, our honesty.
Law enforcement desperately needs the resistance-control capabilities that TASER brings to the table. The device stops suspects who couldn't be stopped before'--at least not without creating a significant risk of death or serious injury. Law enforcement also needs the trust and confidence of the people we serve. Balancing these interests, which often appear competing, requires an understanding of the factors behind the controversy and a willingness to do something about them.
Alternative to Deadly Force
The message regarding TASER use has been skewed, specifically as it relates to being an ''alternative to deadly force.'' Alternative means option, which generally translates into ''viable choice.'' The TASER will prevent many situations from escalating to deadly necessity, but it is not now (nor has it ever been) an ''alternative option and viable choice'' when officers are facing imminent deadly jeopardy.
On rare occasions, an opportunity may present itself in which deadly force is legally justified but a TASER can safely be used. This is the exception to the rule, and ''selling'' the TASER any other way sends an inaccurate and easily misunderstood message.
The ''lives saved'' message has resulted in people believing, erroneously, that upon receipt of the TASER, officers would use them instead of conventional firearms. As such, when officers use the TASER appropriately, in a non-deadly force scenario, the critics often cry foul. This is especially true when the TASER use involves a negative outcome.
Police managers need to take a proactive role in educating the communities they serve and make a few things abundantly clear. First, the TASER will be used to stop non-deadly resistance and/or assaultive behavior. Second, the TASER is not an alternative to deadly force. Third, officers facing imminent deadly jeopardy will respond in kind, regardless of their access to the TASER.
Drive Stun
The TASER is appropriately used in a wide variety of circumstances, but certain scenarios and situations have generated a disproportionate number of complaints and contributed to an erosion of public trust and confidence.
First, the drive stun mode. The vast majority of misuse and abuse complaints involve the TASER being deployed in the ''drive stun'' mode. It is important to note that the drive stun does not have the capability of causing neuro-muscular incapacitation, but instead it creates significant discomfort and the physical resistance often associated with same.
As such, multiple TASER cycles routinely follow, as officers struggle with the suspect to ''stop the resistance.'' This generally leaves multiple contact / signature marks on the body, which cause the ill informed to believe (and loudly proclaim) that the force was inherently excessive, torture, etc.
The majority of concerns in this area can be addressed by applying the device in a ''cartridge on-angled drive stun'' manner. This technique was originated by King County, WA Sheriff's Deputy Don Gulla. It involves applying the probes in a near contact manner to one part of the body, then moving the device (leaving the probes embedded) to another part and rocking the TASER to the top right or lower left portions of the contact point. This improves the potential for neuro-muscular incapacitation, reduces the number of applications needed, and leaves fewer signature marks.
Second, use on passive resistors. A number of legitimate studies have suggested that TASER use on passively resisting subjects reduces the potential for injury on both sides of the badge. Likewise, the interpretation of the law as it relates to less-lethal force and public confidence issues have caused most agencies to ignore such studies.
This, in turn, limits TASER use to scenarios in which the suspect has demonstrated by action, word, or deed, his intention to use violence or force against the officer or another person. The bottom line is this: TASER use on truly passive subjects is outside of contemporary thinking and'--absent unique and exigent circumstances'-- should be avoided.
Third, the use on handcuffed or secured subjects has raised considerable debate. This has resulted in a vast majority of agencies limiting such use to scenarios in which the suspect is overtly assaultive and less intrusive methods have not been effective in stopping their behavior.
It is important to note that this type of situation almost always involves the drive stun as referenced above and not surprisingly results in a disproportionate number of allegations of punitive and or excessive use of force.
Fourth is the use on ''special'' groups (young, old, pregnant). There is little doubt that law enforcement can justify and explain such use based on ''policy,'' but many of the more public cases have involved deployments that appear to fit the ''lawful but awful'' category.
Suffice it to say that it is in our best interest to minimize the frequency in which we use this technology on children, senior citizens, and others that might ''shock the conscience'' of those we serve and appear to be void of common sense and logic. One very public recent case involved an intoxicated woman being exposed to the TASER outside of a parked patrol vehicle. The event unleashed a firestorm of negative commentary. Another case generating similar criticism involved a man holding an infant.
I am not suggesting that law enforcement is prohibited from using the TASER in such cases. I am suggesting that those we serve, who ultimately control us, will discontinue allowing our use of the TASER at all if we are unable to connect the dots when facing such circumstances.
Fifth is energizing frequency and duration. Officers need to consider resolution options beyond the TASER in scenarios where the device does not expeditiously solve the resistance problem. Agencies need to ''teach and preach'' that the TASER is a ''custody'' as opposed to a ''coercive'' tool.
The agencies must get the point across that upon firing the device, officers should energize the subject the least number of times and no longer than necessary in order to place him in restraints. Special consideration and training should be given to securing the subject ''under power'' in order to minimize the number of deployment cycles needed to overcome the resistance and stop the problem.
Sixth is to remember to download data. The TASER internal computer offers a wealth of information for those who care about in-house force accountability, yet I continue to be amazed by agencies that routinely ignore it. The TASER should be downloaded at the first line supervisor level immediately following every deployment and at random intervals of no longer than 90 days.
The data must be analyzed with a focus on absolute accountability for EVERY line initialized. Officers must understand that with the exception of the pre-shift one second ''spark test,'' all activations of the TASER must be properly documented and accounted for with no exceptions.
Seventh is to give serious training and policy consideration to the risk of all ''fall down'' injuries, not limiting them to falling down from ''elevated positions.'' A recent study conducted by Bozeman et al for the Annals of Emergency Medicine found that when 1,201 subjects were exposed to TASER by law enforcement, 99.75% ended up with mild or no injuries at all. That is good news. But conversely, two of those exposed suffered serious intracranial injuries from impact with the ground. These are relatively small numbers, but serious injuries none the less. As such, officers should recognize that the TASER overrides the voluntary motor response, and those exposed to its effects are generally incapable of protecting themselves during a fall. Accordingly, officers should consider the physical environment involved before deploying the device. Officers should evaluate the need to terminate the behavior at that moment as compared to the risk of injury from falling down.
TASER technology offers far more benefit than baggage, and we must do everything within our power to ensure that it continues to be available to those who need it. Likewise, we must assume the responsibility of ensuring that those who have it use it only when necessary, in a manner that is reasonable based on the circumstances presented, and consistent with building the public trust.
Contrary to what some might suggest, police officers enjoy a tremendous amount of public trust and confidence and will generally get the benefit of the doubt. It is only when our motivation and credibility are challenged that such trust and confidence is eroded.
In the TASER arena, we have done singular things that have raised questions, and we are now suffering some collective accountability. We can't change what has occurred in the past, only what we will do in response to it in the future.
We still have the opportunity to reap the organizational and community benefits of a tool that stops most ''mind-body'' disconnect subjects without resorting to high levels of force or exposing officers to inappropriate levels of danger. It is also an opportunity to examine the positive and negative processes of the past and address policy, training, and procedural issues that will ensure the most productive operational outcomes in the future.
Steve Ijames has been an officer for 25 years and is currently a major in charge of all Springfield, MO, police criminal investigations. He is a graduate of the 186th FBI National Academy and is an internationally recognized expert in SWAT tactics. He can be reached at lesslethal@aol.com.
Justice Department Files Lawsuit to Bring Constitutional Policing to Ferguson, Missouri | OPA | Department of Justice
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 06:49
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced today that the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the city of Ferguson, Missouri, alleging a pattern or practice of law enforcement conduct that violates the First, Fourth and 14th Amendments of the Constitution and federal civil rights laws.
''Today, the Department of Justice is filing a lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, Missouri, alleging a pattern or practice of law enforcement conduct that violates the Constitution and federal civil rights laws,'' said Attorney General Lynch. ''The residents of Ferguson have waited nearly a year for their city to adopt an agreement that would protect their rights and keep them safe. They have waited nearly a year for their police department to accept rules that would ensure their constitutional rights and that thousands of other police departments follow every day. They have waited nearly a year for their municipal courts to commit to basic, reasonable rules and standards. But residents of Ferguson have suffered the deprivation of their constitutional rights '' the rights guaranteed to all Americans '' for decades. They have waited decades for justice. They should not be forced to wait any longer.''
''Our investigation found that Ferguson's policing and municipal court practices violate the Constitution, erode trust and undermine public safety,'' said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. ''As shown by our lawsuit today, the Justice Department will continue to vigorously enforce the law to ensure that Ferguson implements long-overdue reforms necessary to create constitutional, effective and accountable policing. Ferguson residents and police officers deserve a law enforcement system that productively and fairly serves the entire community.''
The lawsuit, filed pursuant to Section 14141 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), alleges that the city of Ferguson, through its police department and municipal court:
conducts stops, searches and arrests without legal justification, and uses excessive force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment;interferes with the right to free expression in violation of the First Amendment;prosecutes and resolves municipal charges in a manner that violates due process and equal protection guaranteed by the 14th Amendment; andengages in discriminatory law enforcement conduct against African Americans in violation of the 14th Amendment and federal statutory law. The lawsuit follows a comprehensive investigation of Ferguson's police department and municipal court conducted by the Civil Rights Division. In March 2015, the department detailed its investigative findings in a 104-page report. The department found that Ferguson's focus on generating revenue over public safety, together with racial bias, has a profound effect on Ferguson's police and court practices, resulting in conduct that routinely violates the Constitution and federal civil rights laws.
The complaint alleges that from October 2012 to October 2014, African Americans were more than twice as likely to be searched, to receive a citation or to be arrested, than other stopped individuals. Of all incidents from 2010 to August 2014, African Americans account for 88 percent of all incidents in which a Ferguson police officer reported using force. For municipal offenses where Ferguson police officers have a high degree of discretion in charging, African Americans were again disproportionately represented as compared to their relative representation in Ferguson. While African Americans make up 67 percent of the Ferguson's population, they make up 95 percent of manner of walking in roadway charges; 94 percent of failure to comply charges; 92 percent of resisting arrest charges; 92 percent of disturbing the peace charges; and 89 percent of failure to obey charges. The department also found that Ferguson's law enforcement conduct has created a lack of trust between the police department and the community members it serves, especially African Americans.
On Feb. 9, the Ferguson City Council voted to reject the consent decree that the city's negotiating team had negotiated. Unable to reach a mutually agreed upon court-enforceable settlement to remedy the department's findings, the lawsuit was filed today in order to seek declaratory and injunctive relief to remedy the unlawful conduct identified by the department's investigation.
This matter was investigated by attorneys from the Civil Rights Division.
White House seeks its first ever chief information security officer | Technology | The Guardian
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 06:36
The role, which the government said it expects to fill in two to three months, will focus on coordinating cybersecurity across federal agencies. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA
The Kellogg cereal company, the state of Colorado and Cook County, Illinois, all have someone in charge of keeping the hackers out.
In 2016, the US government will too.
Related:NSA merging anti-hacker team that fixes security holes with one that uses them
On Tuesday, the White House is expected to announce that it is seeking to hire its first chief information security officer, a role filled at many companies and local governments but one that has long been absent at the federal level, despite complaints from security experts and lawmakers. In its absence, the government has sometimes struggled to coordinate a jumble of three-letter agencies as it has sought to respond to the latest breach. (See: Office of Personnel Management, 2013 and 2014. Or State Department email system, 2014. Or a Department of Justice computer system, this week.)
It's arguably a long overdue step for the Obama administration as it has pushed private companies to beef up their own defenses. The role, which the government said it expects to fill in two to three months, will focus on coordinating cybersecurity across federal agencies and will be housed within the Office of Management and Budget at the White House.
The move shows how the government is increasingly placing a greater priority on cybersecurity in the Data Breach Age. But it also illustrates that, in Washington, the solution to any problem is to put another person in charge of fixing it.
For instance, the government already has several offices in charge of making sure hackers stay out of government systems. There's the special assistant to the president for cybersecurity, the Department of Homeland Security's deputy undersecretary of homeland security and, yet still, the information assurance directorate within the National Security Agency.
White House officials said the new federal CISO exclusively will be in charge of making sure government workers do basic things to improve computer security. So-called ''cyber hygiene'' includes decidedly unsexy things like making sure agencies patch computer security flaws and that government users employ two-factor verification to log into government accounts.
Such steps might have prevented a hacker from recently breaking into a DoJ computer by tricking a government help desk into giving him a log in token.
''We're still sort of understanding what happened there,'' Michael Daniel, the current special assistant to the president for cybersecurity said on the press call.
FACT SHEET: Cybersecurity National Action Plan | whitehouse.gov
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 06:31
Taking bold actions to protect Americans in today's digital world.
From the beginning of his Administration, the President has made it clear that cybersecurity is one of the most important challenges we face as a Nation, and for more than seven years he has acted comprehensively to confront that challenge. Working together with Congress, we took another step forward in this effort in December with the passage of the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, which provides important tools necessary to strengthen the Nation's cybersecurity, particularly by making it easier for private companies to share cyber threat information with each other and the Government.
But the President believes that more must be done '' so that citizens have the tools they need to protect themselves, companies can defend their operations and information, and the Government does its part to protect the American people and the information they entrust to us. That is why, today, the President is directing his Administration to implement a Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP) that takes near-term actions and puts in place a long-term strategy to enhance cybersecurity awareness and protections, protect privacy, maintain public safety as well as economic and national security, and empower Americans to take better control of their digital security.
The Challenge
From buying products to running businesses to finding directions to communicating with the people we love, an online world has fundamentally reshaped our daily lives. But just as the continually evolving digital age presents boundless opportunities for our economy, our businesses, and our people, it also presents a new generation of threats that we must adapt to meet. Criminals, terrorists, and countries who wish to do us harm have all realized that attacking us online is often easier than attacking us in person. As more and more sensitive data is stored online, the consequences of those attacks grow more significant each year. Identity theft is now the fastest growing crime in America. Our innovators and entrepreneurs have reinforced our global leadership and grown our economy, but with each new story of a high-profile company hacked or a neighbor defrauded, more Americans are left to wonder whether technology's benefits could risk being outpaced by its costs.
The President believes that meeting these new threats is necessary and within our grasp. But it requires a bold reassessment of the way we approach security in the digital age. If we're going to be connected, we need to be protected. We need to join together'--Government, businesses, and individuals'--to sustain the spirit that has always made America great.
Our Approach
That is why, today, the Administration is announcing a series of near-term actions to enhance cybersecurity capabilities within the Federal Government and across the country. But given the complexity and seriousness of the issue, the President is also asking some of our Nation's top strategic, business, and technical thinkers from outside of government to study and report on what more we can do to enhance cybersecurity awareness and protections, protect privacy, maintain public safety as well as economic and national security, and empower Americans to take better control of their digital security. Bold action is required to secure our digital society and keep America competitive in the global digital economy.>/p>
The President's Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP) is the capstone of more than seven years of determined effort by this Administration, building upon lessons learned from cybersecurity trends, threats, and intrusions. This plan directs the Federal Government to take new action now and fosters the conditions required for long-term improvements in our approach to cybersecurity across the Federal Government, the private sector, and our personal lives. Highlights of the CNAP include actions to:
Establish the ''Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.'' This Commission will be comprised of top strategic, business, and technical thinkers from outside of Government '' including members to be designated by the bi-partisan Congressional leadership. The Commission will make recommendations on actions that can be taken over the next decade to strengthen cybersecurity in both the public and private sectors while protecting privacy; maintaining public safety and economic and national security; fostering discovery and development of new technical solutions; and bolstering partnerships between Federal, State, and local government and the private sector in the development, promotion and use of cybersecurity technologies, policies, and best practices. Modernize Government IT and transform how the Government manages cybersecurity through the proposal of a $3.1 billion Information Technology Modernization Fund, which will enable the retirement, replacement, and modernization of legacy IT that is difficult to secure and expensive to maintain, as well as the formation of a new position '' the Federal Chief Information Security Officer '' to drive these changes across the Government.Empower Americans to secure their online accounts by moving beyond just passwords and adding an extra layer of security. By judiciously combining a strong password with additional factors, such as a fingerprint or a single use code delivered in a text message, Americans can make their accounts even more secure. This focus on multi-factor authentication will be central to a new National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance designed to arm consumers with simple and actionable information to protect themselves in an increasingly digital world. The National Cyber Security Alliance will partner with leading technology firms like Google, Facebook, DropBox, and Microsoft to make it easier for millions of users to secure their online accounts, and financial services companies such as MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, and Venmo that are making transactions more secure. In addition, the Federal Government will take steps to safeguard personal data in online transactions between citizens and the government, including through a new action plan to drive the Federal Government's adoption and use of effective identity proofing and strong multi-factor authentication methods and a systematic review of where the Federal Government can reduce reliance on Social Security Numbers as an identifier of citizens.Invest over $19 billion for cybersecurity as part of the President's Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Budget. This represents a more than 35 percent increase from FY 2016 in overall Federal resources for cybersecurity, a necessary investment to secure our Nation in the future.Through these actions, additional new steps outlined below, and other policy efforts spread across the Federal Government, the Administration has charted a course to enhance our long-term security and reinforce American leadership in developing the technologies that power the digital world.
Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity
For over four decades, computer technology and the Internet have provided a strategic advantage to the United States, its citizens, and its allies. But if fundamental cybersecurity and identity issues are not addressed, America's reliance on digital infrastructure risks becoming a source of strategic liability. To address these issues, we must diagnose and address the causes of cyber-vulnerabilities, and not just treat the symptoms. Meeting this challenge will require a long-term, national commitment.
To conduct this review, the President is establishing the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, comprised of top strategic, business, and technical thinkers from outside of Government '' including members to be designated by the bi-partisan Congressional leadership. The Commission is tasked with making detailed recommendations on actions that can be taken over the next decade to enhance cybersecurity awareness and protections throughout the private sector and at all levels of Government, to protect privacy, to maintain public safety and economic and national security, and to empower Americans to take better control of their digital security. The National Institute of Standards and Technology will provide the Commission with support to allow it to carry out its mission. The Commission will report to the President with its specific findings and recommendations before the end of 2016, providing the country a roadmap for future actions that will build on the CNAP and protect our long-term security online.
Raise the Level of Cybersecurity across the Country
While the Commission conducts this forward looking review, we will continue to raise the level of cybersecurity across the Nation.
Strengthen Federal CybersecurityThe Federal Government has made significant progress in improving its cybersecurity capabilities, but more work remains. To expand on that progress and address the longstanding, systemic challenges in Federal cybersecurity, we must re-examine our Government's legacy approach to cybersecurity and information technology, which requires each agency to build and defend its own networks. These actions build upon the foundation laid by the Cybersecurity Cross-Agency Priority Goals and the 2015 Cybersecurity Strategy and Implementation Plan.
The President's 2017 Budget proposes a $3.1 billion Information Technology Modernization Fund, as a down payment on the comprehensive overhaul that must be undertaken in the coming years. This revolving fund will enable agencies to invest money up front and realize the return over time by retiring, replacing, or modernizing antiquated IT infrastructure, networks, and systems that are expensive to maintain, provide poor functionality, and are difficult to secure. The Administration has created the position of Federal Chief Information Security Officer to drive cybersecurity policy, planning, and implementation across the Federal Government. This is the first time that there will be a dedicated senior official who is solely focused on developing, managing, and coordinating cybersecurity strategy, policy, and operations across the entire Federal domain.The Administration is requiring agencies to identify and prioritize their highest value and most at-risk IT assets and then take additional concrete steps to improve their security.The Department of Homeland Security, the General Services Administration, and other Federal agencies will increase the availability of government-wide shared services for IT and cybersecurity, with the goal of taking each individual agency out of the business of building, owning, and operating their own IT when more efficient, effective, and secure options are available, as well as ensuring that individual agencies are not left on their own to defend themselves against the most sophisticated threats.The Department of Homeland Security is enhancing Federal cybersecurity by expanding the EINSTEIN and Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation programs. The President's 2017 Budget supports all Federal civilian agencies adopting these capabilities.The Department of Homeland Security is dramatically increasing the number of Federal civilian cyber defense teams to a total of 48, by recruiting the best cybersecurity talent from across the Federal Government and private sector. These standing teams will protect networks, systems, and data across the entire Federal Civilian Government by conducting penetration testing and proactively hunting for intruders, as well as providing incident response and security engineering expertise.The Federal Government, through efforts such as the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, will enhance cybersecurity education and training nationwide and hire more cybersecurity experts to secure Federal agencies. As part of the CNAP, the President's Budget invests $62 million in cybersecurity personnel to:Expand the Scholarship for Service program by establishing a CyberCorps Reserve program, which will offer scholarships for Americans who wish to obtain cybersecurity education and serve their country in the civilian Federal government;Develop a Cybersecurity Core Curriculum that will ensure cybersecurity graduates who wish to join the Federal Government have the requisite knowledge and skills; and,Strengthen the National Centers for Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Program to increase the number of participating academic institutions and students, better support those institutions currently participating, increase the number of students studying cybersecurity at those institutions, and enhance student knowledge through program and curriculum evolution.The President's Budget takes additional steps to expand the cybersecurity workforce by:Empower IndividualsThe privacy and security of all Americans online in their daily lives is increasingly integral to our national security and our economy. The following new actions build on the President's 2014 BuySecure Initiative to strengthen the security of consumer data.
The President is calling on Americans to move beyond just the password to leverage multiple factors of authentication when logging-in to online accounts. Private companies, non-profits, and the Federal Government are working together to help more Americans stay safe online through a new public awareness campaign that focuses on broad adoption of multi-factor authentication. Building off the Stop.Think.Connect. campaign and efforts stemming from the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, the National Cyber Security Alliance will partner with leading technology companies and civil society to promote this effort and make it easier for millions of users to secure their accounts online. This will support a broader effort to increase public awareness of the individual's role in cybersecurity.The Federal Government is accelerating adoption of strong multi-factor authentication and identity proofing for citizen-facing Federal Government digital services. The General Services Administration will establish a new program that will better protect and secure the data and personal information of Americans as they interact with Federal Government services, including tax data and benefit information. The Administration is conducting a systematic review of where the Federal Government can reduce its use of Social Security Numbers as an identifier of citizens.The Federal Trade Commission recently relaunched IdentityTheft.Gov, to serve as a one-stop resource for victims to report identity theft, create a personal recovery plan, and print pre-filled letters and forms to send to credit bureaus, businesses, and debt collectors.The Small Business Administration (SBA), partnering with the Federal Trade Commission, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Department of Energy, will offer cybersecurity training to reach over 1.4 million small businesses and small business stakeholders through 68 SBA District Offices, 9 NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers, and other regional networks across the country.The Administration is announcing new milestones in the President's BuySecure Initiative to secure financial transactions. As of today the Federal Government has supplied over 2.5 million more secure Chip-and-PIN payment cards, and transitioned to this new technology the entire fleet of card readers managed by the Department of the Treasury. Through government and private-sector leadership, more secure chip cards have been issued in the United States than any other country in the world.Enhance Critical Infrastructure Security and ResilienceThe national and economic security of the United States depends on the reliable functioning of the Nation's critical infrastructure. A continued partnership with the owners and operators of critical infrastructure will improve cybersecurity and enhance the Nation's resiliency. This work builds off the President's previous cybersecurity focused Executive Orders on Critical Infrastructure (2013) and Information Sharing (2015).
The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Energy are contributing resources and capabilities to establish a National Center for Cybersecurity Resilience where companies and sector-wide organizations can test the security of systems in a contained environment, such as by subjecting a replica electric grid to cyber-attack.The Department of Homeland Security will double the number of cybersecurity advisors available to assist private sector organizations with in-person, customized cybersecurity assessments and implementation of best practices.The Department of Homeland Security is collaborating with UL and other industry partners to develop a Cybersecurity Assurance Program to test and certify networked devices within the ''Internet of Things,'' whether they be refrigerators or medical infusion pumps, so that when you buy a new product, you can be sure that it has been certified to meet security standards.The National Institute of Standards and Technology is soliciting feedback in order to inform further development of its Cybersecurity Framework for improving critical infrastructure cybersecurity. This follows two years of adoption by organizations across the country and around the world.Yesterday, Commerce Secretary Pritzker cut the ribbon on the new National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, a public-private research and development partnership that will allow industry and government to work together to develop and deploy technical solutions for high-priority cybersecurity challenges and share those findings for the benefit of the broader community.The Administration is calling on major health insurers and healthcare stakeholders to help them take new and significant steps to enhance their data stewardship practices and ensure that consumers can trust that their sensitive health data will be safe, secure, and available to guide clinical decision-making.Secure TechnologyEven as we work to improve our defenses today, we know the Nation must aggressively invest in the science, technology, tools, and infrastructure of the future to ensure that they are engineered with sustainable security in mind.
Today the Administration is releasing its 2016 Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan. This plan, which was called for in the 2014 Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, lays out strategic research and development goals for the Nation to advance cybersecurity technologies driven by the scientific evidence of efficacy and efficiency.In addition, the Government will work with organizations such as the Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative to fund and secure commonly used internet ''utilities'' such as open-source software, protocols, and standards. Just as our roads and bridges need regular repair and upkeep, so do the technical linkages that allow the information superhighway to flow.Deter, Discourage, and Disrupt Malicious Activity in Cyberspace
Better securing our own digital infrastructure is only part of the solution. We must lead the international effort in adopting principles of responsible state behavior, even while we take steps to deter and disrupt malicious activity. We cannot pursue these goals alone '' we must pursue them in concert with our allies and partners around the world.
In 2015, members of the G20 joined with the United States in affirming important norms, including the applicability of international law to cyberspace, the idea that states should not conduct the cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property for commercial gain, and in welcoming the report of a United Nations Group of Governmental Experts, which included a number of additional norms to promote international cooperation, prevent attacks on civilian critical infrastructure, and support computer emergency response teams providing reconstitution and mitigation services. The Administration intends to institutionalize and implement these norms through further bilateral and multilateral commitments and confidence building measures.The Department of Justice, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is increasing funding for cybersecurity-related activities by more than 23 percent to improve their capabilities to identify, disrupt, and apprehend malicious cyber actors.U.S. Cyber Command is building a Cyber Mission Force of 133 teams assembled from 6,200 military, civilian, and contractor support personnel from across the military departments and defense components. The Cyber Mission Force, which will be fully operational in 2018, is already employing capabilities in support of U.S. Government objectives across the spectrum of cyber operations. Improve Cyber Incident Response
Even as we focus on preventing and deterring malicious cyber activity, we must also maintain resilience as events occur. Over the past year, the country faced a wide array of intrusions, ranging from criminal activity to cyber espionage. By applying lessons learned from past incidents we can improve management of future cyber incidents and enhance the country's cyber-resilience.
By this spring, the Administration will publicly release a policy for national cyber incident coordination and an accompanying severity methodology for evaluating cyber incidents so that government agencies and the private sector can communicate effectively and provide an appropriate and consistent level of response.Protect the Privacy of Individuals
In coordination with the information technology and cybersecurity efforts above, the Administration has launched a groundbreaking effort to enhance how agencies across the Federal Government protect the privacy of individuals and their information. Privacy has been core to our Nation from its inception, and in today's digital age safeguarding privacy is more critical than ever.
Today, the President signed an Executive Order that created a permanent Federal Privacy Council, which will bring together the privacy officials from across the Government to help ensure the implementation of more strategic and comprehensive Federal privacy guidelines. Like cyber security, privacy must be effectively and continuously addressed as our nation embraces new technologies, promotes innovation, reaps the benefits of big data and defends against evolving threats.Fund Cybersecurity
In order to implement these sweeping changes, the Federal Government will need to invest additional resources in its cybersecurity. That is why the 2017 Budget allocates more than $19 billion for cybersecurity '' a more than 35 percent increase over the 2016 enacted level. These resources will enable agencies to raise their level of cybersecurity, help private sector organizations and individuals better protect themselves, disrupt and deter adversary activity, and respond more effectively to incidents.
Nativism (politics) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 11 Feb 2016 05:29
Nativism is the political position of preserving status for certain established inhabitants of a nation as compared to claims of newcomers or immigrants.[1] According to Fetzer, (2000) opposition to immigration is common in many countries because of issues of national, cultural, and religious identity. The phenomenon has been studied especially in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, as well as Europe in recent years, where immigration is seen as lowering the wages of the less well paid natives. Thus nativism has become a general term for 'opposition to immigration' based on fears that the immigrants will distort or spoil existing cultural values.
In situations where immigrants greatly outnumber the original inhabitants,[2] nativistic movements can allow cultural survival. Among North American Indians important nativist movements include Neolin (the "Delaware Prophet", 1762), Tenskwatawa (the Shawnee prophet, 1808), and Wovoka (the Ghost Dance movement, 1889). They held anti-white views, teaching that whites were morally inferior to the Indians and their ways must be rejected. Thus Tenskwatawa taught that the Americans were "children of the Evil Spirit."[3][4]
In scholarly studies nativism is a standard technical term. The term is typically not accepted by those who hold this political view, however. Dindar (2010) wrote "nativists...do not consider themselves as nativists. For them it is a negative term and they rather consider themselves as 'Patriots.'"[5]Anti-immigration is a more neutral term for opponents of immigration.
By country[edit]Nativism in the United States[edit]In the United States, nativism has a long history. For a while Benjamin Franklin was hostile to Germans in colonial Pennsylvania.[6] The Federalist Party in 1798 passed the Alien and Sedition Acts which lengthened the citizenship process to 14 years to weaken the political role of radical immigrants from France and Ireland. This became a major political issue in the 1800 election; the Jeffersonians won. They welcomed immigrants and repealed most of the restrictions.[7]
Nativism gained its name from the "Native American" parties of the 1840s and 1850s. In this context "Native" does not mean indigenous or American Indian but rather those descended from the inhabitants of the original Thirteen Colonies. It impacted politics in the mid-19th century because of the large inflows of immigrants after 1845 from cultures that were different from the existing American culture. Nativists objected primarily to Irish Roman Catholics because of their loyalty to the Pope and also because of their supposed rejection of republicanism as an American ideal.[8]
Nativist movements included the Know Nothing or American Party of the 1850s, the Immigration Restriction League of the 1890s, the anti-Asian movements in the West, resulting in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the "Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907" by which Japan's government stopped emigration to the United States. Labor unions were strong supporters of Chinese exclusion and limits on immigration, because of fears that they would lower wages and make it harder to organize unions.[9]
Historian Eric Kaufmann has suggested that American nativism has been explained primarily in psychological and economic terms to the neglect of a crucial cultural and ethnic dimension. Furthermore, Kauffman claims American nativism cannot be understood without reference to an American ethnic group which took shape prior to the large-scale immigration of the mid-eighteenth century.[10]
Anti-Catholic nativism in the 19th century[edit]Nativist outbursts occurred in the Northeast from the 1830s to the 1850s, primarily in response to a surge of Irish Catholic immigration. In 1836, Samuel Morse ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of New York City on a Nativist ticket, receiving 1,496 votes. In New York City, an Order of United Americans was founded as a nativist fraternity, following the Philadelphia Nativist Riots of the preceding spring and summer, in December, 1844.[11]
In 1849''50 Charles B. Allen founded a nativist society called the Order of the Star Spangled Banner in New York City. In order to join the Order, a man had to be twenty-one, a Protestant, a believer in God, and willing to obey without question the dictates of the order. Members of the Order became known as the Know Nothings (a label applied to them because if asked they said they "know nothing about" the secret society).[11]
The Nativists went public in 1854 when they formed the 'American Party', which was especially hostile to the immigration of Irish Catholics and campaigned for laws to require longer wait time between immigration and naturalization. (The laws never passed.) It was at this time that the term "nativist" first appears, opponents denounced them as "bigoted nativists." Former PresidentMillard Fillmore ran on the American Party ticket for the Presidency in 1856. The American Party also included many ex-Whigs who ignored nativism, and included (in the South) a few Catholics whose families had long lived in America. Conversely, much of the opposition to Catholics came from Protestant Irish immigrants and German Lutheran immigrants who were not native at all and can hardly be called "nativists."[12]
This form of nationalism is often identified with xenophobia and anti-Catholic sentiment (anti-Papism). In Charlestown, Massachusetts, a nativist mob attacked and burned down a Catholic convent in 1834 (no one was injured). In the 1840s, small scale riots between Catholics and nativists took place in several American cities. In Philadelphia in 1844, for example, a series of nativist assaults on Catholic churches and community centers resulted in the loss of lives and the professionalization of the police force. In Louisville, Kentucky, election-day rioters killed at least 22 people in attacks on German and Irish Catholics on Aug. 6, 1855, in what became known as "Bloody Monday."[13] Nativist sentiment experienced a revival in the 1890s, led by Protestant Irish immigrants hostile to Catholic immigration.[14]
Anti-German nativism[edit]From the 1840s to 1920 German Americans were distrusted because of their separatist social structure, their German-language schools, their attachment to their native tongue over no English, and their neutrality in World War I.
The Bennett Law caused a political uproar in Wisconsin in 1890, as the state government passed a law that threatened to close down hundreds of German-language elementary schools. Catholic and Lutheran Germans rallied to defeat Governor William D. Hoard. Hoard attacked German American culture and religion:
"We must fight alienism and selfish ecclesiasticism.... The parents, the pastors and the church have entered into a conspiracy to darken the understanding of the children, who are denied by cupidity and bigotry the privilege of even the free schools of the state."[15]Hoard, a Republican, was defeated by the Democrats. A similar campaign in Illinois regarding the "Edwards Law" led to a Republican defeat there in 1890.[15]
In 1917-1918, a wave of nativist sentiment led to the suppression of German cultural activities in the United States, Canada and Australia. There was little violence, but many places and streets had their names changed (The city of "Berlin" in Ontario was renamed "Kitchener" after a British hero), churches switched to English for their services, and German Americans were forced to buy war bonds to show their patriotism.[16] In Australia thousands of Germans were put into internment camps.[17]
(See also: World War I Anti-German Sentiment)
Anti-Chinese nativism[edit]In the 1870s in the western states Irish American immigrants attacked Chinese immigrants driving them out of smaller towns. Denis Kearney led a mass movement in San Francisco in 1877 that threatened to harm railroad owners if they hired any people who were Chinese.[18][19] The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first of many nativist acts of Congress to limit the flow of immigrants into the U.S. The Chinese responded with false claims of American birth, enabling thousands to immigrate to California.[20] The exclusion of the Chinese caused the western railroads to begin importing Mexican railroad workers in greater numbers ("traqueros").[21]
20th century[edit]In the 1890-1920 era nativists and labor unions campaigned for immigration restriction. A favorite plan was the literacy test to exclude workers who could not read or write their own foreign language. Congress passed literacy tests, but presidents'--responding to business needs for workers'--vetoed them.[22] Senator Henry Cabot Lodge argued need for literacy tests and its implication on the new immigrants:
It is found, in the first place, that the illiteracy test will bear most heavily upon the Italians, Russians, Poles, Hungarians, Greeks, and Asiatics, and lightly, or not at all, upon English-speaking emigrants, or Germans, Scandinavians, and French. In other words, the races most affected by the illiteracy test are those whose emigration to this country has begun within the last twenty years and swelled rapidly to enormous proportions, races with which the English speaking people have never hitherto assimilated, and who are most alien to the great body of the people of the United States.[23]Responding to these demands, opponents of the literacy test called for the establishment of an immigration commission to focus on immigration as a whole. The United States Immigration Commission, also known as the Dillingham Commission, was created and tasked with studying immigration and its effect on the United States. The findings of the commission further influenced immigration policy and upheld the concerns of the nativist movement.[22]
Following World War I, nativists in the twenties focused their attention on Catholics, Jews, and south-eastern Europeans and realigned their beliefs behind racial and religious nativism.[24] The racial concern of the anti-immigration movement was linked closely to the eugenics movement that was sweeping the United States in the twenties. Led by Madison Grant's book, The Passing of the Great Race nativists grew more concerned with the racial purity of the United States. In his book, Grant argued that the American racial stock was being diluted by the influx of new immigrants from the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and the Polish ghettos. The Passing of the Great Race reached wide popularity among Americans and influenced immigration policy in the twenties.[22] In the 1920s a wide national consensus sharply restricted the overall inflow of immigrants, especially those from southern and eastern Europe. The second Ku Klux Klan, which flourished in the U.S. in the 1920s, used strong nativist rhetoric, but the Catholics led a counterattack.[25]
After intense lobbying from the nativist movement the United States Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act in 1921. This bill was the first to place numerical quotas on immigration. It capped the inflow of immigrations to 357,803 for those arriving outside of the western hemisphere.[22] However, this bill was only temporary as Congress began debating a more permanent bill.
The Emergency Quota Act was followed with the Immigration Act of 1924, a more permanent resolution. This law reduced the number of immigrants able to arrive from 357,803, the number established in the Emergency Quota Act, to 164,687.[22] Though this bill did not fully restrict immigration, it considerably curbed the flow of immigration into the United States. During the late twenties an average of 270,000 immigrants were allowed to arrive mainly because of the exemption of Canada and Latin American countries.[24]
Fear of low-skilled immigrants flooding the labor market was an issue in the 1920s (focused on immigrants from Italy and Poland), and in the first decade of the 21st century (focused on immigrants from Mexico and Central America).
An immigration reductionism movement formed in the 1970s and continues to the present day. Prominent members often press for massive, sometimes total, reductions in immigration levels.
American nativist sentiment experienced a resurgence in the late 20th century, this time directed at illegal aliens, largely Mexican resulting in the passage of new penalties against illegal immigration in 1996.
Illegal immigration, principally from across the United States''Mexico border, is the more pressing concern for most immigration reductionists. Authors such as Samuel Huntington have also seen recent Hispanic immigration as creating a national identity crisis and presenting insurmountable problems for US social institutions.[26]
Noting the large-scale Mexican immigration in the Southwest, the famous diplomat George F. Kennan in 2002 saw "unmistakable evidences of a growing differentiation between the cultures, respectively, of large southern and southwestern regions of this country, on the one hand", and those of "some northern regions". In the former, he warned:
the very culture of the bulk of the population of these regions will tend to be primarily Latin-American in nature rather than what is inherited from earlier American traditions ... Could it really be that there was so little of merit [in America] that it deserves to be recklessly trashed in favor of a polyglot mix-mash?"[27] Meyers argues that Kennan represented the "tradition of militant nativism" that resembled or even exceeded the Know Nothings of the 1850s.[28] Mayers adds that Kennan also believed American women had too much power.21st century[edit]By late 2014, the "Tea Party movement" had turned its focus away from economic issues, spending, and Obamacare, and towards President Barack Obama's immigration policies, which it saw as threatening to transform American society. It planned to defeat leading Republicans who supported immigration programs, such as Senator John McCain. A typical slogan appeared in the Tea Party Tribune: ''Amnesty for Millions, Tyranny for All.'' The New York Times reported:
What started five years ago as a groundswell of conservatives committed to curtailing the reach of the federal government, cutting the deficit and countering the Wall Street wing of the Republican Party has become a movement largely against immigration overhaul. The politicians, intellectual leaders and activists who consider themselves part of the Tea Party have redirected their energy from fiscal austerity and small government to stopping any changes that would legitimize people who are here illegally, either through granting them citizenship or legal status.[29]In his bid for Presidency, Donald Trump introduced a nativist plan to ban the immigration of Muslims into the United States due to recent terrorist attacks brought on by extremists that claim to be Islamic. His plan appears to be well supported among Republicans according to polls showing his rise following his announcement of the plan.[30]
Language[edit]American nativists have promoted English and deprecated the use of German and Spanish. English Only proponents in the late 20th century proposed an English Language Amendment (ELA), a Constitutional amendment making English the official language of the United States, but had limited political support.[31]
Nativism in Brazil[edit]Brazilian elites desired the racial whitening of the country, much as what happened in Argentina and Uruguay, so that it stimulated European immigration, but non-white immigration always face huge backlash. On July 28, 1921, representatives Andrade Bezerra and Cincinato Braga proposed a law whose Article 1 provided: "The immigration of individuals from the black race to Brazil is prohibited." On October 22, 1923, representative Fid(C)lis Reis produced another bill on the entry of immigrants, whose fifth article was as follows: "The entry of settlers from the black race into Brazil is prohibited. For Asian [immigrants] there will be allowed each year a number equal to 5% of those residing in the country.(...)".[32]
In the 19th and 20th centuries, there were negative feelings toward the communities of German, Japanese, Italian and Jewish immigrants, who conserved their language and culture instead of adopting Portuguese and Brazilian habit (so that nowadays Brazil has the biggest communities in the Americas of speakers of German and Venetian), were seen as particularly tendencious to form ghettoes, had high rates of endogamy (in Brazil, it is regarded as usual for people of different backgrounds to miscegenate), among other concerns.
It affected more harshly the Japanese, because they were Asian, and thus seen as an obstacle of the whitening of Brazil. Oliveira Viana, a Brazilian jurist, historian and sociologist described the Japanese immigrants as follows: "They (Japanese) are like sulfur: insoluble". The Brazilian magazine "O Malho" in its edition of December 5, 1908 issued a charge of Japanese immigrants with the following legend: "The government of S£o Paulo is stubborn. After the failure of the first Japanese immigration, it contracted 3,000 yellow people. It insists on giving Brazil a race diametrically opposite to ours".[33] In 1941, the Brazilian Minister of Justice, Francisco Campos, defended the ban on admission of 400 Japanese immigrants in S£o Paulo and wrote: "their despicable standard of living is a brutal competition with the country's worker; their selfishness, their bad faith, their refractory character, make them a huge ethnic and cultural cyst located in the richest regions of Brazil".[33]
Some years before World War II, the government of President Getºlio Vargas initiated a process of forced assimilation of people of immigrant origin in Brazil. The Constitution of 1934 had a legal provision about the subject: "The concentration of immigrants anywhere in the country is prohibited; the law should govern the selection, location and assimilation of the alien". The assimilationist project affected mainly German, Italian, Jewish, Japanese immigrants and their descendants.[34]
During the World War II they were seen as more loyal to their countries of origin than to Brazil. In fact, there were violent revolts in the Japanese community of the states of S£o Paulo and Paran when Emperor Hirohito declared that Japan surrendered and he was not a deity, which was thought as a conspiracy trying to hurt Japanese honor and strength. Nevertheless, it followed hostility from the government. The Japanese Brazilian community was strongly marked by restrictive measures when Brazil declared war against Japan in August 1942. Japanese Brazilians could not travel the country without safe conduct issued by the police; over 200 Japanese schools were closed and radio equipment was seized to prevent transmissions on short wave from Japan. The goods of Japanese companies were confiscated and several companies of Japanese origin had interventions, including the newly founded Banco Am(C)rica do Sul. Japanese Brazilians were prohibited from driving motor vehicles (even if they were taxi drivers), buses or trucks on their property. The drivers employed by Japanese had to have permission from the police. Thousands of Japanese immigrants were arrested or expelled from Brazil on suspicion of espionage. There were many anonymous denunciations because of "activities against national security" arising from disagreements between neighbours, recovery of debts and even fights between children.[33] Japanese Brazilians were arrested for "suspicious activity" when they were in artistic meetings or picnics. On July 10, 1943, approximately 10,000 Japanese and German immigrants who lived in Santos had 24 hours to close their homes and businesses and move away from the Brazilian coast. The police acted without any notice. About 90% of people displaced were Japanese. To reside in Baixada Santista, the Japanese had to have a safe conduct.[33] In 1942, the Japanese community who introduced the cultivation of pepper in Tom(C)-A§u, in Par, was virtually turned into a "concentration camp" (expression of the time) from which no Japanese could leave. This time, the Brazilian ambassador in Washington, D.C., Carlos Martins Pereira e Sousa, encouraged the government of Brazil to transfer all the Japanese Brazilians to "internment camps" without the need for legal support, in the same manner as was done with the Japanese residents in the United States. No single suspicion of activities of Japanese against "national security" was confirmed.[33]
Nowadays, nativism in Brazil affects primarily migrants from elsewhere in the Third World, such as the new wave of Levantine Arabs (this time, mostly Muslim from Palestine instead of overwhelmingly Christian from Syria and Lebanon), South and East Asians (primarily Mainland Chinese), Spanish-speakers and Amerindians from neighboring South American countries and, especially, West Africans and Haitians. Following the 2010 Haiti earthquake and considerable illegal immigration to northern Brazil and S£o Paulo,[35] a subsequent debate in the population was concerned with the reasons why Brazil has such lax laws and enforcement concerning illegal immigration.
According to the 1988's Brazilian Constitution, it is an unbailable crime to address someone in an offensive racist way, and it is illegal to discriminate someone on the basis of his or her race, skin color, national or regional origin or nationality (for more, see anti-discrimination laws in Brazil), thus nativism and opposition to multiculturalism would be too much of a polemic and delicate topic to be openly discussed as a basic ideology of even the most right-leaning modern political parties.
Nativism in Canada[edit]Nativism was common in Canada (though the term originated in the U.S.). It took several forms. Hostility to the Chinese and other Asians was intense, and involved provincial laws that hindered immigration of Chinese and Japanese and blocked their economic mobility. In 1942 Japanese Canadians were forced into detention camps in response to Japanese aggression in World War II.[36]
Throughout the 19th century, well into the 20th, the Orange Order in Canada attacked and tried to politically defeat the Irish Catholics.[37] The Ku Klux Klan spread in the mid-1920s from the U.S. to parts of Canada, especially Saskatchewan, where it helped topple the Liberal government. The Klan creed was, historian Martin Robin argues, in the mainstream of Protestant Canadian sentiment, for it was based on "Protestantism, separation of Church and State, pure patriotism, restrictive and selective immigration, one national public school, one flag and one language--English."[38][39]
In World War I, Canadian naturalized citizens of German or Austrian origins were stripped of their right to vote, and tens of thousands of Ukrainians (who were born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire) were rounded up and put in internment camps.[40]
Hostility of native-born Canadians to competition from English immigrants in the early 20th century was expressed in signs that read, "No English Need Apply!" The resentment came because the immigrants identified more with England than with Canada.[41] Still today, there are many Canadians with long Canadian heritages who have mixed feelings over recent immigration.
In the British Empire, traditions of anti-Catholicism in Britain led to fears that Catholics were a threat to the national (British) values. In Canada, the Orange Order (of Irish Protestants) campaigned vigorously against the Catholics throughout the 19th century, often with violent confrontations. Both sides were immigrants from Ireland and neither side claimed loyalty to Canada.[42] The Orange Order was much less influential in the U.S., especially after a major riot in New York City in 1871.[43]
Canada was wracked by conflicts between the Anglophones and Francophones over language; the Irish Catholics were on the same side as the Protestant nativists in opposing the expansion of French culture.
Nativism in Australia[edit]Many Australians opposed the influx of Chinese immigrants at time of the nineteenth-century gold rushes. When the separate Australian colonies formed the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901, the new nation adopted "White Australia" as one of its founding principles. Under the White Australia policy, entry of Chinese and other Asians remained controversial until well after World War II, although the country remained home to many long-established Chinese families dating from before the adoption of White Australia. By contrast, most Pacific Islanders were deported soon after the policy was adopted, while the remainder were forced out of the sugarfields where they had worked for decades.[44]
Hostility of native-born white Australians toward British and Irish immigrants in the late 19th century was manifested in a new party, the "Australian Natives' Association."[39][45]
Since early 2000, opposition has mounted to asylum seekers arriving in boats from Indonesia.[46]
Nativism in New Zealand[edit]The New Zealand Wars, sometimes called the Land Wars and also once called the Māori Wars, were a series of armed conflicts that took place in New Zealand between 1845 and 1872. The wars were fought over a number of issues, the most prominent concerning Māori land being sold to the settler population.
Nativism in Taiwan[edit]Nativism flourished in Taiwan in the 1970s as a reaction against the influx of mainlandChinese to the island after the Kuomintang's defeat in 1949. Nativists felt that the political influence of mainland Chinese was disproportionately large. The term is especially found in the field of literature, where nativist literature was more traditionally minded than the modernist literature written largely by mainland Chinese.
Nativism in Europe[edit]London was notorious for its xenophobia in the 16th century, and conditions worsened in the 1580s. Many immigrants became disillusioned by routine threats of violence and molestation, attempts at expulsion of foreigners, and the great difficulty in acquiring English citizenship. Dutch cities proved more hospitable, and many left London permanently.[47]
Regarding the Irish in 20th-century Great Britain, Lucassen (2005) argues the deep religious divide between the Protestants and Catholics was at the core of the ongoing estrangement of the Irish in British society. For the Poles in the mining districts of western Germany before 1914, it was nationalism (on both the German and the Polish sides), which kept Polish workers, who had established an associational structure approaching institutional completeness (churches, voluntary associations, press, even unions), separate from the host German society. Lucassen found that religiosity and nationalism were more fundamental in generating nativism and inter-group hostility than the labor antagonism.
Once Italian workers in France had understood the benefit of unionism and French unions were willing to overcome their fear of Italians as scabs, integration was open for most Italian immigrants. The French state, which was always more of an immigration state than Prussia, Germany or Great Britain, fostered and supported family-based immigration and thus helped Italians on their immigration trajectory with minimal nativism. (Lucassen 2005)
Many observers see the post-1950s wave of immigration in Europe was fundamentally different from the pre-1914 patterns. They debate the role of cultural differences, ghettos, race, Muslim fundamentalism, poor education and poverty play in creating nativism among the hosts and a caste-type underclass, more similar to white-black tensions in the US (Lucassen 2005). Algerian migration to France has generated nativism, characterized by the prominence of Jean-Marie Le Pen and his National Front. (Lucassen 2005)
Anti-immigration arguments[edit]Anti-immigration sentiment is typically justified with one or more of the following arguments and claims about immigrants:[48]
Government expense: Government expenses may exceed tax revenue relating to new immigrants.[49]Language: Isolate themselves in their own communities and refuse to learn the local language.Employment: Acquire jobs which would have otherwise been available to native citizens, suppressing wages.Patriotism: Damage a sense of community and nationality.Environment: Increase the consumption of scarce resources; their move from low to high pollution economy increases pollutionWelfare: Make heavy use of social welfare systems.Overpopulation: May overpopulate countries.Culture: Can swamp a native population and replace its culture with their own.Housing: Increase in housing costs: migrant families can reduce vacancies and cause rent increases.The claim that immigrants can "swamp" a local population is related to birth rate relative to nationals. Contemporary opponents of immigration blame it for such problems as unemployment, crime (especially through gangs), harm to the environment, housing shortage, and overwhelming social services such as hospitals, police.
See also[edit]References[edit]^H. B. Entzinger; Marco Martiniello; Catherine Wihtol de Wenden (2004). Migration between states and markets. Ashgate. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-7546-4231-2. ^D. Groenfeldt, "The future of indigenous values: cultural relativism in the face of economic development," Futures Volume 35, Issue 9, November 2003, pp 917-929^Philip Deloria and Neal Salisbury, eds. A companion to American Indian history (2004) p 131^Mary Kupiec Cayton and Peter W. Williams, eds, Encyclopedia of American cultural and intellectual history (2001) p. 297 for quote^Oezguer Dindar (2010). American Nativism and Its Representation in the Film "L. A. Crash". GRIN Verlag. p. 4. ISBN 978-3-640-70445-3. ^He called them "Palatine Boors." John B. Frantz, "Franklin and the Pennsylvania Germans," Pennsylvania History, Volume 65, Number 1 (Winter 1998), 21-34 online^James Morton Smith, Freedom's fetters: The Alien and Sedition laws and American civil liberties (1967)^Ray A. Billington, The Protestant Crusade, 1800''1860: A Study of the Origins of American Nativism (1938)^Tyler Anbinder, Nativism and Slavery: The Northern Know Nothings and the politics of the 1850s (1992).^http://www.scribd.com/doc/58583488/Kaufmann-EP-American-Exceptionalism-Reconsidered-Anglo-Saxon-Ethnogenesis-in-the-Universal-Nation-1776-1850-Journal-of-American-Studies-33^ abBillington, The Protestant Crusade, 1800''1860^Anbinder, Nativism and Slavery: The Northern Know Nothings and the politics of the 1850s^Smith, Peter. "Recalling Bloody Monday; Events to mark 1855 anti-immigrant riots in city," The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky. (July 30, 2005); Crews, Clyde: An American Holy Land: A History of the Archdiocese of Louisville (1990).^Donald L. Kinzer, Episode in Anti-Catholicism: The American Protective Association (1964)^ abQuoted on p, 388 of William Foote Whyte, "The Bennett Law Campaign in Wisconsin,"Wisconsin Magazine Of History, 10: 4 (1926-1927), p. 388^Frederick C. Luebke, Bonds of Loyalty: German-Americans and World War I (1974); Terrence G. Wiley, "The Imposition of World War I Era English-Only Policies and the Fate of German in North America," in Barbara Burnaby and Thomas K. Ricento, eds. Language and Politics in the United States and Canada: Myths and Realities (1998); Russell A. Kazal, Becoming Old Stock: The Paradox of German-American Identity (2004)^Stuart Macintyre, The Oxford History of Australia: vol. 4, The Succeeding Age, 1901-1942 (1993), pp 153-55; Jurgen Tampke, The Germans in Australia (2007) pp 120-24.^Kearneyism in California - by Viscount James Bryce^Remarks by Denis Kearney on Kearneyism in California - 1889^Erika Lee, At America's Gates: Chinese Immigration during the Exclusion Era, 1882-1943 (2003)^Jeffrey Marcos Garcilazo, `Traqueros': Mexican Railroad Workers in the United States, 1870 to 1930. PhD U. of California, Santa Barbara 1995. 374 pp. DAI 1996 56(8): 3277-3278-A. DA9542027 Fulltext: online at ProQuest Dissertations & Theses^ abcdePula, James (Spring 1980). Polish American Studies37 (1): 5''31 http://www.jstor.org/stable/20148034. Retrieved 3 December 2011. ^Lodge, Henry Cabot. "The Restriction Immigration"(PDF). University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved 3 December 2011. ^ abHigham, John (1963). Strangers in the Land. Atheneum. p. 324. ^Todd Tucker, Notre Dame Vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan (2004)^Huntington, Clash of Civilizations (1997)^Bill Kauffman, Free Vermont, The American Conservative December 19, 2005.^David Mayers, George Kennan and the Dilemmas of US Foreign Policy (1990) ch 3^Jeremy W. Peters, "Obama's Immigration Action Reinvigorates Tea Party," New York Times Nov 25, 2014^http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-muslim-immigration-us_5665f75de4b072e9d1c7252b^Brandon Simpson, The American Language: The Case Against the English-only Movement (2009)^RIOS, Roger Raupp. Text excerpted from a judicial sentence concerning crime of racism. Federal Justice of 10ª Vara da Circunscri§£o Judiciria dePorto Alegre, November 16, 2001 (Accessed September 10, 2008)^ abcdeSUZUKI Jr, Matinas. Hist"ria da discrimina§£o brasileira contra os japoneses sai do limbo in Folha de S.Paulo, 20 de abril de 2008 (visitado em 17 de agosto de 2008)^Mem"ria da Imigra§£o Japonesa^(Portuguese)Carta Maior '' International News Section '' Brazil, hope for Haitian illegal immigrants^W. Peter Ward, White Canada Forever: Popular Attitudes and Public Policy toward Orientals in British Columbia (1978); Roger Daniels, Concentration Camps North America: Japanese in the United States and Canada During World War II (1993); Forrest E. Laviolette, "Two Years of Japanese Evacuation in Canada," Far Eastern Survey, Vol. 13, No. 11 (May 31, 1944), pp. 93-100 in JSTOR^Cecil J. Houston and William J. Smyth, The Sash Canada Wore: A Historical Geography of the Orange Order in Canada (1980); Robert McLaughlin, "Irish Nationalism and Orange Unionism in Canada: A Reappraisal," ‰ire-Ireland 41.3&4 (2007) 80-109^Martin Robin, Shades of Right: Nativist and Fascist Politics in Canada, 1920-1940 (1991), quote on pp. 23-24. Robin p 86, notes the Klan in Canada was not violent.^ abRichard Jensen, "Comparative Nativism: The United States, Canada and Australia, 1880s-1910s." Canadian Issues/Th¨mes Canadiens (2009).^Frances Swyripa and John Herd Thompson, eds. Loyalties in Conflict: Ukrainians in Canada During the Great War (1983); and Bohdan Kordan, Enemy Aliens, Prisoners of War: Internment in Canada During the Great War (2002)^Ross McCormack, "Cloth Caps and Jobs: The Ethnicity of English Immigrants in Canada, 1900-1914," in Jorgan Dahlie and Tissa Fernando, eds. Ethnicity, Power, and Politics in Canada (1981); Susan Jackel, A Flannel Shirt and Liberty: British Emigrant Gentlewomen in the Canadian West, 1880-1914 (1982) Page xx; Basil Stewart, "No English Need Apply": Or, Canada as a Field for the Emigrant (1909)^Robert McLaughlin , "Irish Nationalism and Orange Unionism in Canada: A Reappraisal," ‰ire-Ireland 41.3&4 (2007) 80-109; Cecil J. Houston and William J. Smyth, The Sash Canada Wore: A Historical Geography of the Orange Order in Canada (1980)^Michael Allen Gordon (1993). The Orange Riots: Irish Political Violence in New York City, 1870 and 1871. Cornell U.P. pp. 180''4. ^After 1905, 4000 "Kanakas" were repatriated and the remaining 2500 were pushed out of the sugar fields by labour unions. Doug Munro, "The Labor Trade in Melanesians to Queensland: An Historiographic Essay," Journal of Social History, Vol. 28, No. 3 (Spring, 1995), pp. 609-627^Charles S. Blackton, "Australian Nationality and Nativism: The Australian Natives' Association, 1885-1901," Journal of Modern History, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Mar., 1958), pp. 37-46 in JSTOR^Dutter, Barbie; Spillius, Alex; Chapman, Paul (30 August 2001). "Boat people facing a wave of hatred". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 7 September 2013. ...it is these people - condemned as "queue-jumpers" by the public and politicians alike - who have pushed simmering resentment to boiling point." ^Bich Luu Lien, "Taking the Bread Out of Our Mouths": Xenophobia in Early Modern London," Immigrants and Minorities, July 2000, Vol. 19 Issue 2, pp 1-22^Anbinder, (2006); Barkan, (2003); Betz, (2007); Higham, (1955); Lucassen, (2005); Palmer, (1992); and Schrag, (2010)^http://www.fraserinstitute.ca/admin/books/files/Immigration.pdfAlexseev, Mikhail A. Immigration Phobia and the Security Dilemma: Russia, Europe, and the United States (Cambridge University Press, 2005). 294 pp.Art, David. Inside the Radical Right: The Development of Anti-Immigrant Parties in Western Europe (Cambridge University Press; 2011) 288 pages; examines anti-immigration activists and political candidates in 11 countries.Jensen, Richard. "Comparative Nativism: The United States, Canada and Australia, 1880s-1910s," Canadian Journal for Social Research (2010) vol 3#1 pp 45''55Allerfeldt, Kristofer. Race, Radicalism, Religion, and Restriction: Immigration in the Pacific Northwest, 1890-1924. Praeger, 2003. 235 pp.Anbinder, Tyler. "Nativism and prejudice against immigrants," in A companion to American immigration, ed. by Reed Ueda (2006) pp 177''201 online excerptBarkan, Elliott R. "Return of the Nativists? California Public Opinion and Immigration in the 1980s and 1990s." Social Science History 2003 27(2): 229-283. Issn: 0145-5532 in Project MUSEBillington, Ray Allen. The Protestant Crusade, 1800-1860: A Study of the Origins of American Nativism (1964)Franchot, Jenny. Roads to Rome: The Antebellum Protestant Encounter with Catholicism (1994)Hamilton, Jeanne. "The Nunnery as Menace: The Burning of the Charlestown Convent, 1834," U.S. Catholic Historian (1996) 14#1 pp: 35-65Higham, John, Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860-1925 (1955), the standard scholarly historyHueston, Robert Francis. The Catholic Press and Nativism, 1840-1860 (1976)Hughey, Matthew W. 'Show Me Your Papers! Obama's Birth and the Whiteness of Belonging.' Qualitative Sociology 35(2): 163-181 (2012)Kaufmann, Eric. American Exceptionalism Reconsidered: Anglo-Saxon Ethnogenesis in the 'Universal' Nation, 1776-1850, Journal of American Studies, 33 (1999), 3, pp. 437''457.Leonard, Ira M. and Robert D. Parmet. American Nativism 1830-1860 (1971)Luebke, Frederick C. Bonds of Loyalty: German-Americans and World War I (1974)Oxx, Katie. The Nativist Movement in America: Religious Conflict in the 19th Century (2013)Schrag Peter. Not Fit For Our Society: Immigration and Nativism in America (University of California Press; 2010) 256 pages;Houston, Cecil J. and Smyth, William J. The Sash Canada Wore: A Historical Geography of the Orange Order in Canada. U. of Toronto Press, 1980.McLaughlin, Robert. "Irish Nationalism and Orange Unionism in Canada: A Reappraisal," ‰ire-Ireland 41.3&4 (2007) 80-109Mclean, Lorna. "'To Become Part of Us': Ethnicity, Race, Literacy and the Canadian Immigration Act of 1919". Canadian Ethnic Studies 2004 36(2): 1-28. ISSN 0008-3496Miller, J. R. Equal Rights: The Jesuits' Estates Act Controversy (1979). in late 19c CanadaPalmer, Howard. Patterns of Prejudice: A History of Nativism in Alberta (1992)Robin, Martion. Shades of Right: Nativist and Fascist Politics in Canada, 1920-1940 (University of Toronto Press, 1992);See, S.W. Riots in New Brunswick: Orange Nativism and Social Violence in the 1840s (Univ of Toronto Press, 1993 - ).Ward, W. Peter. White Canada Forever: Popular Attitudes and Public Policy toward Orientals in British Columbia (1978)Betz, Hans-Georg. "Against the 'Green Totalitarianism': Anti-Islamic Nativism in Contemporary Radical Right- Wing Populism in Western Europe," in Christina Schori Liang, ed. Europe for the Europeans (2007)Ceuppens, Bambi. "Allochthons, Colonizers, and Scroungers: Exclusionary Populism in Belgium," African Studies Review, Volume 49, Number 2, September 2006, pp. 147''186 doi:10.1353/arw.2006.0102 "Allochthons" means giving welfare benefits only to those groups that are considered to "truly belong"Chinn, Jeff, and Robert Kaiser, eds. Russians as the New Minority: Ethnicity and Nationalism in the Soviet Successor States (1996)Finzsch, Norbert, and Dietmar Schirmer, eds. Identity and Intolerance: Nationalism, Racism, and Xenophobia in Germany and the United States (2002)Groenfeldt, D. "The future of indigenous values: cultural relativism in the face of economic development", Futures, Volume 35, Issue 9, November 2003, Pages 917-929Lucassen, Leo. The Immigrant Threat: The Integration of Old and New Migrants in Western Europe since 1850. University of Illinois Press, 2005. 280 pp; ISBN 0-252-07294-4. Examines Irish immigrants in Britain, Polish immigrants in Germany, Italian immigrants in France (before 1940), and (since 1950), Caribbeans in Britain, Turks in Germany, and Algerians in FranceLiang, Christina Schori, ed. Europe for the Europeans (2007)McNally, Mark. Proving the way: conflict and practice in the history of Japanese nativism (2005)Mamdani, M. When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism and the Genocide in Rwanda (2001)Rose, Richard. "The End of Consensus in Austria and Switzerland," Journal of Democracy, Volume 11, Number 2, April 2000, pp. 26''40Wertheimer, Jack. Unwelcome Strangers: East European Jews in Imperial Germany (1991)External links[edit]Dennis KearneyHenry A. Rhodes, "Nativist and Racist Movements in the U.S. and their Aftermath"Dennis Kearney, President, and H. L. Knight, Secretary, "Appeal from California. The Chinese Invasion. Workingmen's Address," Indianapolis Times, 28 February 1878."A Nation or Notion", by Patrick J. Buchanan, op-ed, Oct. 4, 2006. A conservative defense of nativism.PoliticosLatinos.com Videos of 2008 US Presidential Election Candidates' Positions regarding Immigration"Anti - Immigration Groups and the Masks of False Diversity". False Diversity in Anti-Immigration organizations.A Defense of Nativism, Conservative Heritage Times.
Saudis Goad Obama to Invade Syria
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 23:16
Exclusive: Syrian rebels, including dominant jihadist elements, torpedoed Geneva peace talks by setting preconditions to come to the table. But the maneuver also renewed pressure on President Obama to commit to a ''regime-change'' invasion of Syria alongside Saudi and other Sunni armies, as Joe Lauria explains.
By Joe Lauria
The Russian-backed Syrian Army's encirclement of Aleppo, the battle that could determine the outcome of the five-year-old war, has sparked a Saudi plan with allied Arab nations to hold a war maneuver next month of 150,000 men to prepare for an invasion of Syria.
Saudi Arabia's desire to intervene (under the cover of fighting Islamic State terrorists but really aimed at ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad) has been welcomed by Washington but dismissed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander and some Western analysts as a ruse.
King Salman greets the President and First Lady during a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Iranian Maj. Gen. Ali Jafari told reporters in Tehran, ''They claim they will send troops, but I don't think they will dare do so. They have a classic army and history tells us such armies stand no chance in fighting irregular resistance forces.''
''The Saudi plan to send ground troops into Syria appears to be just a ruse,'' wrote analyst Finian Cunningham on RT's website. ''In short, it's a bluff aimed at pressuring Syria and Russia to accommodate '... ceasefire demands.''
But I don't believe it is a bluff or a ruse and here's why: It appears instead to be a challenge by the Saudis to get President Barack Obama to commit U.S. ground troops to lead the invasion. The Saudis made it clear they would only intervene as part of a U.S.-led operation.
After meeting Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington on Monday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said: ''The coalition will operate the way it has operated in the past, as an international coalition, even when there is a ground-force contingent in Syria. There would be no international coalition against ISIS [an acronym for the Islamic State] in Syria if the U.S. did not lead this effort.''
Riyadh knows better than anyone that it doesn't have the military capability to do anything beyond pounding the poorest Arab country into dust, that would be its neighbor Yemen. And it can't win that war either. But when Saudi Arabia's ambitions outsize their capabilities, who do they call? The ''indispensable nation,'' the United States.
President Obama has so far resisted direct U.S. combat involvement in the Syrian civil war despite longstanding Saudi, Israeli and neocon pressures. They clamored for intervention after the chemical weapons fiasco in Ghouta in the summer of 2013. The attack supposedly crossed Obama's ''red line,'' (although there is growing evidence that the sarin attack was a ''false flag'' provocation by the rebels to draw the U.S. military into the war on their side).
Obama came close to acceding to that pressure. On Aug. 30, 2013, he sent out a breast-beating John Kerry, playing the role normally reserved for the president, to threaten war. However, after the British parliament voted against intervention, Obama threw the issue to Congress. And before it acted, he accepted a Russian deal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons (though Assad continued to deny any role in the sarin attack).
Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh contends Obama backed away because British intelligence informed him it was the rebels and not the Syrian government that carried out the chemical attack.
Even earlier in the conflict, Obama resisted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's pressure to set up ''a no-fly zone'' inside Syria (which would have required the U.S. military destroying Syria's air defenses and much of its air force, compromising the government's ability to battle Sunni jihadist groups, including those associated with Al Qaeda).
Obama also defied the Saudis, Israelis and the neocons in pushing through the Iranian nuclear deal over their strident opposition in 2015. But Obama has not shown the same resolve against the neocons and liberal interventionists elsewhere, such as in Libya in 2011 and Ukraine in 2014.
Regarding Saudi Arabia's new offer to intervene in Syria, the Obama administration has welcomed the Saudi plan but has not committed to sending in U.S. ground troops, preferring instead to deploy some air power and a limited number of Special Forces against Islamic State targets inside Syria.
However, the Saudi plan is being discussed at a NATO defense ministers' summit in Brussels this week. In Istanbul last month, Vice President Joe Biden hinted at a possible Obama change in position when he said if U.N.-led peace talks in Geneva failed, the United States was prepared for a ''military solution'' in Syria. (In making that comment, Biden may have given the rebels an incentive to sink the peace talks.)
The talks collapsed last Wednesday when Syrian rebel groups set preconditions for joining the talks, which were supposed to be started without preconditions. (However, the U.S. mainstream media has almost universally blamed Assad, the Iranians who are supporting Assad, and Russian President Vladimir Putin who has committed Russian air power to the offensive around Aleppo).
So, with the Syrian government now realistically viewing victory in the war for the first time, the panicked Saudis appear to be prodding Obama on whether he's ready to be remembered as the president who ''lost'' Syria to the Russians and Iranians.
Like most leaders, Obama is susceptible to his ''legacy,'' that vain concern about how ''history will view him.'' It is an attitude that can conflict with doing what's best for the country he leads and, in this case, would risk direct confrontation with Russia. Even embedding only hundreds of U.S. Special Forces with Saudi and other Arab troops inside Syria could lead to disaster if they are struck by Russian warplanes.
The Saudis are counting on U.S. domestic criticism to motivate Obama, such as this from New York Times columnist Roger Cohen: ''Syria is now the Obama administration's shame, a debacle of such dimensions that it may overshadow the president's domestic achievements. Aleppo may prove to be the Sarajevo of Syria.''
Emile Hokayem, a Middle East scholar at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, wrote that it's understandable for Obama to seek a negotiated settlement of the war. ''But to do so while exposing the rebellion to the joint Assad-Russia-Iran onslaught and without contingency planning is simply nefarious.''
It is up to Obama to resist such pressure and not commit the folly of risking a direct confrontation with Russia by committing U.S. ground forces to what would amount to an illegal invasion of Syria. It might be in Saudi Arabia's interests, but how is it in America's?
Joe Lauria is a veteran foreign-affairs journalist based at the U.N. since 1990. He has written for the Boston Globe, the London Daily Telegraph, the Johannesburg Star, the Montreal Gazette, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers. He can be reached atjoelauria@gmail.com and followed on Twitter at @unjoe.
IRS targeted in bot attack
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 23:15
Citizen Services
IRS targeted in bot attackBy Zach NobleFeb 10, 2016Data thieves used an automated attack technique and stolen Social Security numbers to try to establish accounts with IRS systems, the tax agency disclosed late on Feb. 9.
The attack was designed to generate e-filing PINs, which would presumably be used to request fraudulent tax refunds.
The IRS said attackers deployed two key weapons: an automated bot and stolen Social Security numbers they'd obtained elsewhere.
"With our improved systems, we were able to catch it quickly," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told the Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 10. He compared the attack to last year's compromise of the Get Transcript app.
"None of those attacks breached our system itself," Koskinen said, noting that in both instances, hackers already had personal information on targeted taxpayers.
In a statement on the latest attack, the IRS said, "No personal taxpayer data was compromised or disclosed by IRS systems." Officials plan to notify affected taxpayers via mail and will monitor their accounts for future identity theft attempts.
Attackers used roughly 464,000 Social Security numbers in the latest attack.
Koskinen blamed global organized crime syndicates and noted that the attackers "hopped" from country to country as the IRS detected and attempted to halt the activity. Officials are investigating the incident but believe that the attack has been stopped.
They said it is not related to last week's hardware failure at the IRS.
About the Author
Zach Noble is a staff writer covering digital citizen services, workforce issues and a range of civilian federal agencies.
Before joining FCW in 2015, Noble served as assistant editor at the viral news site TheBlaze, where he wrote a mix of business, political and breaking news stories and managed weekend news coverage. He has also written for online and print publications including The Washington Free Beacon, The Santa Barbara News-Press, The Federalist and Washington Technology.
Noble is a graduate of Saint Vincent College, where he studied English, economics and mathematics.
Click here for previous articles by Noble, or connect with him on Twitter: @thezachnoble.
Why TV companies may soon cut back on streaming access to new shows - CSMonitor.com
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 22:05
New York '-- The Golden Age of Online Television may be in peril.
Streaming TV has gotten popular as several online services such as Netflix make past seasons of TV shows available for binge-watching, while Hulu offers episodes from the current season.
Now, some television companies are balking at giving them timely access to shows.
The big worry: Making streaming TV too pleasant might encourage viewers to cut back or drop their cable service. Cable and satellite companies now pay TV networks billions of dollars a year to carry their channels. In turn, TV production companies make a lot from licensing fees paid by the networks.
Cord-cutting could jeopardize all of those arrangements, and the audience and ad revenue boost from the Internet might not be enough to make up for any revenue losses from traditional TV.
Time Warner Inc., which has both networks and a production business, has been exploring the possibility of holding back some of its DC Comics superhero shows such as "The Flash" and "Supergirl." If it took that step, viewers might have to wait years to watch the most recent episodes online; now, they're typically available no more than a year after airing.
Hulu may be next. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Time Warner is in talks to invest in Hulu and has told Hulu's owners that it wants to curtail current-season TV episodes, which Hulu now makes available as early as the next day.
It's not yet clear what such restrictions might look like. Time Warner and Hulu didn't respond to requests for comment, though Time Warner may reveal more of its digital strategy when it reports quarterly earnings Wednesday.
The tremors emanating from Time Warner are just the latest instance of established media companies looking to protect their established partners and deals, whether viewers like it or not.
Hulu already has pulled back in recent years. When it launched nearly a decade ago, the service offered most shows from its network parents the morning after they aired. These days, many Fox and ABC shows require a Hulu or cable subscription for next-day viewing. Otherwise, viewers have to wait eight days '-- or a month in the case of Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance." And for Fox, Hulu now has just the past four episodes '-- not five '-- for free.
All online services, meanwhile, have been dabbling in creating their own television shows. Netflix won accolades for such original shows as "House of Cards," while Hulu commissioned a fourth season of "The Mindy Project" when Fox canceled it. Original shows help services set themselves apart from each other and could ease the impact of any pullback in traditional TV shows.
But for now, these services are mostly about giving viewers a chance to catch up on what's been shown on traditional TV '-- and giving viewers less of a reason to tune in.
"To a certain degree, you can't put the genie back in the bottle," said Anthony DiClemente, an analyst at Nomura Securities. "Once people are accustomed to it, that's going to be the expectation."
Traditional cable and satellite TV services have been in slow decline for years, in part because younger audiences aren't signing up and are turning to online options instead. The decline isn't big enough to threaten cable and television companies immediately, but they are taking notice. And the numbers hide the fact that many subscribers are opting for cheaper packages with fewer channels.
"What we're seeing is a constant game of tug-o-war," said John Buffone, an analyst at the NPD Group.
As services like Netflix and Hulu boom, he said, television companies are looking for ways they can hold onto more of those streaming revenues themselves.
The changes are especially noticeable at Hulu, which is owned by parents of the very television networks '-- Fox, ABC and NBC '-- threatened by changes in the way we watch TV. Hulu has set itself apart by offering new TV episodes faster than its rivals; making viewers wait longer could limit its appeal.
"Hulu's DNA has been recent episodes of TV shows," said Glenn Hower, an analyst at the research firm Parks Associates.
The apparent anxiety at television companies is common to any industry that's faced what Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen calls "The Innovator's Dilemma." That's when established companies find their big, lucrative businesses undercut by innovative rivals with cheaper '-- and, at least at first, less profitable '-- alternatives. The big companies can't embrace the new approaches without helping cannibalize their own cash cows.
Viewed through that prism, Hulu has been a mostly successful half-measure. Its biggest accomplishment may have been to help accustom people to paying for TV over the Internet. Given that it was established when piracy was rampant, that's no small feat.
Though Hulu still offers ad-supported shows you can watch for free, more viewers are paying at least $8 a month for viewing on mobile and streaming-TV devices and for full current seasons of some shows. As of last April, the last time Hulu disclosed figures, it had 9 million paying subscribers, a 50 percent increase from the previous year. Netflix, meanwhile, had 45 million U.S. streaming subscribers at the end of 2015, a 14 percent increase.
Yet the traditional TV business remains sizable '-- and will remain so for years. Even with a 1 percent drop over the past year, 98.3 million U.S. households subscribe to a cable or satellite TV service, research firm MoffettNathanson estimates.
As a result, expanded streaming deals might not make up for what TV companies might lose if that big business continues to shrink. The fees that cable and satellite companies pay television networks and stations to carry their channels are estimated at $60 billion this year, up 6 percent from 2015, according to media research firm SNL Kagan.
From that standpoint, Hower said, it makes sense to cling to older, well-established partners '-- the cable companies.
___
AP Business Writer Ryan Nakashima in Los Angeles and Tali Arbel in New York contributed to this report.
Russia proposes March 1 ceasefire in Syria; US wants it now
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 21:57
1 photo
MUNICH (AP) '-- U.S. officials say Russia has proposed a March 1 ceasefire in Syria, but the United States believes the fighting must stop immediately.
One official says the U.S. believes the Russians are giving themselves and the Syrian military on the ground three weeks to launch harsher attacks on opposition forces.
And the U.S. is worried that the opposition could suffer irreversible losses in northern and southern Syria.
The officials weren't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and demanded anonymity.
The U.S., Russia and other countries will discuss different options for ending the Syrian civil war in Munich this week.
The officials say Washington's goals are clear: an immediate ceasefire and full humanitarian access.
Comments
Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 21:54
Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome (GBS) is a rapid-onset muscle weakness as a result of damage to the peripheral nervous system. Many experience changes in sensation or develop pain, followed by muscle weakness beginning in the feet and hands. The symptoms develop over half a day to two weeks. During the acute phase, the disorder can be life-threatening with about a quarter developing weakness of the breathing muscles and requiring mechanical ventilation. Some are affected by changes in the function of the autonomic nervous system, which can lead to dangerous abnormalities in heart rate and blood pressure.
This autoimmune disease is caused by the body's immune system mistakenly attacking the peripheral nerves and damaging their myelin insulation. Sometimes this immune dysfunction is triggered by an infection. The diagnosis is usually made based on the signs and symptoms, through the exclusion of alternative causes, and supported by tests such as nerve conduction studies and examination of the cerebrospinal fluid. Various classifications exist, depending on the areas of weakness, results of nerve conduction studies, and the presence of antiganglioside antibodies. It is classified as an acute polyneuropathy.
In those with severe weakness, prompt treatment with intravenous immunoglobulins or plasmapheresis, together with supportive care, will lead to good recovery in the majority. Some may experience ongoing difficulty with walking, painful symptoms, and some require long-term breathing support. Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome is rare, at one to two cases per 100,000 people every year. The syndrome is named after the French neurologists Georges Guillain and Jean Alexandre Barr(C), who described it with Andr(C) Strohl in 1916.
Signs and symptoms[edit]The first symptoms of Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome are numbness, tingling, and pain, alone or in combination. This is followed by weakness of the legs and arms that affects both sides equally and worsens over time.[1] The weakness can take half a day to over two weeks to reach maximum severity, and then becomes steady.[1] In one in five people, the weakness continues to progress for as long as four weeks.[2] The muscles of the neck may also be affected, and about half experience involvement of the cranial nerves which supply the head and face; this may lead to weakness of the muscles of the face, swallowing difficulties and sometimes weakness of the eye muscles.[2] In 8%, the weakness affects only the legs (paraplegia or paraparesis).[2] Involvement of the muscles that control the bladder and anus is unusual.[1] In total, about a third of people with Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome continue to be able to walk.[2] Once the weakness has stopped progressing, it persists at a stable level ("plateau phase") before improvement occurs. The plateau phase can take between two days and six months, but the most common duration is a week.[2] Pain-related symptoms affect more than half, and include back pain, painful tingling, muscle pain and pain in the head and neck relating to irritation of the lining of the brain.[2]
Many people with Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome have experienced the signs and symptoms of an infection in the 3''6 weeks prior to the onset of the neurological symptoms. This may consist of upper respiratory tract infection (rhinitis, sore throat) or diarrhea.[1]
In children, particularly those younger than six years old, the diagnosis can be difficult and the condition is often initially mistaken (sometimes for up to two weeks) for other causes of pains and difficulty walking, such as viral infections,[2] or bone and joint problems.[3]
On neurological examination, characteristic features are the reduced power and reduced or absent tendon reflexes (hypo- or areflexia, respectively). However, a small proportion has normal reflexes in affected limbs before developing areflexia, and some may have exaggerated reflexes.[2] In the "Miller Fisher variant" subtype of Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome (see below), weakness of the eye muscles (ophthalmoplegia) is more pronounced and may occur together with abnormalities in coordination (ataxia).[1] The level of consciousness is normally unaffected in Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome, but the Bickerstaff brainstem encephalitis subtype may feature drowsiness, sleepiness, or coma.[4][5]
Respiratory failure[edit]A quarter of all people with Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome develop weakness of the breathing muscles leading to respiratory failure, the inability to breathe adequately to maintain healthy levels of oxygen and/or carbon dioxide in the blood.[1][2][6] This life-threatening scenario is complicated by other medical problems such as pneumonia, severe infections, blood clots in the lungs and bleeding in the digestive tract in 60% of those who require artificial ventilation.[1]
Autonomic dysfunction[edit]The autonomic or involuntary nervous system, which is involved in the control of body functions such as heart rate and blood pressure, is affected in two thirds of people with Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome, but the impact is variable.[2] Twenty percent may experience severe blood-pressure fluctuations and irregularities in the heart beat, sometimes to the point that the heart beat stops and requiring pacemaker-based treatment.[1] Other associated problems are abnormalities in perspiration and changes in the reactivity of the pupils.[4] Autonomic nervous system involvement can affect even those who do not have severe muscle weakness.[4]
Two thirds of people with Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome have experienced an infection before the onset of the condition. Most commonly these are episodes of gastroenteritis or a respiratory tract infection. In many cases, the exact nature of the infection can be confirmed.[2] Approximately 30% of cases are provoked by Campylobacter jejuni bacteria, which cause diarrhea. A further 10% are attributable to cytomegalovirus (CMV, HHV-5). Despite this, only very few people with Campylobacter or CMV infections develop Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome (0.25''0.65 per 1000 and 0.6''2.2 per 1000 episodes, respectively).[1] The strain of Campylobacter involved may determine the risk of GBS; different forms of the bacteria have different lipopolysaccharides on their surface, and some may induce illness (see below) while others will not.[2]
Links between other infections and GBS are less certain. Two other herpesviruses (Epstein''Barr virus/HHV-4 and varicella zoster virus/HHV-3) and the bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae have been associated with GBS.[1] The tropical viral infection dengue fever has been associated with episodes of GBS.[7] Previous hepatitis E virus infection has been found to be more common in people with Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome.[2][8]Zika virus has been linked to Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome.[9]
Some cases may be triggered by the influenza virus and potentially influenza vaccine. An increased incidence of Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome followed influenza immunization that followed the 1976 swine flu outbreak (H1N1 A/NJ/76); 8.8 cases per million recipients developed the complication. Since then, close monitoring of cases attributable to vaccination has demonstrated that influenza itself can induce GBS. Small increases in incidence have been observed in subsequent vaccination campaigns, but not to the same extent.[10] The 2009 flu pandemic vaccine (against pandemic swine flu virus H1N1/PDM09) did not cause a significant increase in cases.[1] The benefits from vaccination to prevent influenza outweigh the small risks of GBS after vaccination.[11] Even those who have previously experienced Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome are considered safe to receive the vaccine in the future.[2] Other vaccines, such as those against poliomyelitis, tetanus or measles, have not been associated with a risk of GBS.[3]
Mechanism[edit]The nerve dysfunction in Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome is caused by an immune attack on the nerve cells of the peripheral nervous system and their support structures. The nerve cells have their body (the soma) in the spinal cord and a long projection (the axon) that carries electrical nerve impulses to the neuromuscular junction where the impulse is transferred to the muscle. Axons are wrapped in a sheath of Schwann cells that contain myelin. Between Schwann cells are gaps (nodes of Ranvier) where the axon is exposed.[1] Different types of Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome feature different types of immune attack. The demyelinating variant (AIDP, see below) features damage to the myelin sheath by white blood cells (T lymphocytes and macrophages); this process is preceded by activation of a group of blood proteins known as complement. In contrast, the axonal variant is mediated by IgG antibodies and complement against the cell membrane covering the axon without direct lymphocyte involvement.[1]
Various antibodies directed at nerve cells have been reported in Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome. In the axonal subtype, these antibodies have been shown to bind to gangliosides, a group of substances found in peripheral nerves. A ganglioside is a molecule consisting of ceramide bound to a small group of hexose-type sugars and containing various numbers of N-acetylneuraminic acid groups. The key four gangliosides against which antibodies have been described are GM1, GD1a, GT1a, and GQ1b, with different anti-ganglioside antibodies being associated with particular features; for instance, GQ1b antibodies have been linked with Miller Fisher variant GBS and related forms including Bickerstaff encephalitis.[1] The production of these antibodies after an infection is probably the result of molecular mimicry, where the immune system is reacting to microbial substances but the resultant antibodies also react with substances occurring naturally in the body.[1][12] After a Campylobacter infection, the body produces antibodies of the IgA class; only a small proportion of people also produce IgG antibodies against bacterial substance cell wall substances (e.g. lipooligosaccharides) that crossreact with human nerve cell gangliosides. It is not currently know how this process escapes central tolerance to gangliosides, which is meant to suppress the production of antibodies against the body's own substances.[13] Not all antiganglioside antibodies cause disease, and it has recently been suggested that some antibodies bind to more than one type of epitope simultaneously (heterodimeric binding) and that this determines the response. Furthermore, the development of pathogenic antibodies may depend on the presence of ofter strains of bacteria in the bowel.[13]
Diagnosis[edit]The diagnosis of Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome depends on findings such as rapid development of muscle paralysis, absent reflexes, absence of fever, and a likely cause. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis (through a lumbar spinal puncture) and nerve conduction studies are supportive investigations commonly performed in the diagnosis of GBS.[1][2][8] Testing for antiganglioside antibodies is often performed, but their contribution to diagnosis is usually limited.[2] Blood tests are generally performed to exclude the possibility of another cause for weakness, such as a low level of potassium in the blood.[1] An abnormally low level of sodium in the blood is often encountered in Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome. This has been attributed to the inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone, leading to relative retention of water.[14]
In many cases, magnetic resonance imaging of the spinal cord is performed to distinguish between Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome and other conditions causing limb weakness, such as spinal cord compression.[1][2] If an MRI scan shows enhancement of the nerve roots, this may be indicative of GBS.[2] In children, this feature is present in 95% of scans, but it is not specific to Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome, so other confirmation is also needed.[3]
Spinal fluid[edit]Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) envelops the brain and the spine, and lumbar puncture is the removal of a small amount of fluid using a needle inserted between the lumbar vertebrae. A characteristic finding in Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome is an elevated protein level with low numbers of white blood cells ("albuminocytological dissociation"); this distinguishes it from a number of other conditions (such as lymphoma and poliomyelitis) where both the protein and the cell count are elevated. Despite this, the CSF is unremarkable in 50% of people with Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome in the first few days of symptoms, and 80% after the first week; therefore, normal results do not exclude the condition.[2]
Repeating the lumbar puncture during the disease course is not recommended. The protein levels may rise after treatment has been administered.[2]
Neurophysiology[edit]Directly assessing nerve conduction of electrical impulses can exclude other causes of acute muscle weakness, as well as distinguish the different types of Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome. Needle electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies may be performed. In the first two weeks, these investigations may not show any abnormality.[2][11] Neurophysiology studies are not required for the diagnosis.[1]
Formal criteria exist for each of the main subtypes of Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome (AIDP and AMAN/AMSAN, see below), but these may misclassify some cases (particularly where there is reversible conduction failure) and therefore changes to these criteria have been proposed.[15] Sometimes, repeat testing may be helpful.[15]
Clinical subtypes[edit]A number of subtypes of Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome are recognized.[2][15] Despite this, many people have overlapping symptoms that can make the classification difficult in individual cases.[4][16] All types have partial forms. For instance, some people experience only isolated eye-movement or coordination problems; these are thought to be a subtype of Miller Fisher syndrome and have similar antiganglioside antibody patterns.[5][16]
Type[2]SymptomsPopulation affectedNerve conduction studiesAntiganglioside antibodiesAcute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP)Sensory symptoms and muscle weakness, often with cranial nerve weakness and autonomic involvementMost common in Europe and North AmericaDemyelinating polyneuropathyNo clear associationAcute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN)Isolated muscle weakness without sensory symptoms in less than 10%; cranial nerve involvement uncommonRare in Europe and North America, substantial proportion (30-65%) in Asia and Central and South America; sometimes called "Chinese paralytic syndrome"Axonal polyneuropathy, normal sensory action potentialGM1a/b, GD1a & GalNac-GD1aAcute motor and sensory axonal neuropathy (AMSAN)Severe muscle weakness similar to AMAN but with sensory loss-Axonal polyneuropathy, reduced or absent sensory action potentialGM1, GD1aPharyngeal-cervical-brachial variantWeakness particularly of the throat muscles, face, neck and shoulder muscles-Generally normal, sometimes axonal neuropathy in armsMostly GT1a, occasionally GQ1b, rarely GD1aMiller Fisher syndromeAtaxia, eye muscle weakness, areflexia but usually no limb weaknessThis variant occurs more commonly in men than in women (2:1 ratio). Cases typically occur in the spring and the average age of occurrence is 43 years old.[17]Generally normal, sometimes discrete changes in sensory conduction or H-reflex detectedGQ1b, GT1aOther diagnostic entities are often included in the spectrum of Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome. Bickerstaff's brainstem encephalitis, for instance, is part of the group of conditions now regarded as forms of Miller Fisher syndrome (anti-GQ1b antibody syndrome),[5] as well as a related condition labelled "acute ataxic hypersomnolence" where coordination problems and drowsiness are present but no muscle weakness can be detected.[16] BBE is characterized by the rapid onset of ophthalmoplegia, ataxia, and disturbance of consciousness, and may be associated with absent or decreased tendon reflexes and as well as Babinski's sign.[16] The course of the disease is usually monophasic, but recurrent episodes have been reported. MRI abnormalities in the brainstem have been reported in 11%.[5]
Whether isolated acute sensory loss can be regarded as a form of Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome is a matter of dispute; this is a rare occurrence compared to GBS with muscle weakness but no sensory symptoms.[11]
Treatment[edit]Immunotherapy[edit]Plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) are the two main immunotherapy treatments for GBS. Plasmapheresis attempts to reduce the body's attack on the nervous system by filtering antibodies out of the bloodstream. Similarly, administration of IVIg neutralizes harmful antibodies and inflammation. These two treatments are equally effective and a combination of the two is not significantly better than either alone.[18] Plasmapheresis speeds recovery when used within four weeks of the onset of symptoms.[19] IVIg works as well as plasmapheresis when started within two weeks of the onset of symptoms, and has fewer complications.[19] IVIg is usually used first because of its ease of administration and safety. Its use is not without risk; occasionally it causes liver inflammation, or in rare cases, kidney failure.[20]Glucocorticoids alone have not been found to be effective in speeding recovery and could potentially delay recovery.[21]
Respiratory failure[edit]Respiratory failure may require intubation of the windpipe and breathing support through mechanical ventilation, generally on an intensive care unit. The need for ventilatory support can be anticipated by measurement of two spirometry-based breathing tests: the forced vital capacity (FVC) and the negative inspiratory force (NIF). An FVC of less than 15 ml per kilogram body weight or an NIF of less than 60 cmH2O are considered markers of severe respiratory failure.[22]
Pain[edit]While pain is common in people with Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome, studies comparing different types of pain medication are insufficient to make a recommendation as to which should be used.[23]
Rehabilitation[edit]Following the acute phase, around 40% of people require intensive rehabilitation with the help of a multidisciplinary team to focus on improving activities of daily living (ADLs).[24] Studies into the subject have been limited, but it is likely that intensive rehabilitation improves long-term symptoms.[25] Teams may include physical therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, psychologists, other allied health professionals and nurses. The team usually works under the supervision of a neurologist or rehabilitation physician directing treatment goals.[24]
Physiotherapy interventions include strength, endurance and gait training with graduated increases in mobility, maintenance of posture and alignment as well as joint function. Occupational therapy aims to improve everyday function with domestic and community tasks as well as driving and work. Psychologists may provide counseling and support. Home modifications, gait aids, orthotics and splints may be provided.[24]Speech-language pathology input may be required in those with speech and swallowing problems, as well as to support communication in those who require ongoing breathing support (often through a tracheostomy). Nutritional support may be provided by the team and by dietitians. Psychological interventions may be required for anxiety, fear and depression.[24]
Prognosis[edit]Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome can lead to death as a result of a number of complications: severe infections, blood clots, and cardiac arrest likely due to autonomic neuropathy. Despite optimum care this occurs in about 5% of cases.[1]
There is a variation in the rate and extent of recovery.[1] The prognosis of Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome is determined mainly by age (those over 40 may have a poorer outcome), and by the severity of symptoms after two weeks. Furthermore, those who experienced diarrhea before the onset of disease have a worse prognosis.[6] On the nerve conduction study, the presence of conduction block predicts poorer outcome at 6 months.[6] In those who have received intravenous immunoglobulins, a smaller increase in IgG in the blood two weeks after administration is associated with poorer mobility outcomes at six months than those whose IgG level increased substantially.[6] If the disease continues to progress beyond four weeks, or there are multiple fluctuations in the severity (more than two in eight weeks), the diagnosis may be chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy which is treated differently.[2]
In research studies, the outcome from an episode of Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome is recorded on a scale from 0-6, where 0 denotes completely healthy, 1 very minor symptoms but able to run, 2 able to walk but not to run, 3 requiring a stick or other support, 4 confined to bed or chair, 5 requiring long-term respiratory support, 6 death.[26]
The health-related quality of life (HRQL) after an attack of Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome can be significantly impaired. About a fifth are unable to walk unaided after six months, and many experience chronic pain, fatigue and difficulty with work, education, hobbies and social activities.[27] HRQL improves significantly in the first year.[27]
Epidemiology[edit]In Western countries, the number of new episodes per year has been estimated to be between 0.89 and 1.89 cases per 100,000 people. Children and young adults are less likely to be affected than the elderly: the risk increases by 20% for every decade of life.[28] Men are more likely to develop Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome than women; the relative risk for men is 1.78 compared to women.[1][28]
The distribution of subtypes varies between countries. In Europe and the United States, 60''80% of people with Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome have the demyelinating subtype (AIDP), and AMAN affects only a small number (6''7%). In Asia and Central and South America, that proportion is significantly higher (30''65%). This may be related to the exposure to different kinds of infection, but also the genetic characteristics of that population.[2] Miller Fisher variant is thought to be more common in Southeast Asia.[1][5]
History[edit]French physician Jean-Baptiste Octave Landry first described the disorder in 1859.[30] In 1916, Georges Guillain, Jean Alexandre Barr(C), and Andr(C) Strohl diagnosed two soldiers with the illness and described the key diagnostic abnormality'--albuminocytological dissociation'--of increased spinal fluid protein concentration but a normal cell count.[4][8][31]
Canadian neurologist C. Miller Fisher described the variant that bears his name in 1956.[5][32] British neurologist Edwin Bickerstaff, based in Birmingham, described the brainstem encephalitis type in 1951 with Philip Cloake, and made further contributions with another paper in 1957.[5][33][34] Guillain had reported on some of these features prior to their full description in 1938.[5] Further subtypes have been described since then, such as the form featuring pure ataxia and the type causing pharyngeal-cervical-brachial weakness.[5] The axonal subtype was first described in the 1990s.[12]
Diagnostic criteria were developed in the late 1970s after the series of cases associated with swine flu vaccination. These were refined in 1990.[2][35] The case definition was revised by the Brighton Collaboration for vaccine safety in 2009,[36] but is mainly intended for research.[2] Plasma exchange was first used in 1978 and its benefit confirmed in larger studies in 1985.[37] Intravenous immunoglobulins were introduced in 1988, and its non-inferiority compared to plasma exchange was demonstrated in studies in the early 1990s.[37]
Research directions[edit]The understanding of the disease mechanism of Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome has evolved in recent years.[11] Development of new treatments has been limited since immunotherapy was introduced in the 1980s and 1990s.[11][37] Current research is aimed at demonstrating whether some people who have received IVIg might benefit from a second course if the antibody levels measured in blood after treatment have only shown a small increase.[6][37] Studies of the immunosuppressive drug mycophenolate mofetil, brain-derived neurotrophic factor and interferon beta (IFN-β) have not demonstrated benefit to support their widespread use.[37]
An animal model (experimental autoimmune neuritis in rats) is often used for studies, and some agents have shown promise: glatiramer acetate, quinpramine, fasudil (an inhibitor of the Rho-kinase enzyme),[11] and the heart drug flecainide.[37] An antibody targeted against the anti-GD3 antiganglioside antibody has shown benefit in laboratory research.[11] Given the role of the complement system in GBS, it has been suggested that complement inhibitors (such as the drug eculizumab) may be effective.[37]
References[edit]^ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwYuki, Nobuhiro; Hartung, Hans-Peter (14 June 2012). "Guillain''Barr(C) Syndrome". New England Journal of Medicine366 (24): 2294''2304. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1114525. PMID 22694000. ^ abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzaavan den Berg, Bianca; Walgaard, Christa; Drenthen, Judith; Fokke, Christiaan; Jacobs, Bart C.; van Doorn, Pieter A. (15 July 2014). "Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome: pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis". Nature Reviews Neurology10 (8): 469''482. doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2014.121. PMID 25023340. ^ abcRyan, Monique M. (December 2013). "Pediatric Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome". Current Opinion in Pediatrics25 (6): 689''693. doi:10.1097/MOP.0b013e328365ad3f. PMID 24240288. ^ abcdevan Doorn, Pieter A; Ruts, Liselotte; Jacobs, Bart C (October 2008). "Clinical features, pathogenesis, and treatment of Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome". The Lancet Neurology7 (10): 939''950. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(08)70215-1. PMID 18848313. ^ abcdefghiShahrizaila, N.; Yuki, N. (15 September 2012). "Bickerstaff brainstem encephalitis and Fisher syndrome: anti-GQ1b antibody syndrome". Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry84 (5): 576''583. doi:10.1136/jnnp-2012-302824. PMID 22984203. ^ abcdevan Doorn PA, Kuitwaard K, Walgaard C, et al. (May 2010). "IVIG treatment and prognosis in Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome". Journal of Clinical Immunology. 30 Suppl 1: S74''8. doi:10.1007/s10875-010-9407-4. PMC 2883091. PMID 20396937. ^Carod-Artal FJ, Wichmann O, Farrar J, Gasc"n J (September 2013). "Neurological complications of dengue virus infection". The Lancet Neurology12 (9): 906''19. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(13)70150-9. PMID 23948177. ^ abcEldar AH, Chapman J (April 2014). "Guillain Barr(C) syndrome and other immune mediated neuropathies: diagnosis and classification". Autoimmunity Reviews13 (4-5): 525''30. doi:10.1016/j.autrev.2014.01.033. PMID 24434363. ^Kohl, Alain; Gatherer, Derek (18 December 2015). "Zika virus: a previously slow pandemic spreads rapidly through the Americas". Journal of General Virology. doi:10.1099/jgv.0.000381. ^Lehmann HC, Hartung HP, Kieseier BC, Hughes RA (Sep 2010). "Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome following influenza vaccination". The Lancet Infectious Diseases10 (9): 643''51. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(10)70140-7. PMID 20798646. ^ abcdefgRinaldi, Simon (June 2013). "Update on Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome". Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System18 (2): 99''112. doi:10.1111/jns5.12020. PMID 23781958. ^ abKuwabara S, Yuki N (December 2013). "Axonal Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome: concepts and controversies". The Lancet Neurology12 (12): 1180''8. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(13)70215-1. PMID 24229616. ^ abWillison, Hugh J.; Goodyear, Carl S. (September 2013). "Glycolipid antigens and autoantibodies in autoimmune neuropathies". Trends in Immunology34 (9): 453''459. doi:10.1016/j.it.2013.05.001. PMID 23770405. ^Spasovski G, Vanholder R, Allolio B, et al. (25 Feb 2014). "Clinical practice guideline on diagnosis and treatment of hyponatraemia". European Journal of Endocrinology170 (3): G1''47. doi:10.1530/EJE-13-1020. ^ abcUncini A, Kuwabara S (August 2012). "Electrodiagnostic criteria for Guillain-Barr¨ syndrome: a critical revision and the need for an update". Clinical Neurophysiology123 (8): 1487''95. doi:10.1016/j.clinph.2012.01.025. PMID 22480600. ^ abcdWakerley BR, Uncini A, Yuki N; GBS Classification Group (September 2014). "Guillain-Barr(C) and Miller Fisher syndromes--new diagnostic classification". Nature Reviews Neurology.10 (9): 537''44. doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2014.138. PMID 25072194. ^Mori M, Kuwabara S, Yuki N (January 2012). "Fisher syndrome: clinical features, immunopathogenesis and management". Expert Rev Neurother12 (1): 39''51. doi:10.1586/ern.11.182. PMID 22149656. ^Hughes, RA; Swan, AV; van Doorn, PA (Sep 19, 2014). "Intravenous immunoglobulin for Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome.". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews9: CD002063. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD002063.pub6. PMID 25238327. ^ abHughes RA, Wijdicks EF, Barohn R, Benson E, Cornblath DR, Hahn AF, Meythaler JM, Miller RG, Sladky JT, Stevens JC (September 2003). "Practice parameter: immunotherapy for Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome: report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology". Neurology61 (6): 736''40. doi:10.1212/WNL.61.6.736. PMID 14504313. ^Dantal J (October 2013). "Intravenous immunoglobulins: in-depth review of excipients and acute kidney injury risk". American Journal of Nephrology38 (4): 275''84. doi:10.1159/000354893. PMID 24051350. ^Hughes, RA; van Doorn, PA (15 August 2012). "Corticosteroids for Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome.". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews8: CD001446. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001446.pub4. PMID 22895921. ^Dimachkie MM, Barohn RJ (May 2013). "Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome and variants". Neurology Clinics31 (2): 491''510. doi:10.1016/j.ncl.2013.01.005. PMC 3939842. PMID 23642721. ^Liu, J; Wang, LN; McNicol, ED (20 October 2013). "Pharmacological treatment for pain in Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome.". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews10: CD009950. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009950.pub2. PMID 24142399. ^ abcdKhan, F.; Amatya, B. (September 2012). "Rehabilitation interventions in patients with acute demyelinating inflammatory polyneuropathy: a systematic review.". European journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine48 (3): 507''22. PMID 22820829. ^Khan, F; Ng, L; Amatya, B; Brand, C; Turner-Stokes, L (6 October 2010). "Multidisciplinary care for Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome.". The Cochrane database of systematic reviews (10): CD008505. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD008505.pub2. PMID 20927774. ^Hughes RA, Swan AV, Raphal JC, Annane D, van Koningsveld R, van Doorn PA (Sep 2007). "Immunotherapy for Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome: a systematic review". Brain130: 2245''57. doi:10.1093/brain/awm004. PMID 17337484. ^ abDarweesh, Sirwan K. L.; Polinder, Suzanne; Mulder, Maxim J. H. L.; Baena, Cristina P.; van Leeuwen, Nikki; Franco, Oscar H.; Jacobs, Bart C.; van Doorn, Pieter A. (March 2014). "Health-related quality of life in Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome patients: a systematic review". Journal of the Peripheral Nervous System19 (1): 24''35. doi:10.1111/jns5.12051. PMID 24456426. ^ abSejvar, James J.; Baughman, Andrew L.; Wise, Matthew; Morgan, Oliver W. (2011). "Population incidence of Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis". Neuroepidemiology36 (2): 123''133. doi:10.1159/000324710. PMID 21422765. ^Goetz, C. G. (1 May 1998). "Georges Guillain's neurologic exploration of America". Neurology50 (5): 1451''1455. doi:10.1212/WNL.50.5.1451. PMID 9596004. ^Landry, Jean-Baptiste (1859). "Note sur la paralysie ascendante aigu". Gazette Hebdomadaire de M(C)decine et de Chirurgie6: 472''474, 486''488. ^Guillain, G.; Barr(C), J.; Strohl, A. (1916). "Sur un syndrome de radiculon(C)vrite avec hyperalbuminose du liquide c(C)phalo-rachidien sans r(C)action cellulaire. Remarques sur les caract¨res cliniques et graphiques des r(C)flexes tendineux". Bulletins et m(C)moires de la Soci(C)t(C) des M(C)decins des H´pitaux de Paris40: 1462''70. ^Fisher M (1956). "An unusual variant of acute idiopathic polyneuritis (syndrome of ophthalmolplegia, ataxia and areflexia)". N. Engl. J. Med.255 (2): 57''65. doi:10.1056/NEJM195607122550201. PMID 13334798. ^Bickerstaff, E.R.; Cloake, P.C. (14 July 1951). "Mesencephalitis and rhombencephalitis.". British Medical Journal2 (4723): 77''81. doi:10.1136/bmj.2.4723.77. PMC 2069534. PMID 14848512. ^Bickerstaff, E.R. (15 June 1957). "Brain-stem encephalitis; further observations on a grave syndrome with benign prognosis.". British Medical Journal1 (5032): 1384''7. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.5032.1384. PMC 1973653. PMID 13436795. ^Asbury, Arthur K.; Cornblath, David R. (1990). "Assessment of current diagnostic criteria for Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome.". Annals of Neurology. 27 Suppl: S21''4. doi:10.1002/ana.410270707. PMID 2194422. ^Sejvar, James J.; Kohl, Katrin S.; Gidudu, Jane; Amato, Anthony; Bakshi, Nandini; Baxter, Roger; Burwen, Dale R.; Cornblath, David R.; Cleerbout, Jan; Edwards, Kathryn M.; Heininger, Ulrich; Hughes, Richard; Khuri-Bulos, Najwa; Korinthenberg, Rudolf; Law, Barbara J.; Munro, Ursula; Maltezou, Helena C.; Nell, Patricia; Oleske, James; Sparks, Robert; Velentgas, Priscilla; Vermeer, Patricia; Wiznitzer, Max (January 2011). "Guillain''Barr(C) syndrome and Fisher syndrome: Case definitions and guidelines for collection, analysis, and presentation of immunization safety data". Vaccine29 (3): 599''612. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2010.06.003. PMID 20600491. ^ abcdefgWalgaard, Christa; Jacobs, Bart C; van Doorn, Pieter A (March 2011). "Emerging drugs for Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome". Expert Opinion on Emerging Drugs16 (1): 105''120. doi:10.1517/14728214.2011.531699. PMID 21352072. Further reading[edit]Steinberg, Gareth J. Parry, Joel S. (2006). Guillain-Barr(C) syndrome: from diagnosis to recovery (American Academy of Neurology). New York, N.Y.: Pub Group West. ISBN 978-1932603569. External links[edit]
Colombia: 3,177 Pregnant Women With Zika; No Microcephaly - The New York Times
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 21:52
BOGOTA, Colombia '-- Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos said Saturday that there's no evidence Zika has caused any cases of the birth defect known as microcephaly in his country, though it has diagnosed 3,177 pregnant women with the virus.
Santos also announced that a U.S. medical-scientific team will arrive in Colombia to help investigate the mosquito-borne virus.
Brazilian officials say they suspect Zika is behind a seemingly unusual number of microcephaly cases, in which children are born with unusually small heads. The link is not confirmed, but it has helped prompt the World Health Organization to declare an emergency over the virus.
Santos says Zika apparently has affected more than 25,600 Colombians overall.
Colombian officials said Friday that three people had died of the paralyzing Guillain-Barre syndrome they attributed to cases of Zika.
To date, the mosquito-borne virus has spread to more than 20 countries in the Americas.
With global concern over the Zika virus growing, health officials are warning pregnant women to be careful about who they kiss and calling on men to use condoms with pregnant partners if they have visited countries where the virus is present.
The flurry of recommendations began in Brazil, where a top health official said that scientists have found live virus in saliva and urine samples, and the possibility it could be spread by the two body fluids requires further study.
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GOOGLE WILL BE LIABLE-Google's Cars Now Qualify As Their Own Drivers - Forbes
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 21:42
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Obama Boosts Self-Driving Cars With $4 Billion Investment - Forbes
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 21:42
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Are charter schools the new subprime loans? (Think 'The Big Short') - The Washington Post
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 21:38
With ''The Big Short'' doing well in theaters '-- a film about the near collapse of the financial system because of the bursting of a housing and credit bubble '-- here's a piece that asks the simple question: ''Are charter schools the new subprime loans?'' The post by Jennifer Berkshire refers to a new study by four academics titled, ''Are We Heading Toward a Charter School 'Bubble'?: Lessons From the Subprime Mortgage Crisis.'' This is a Q & A with Preston C. Green III, the lead author of the report and the John and Carla Klein Professor of Urban Education at the University of Connecticut's Neag School of Education. Berkshire, a freelance journalist and public education advocate, worked for six years editing a newspaper for the American Federation of Teachers in Massachusetts. She writes the EduShyster blog, where this first appeared. (The other three authors of the report are Bruce Baker of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Joseph Oluwole of Montclair State University; and Julie F. Mead of the University of Wisconsin at Madison
Jennifer Berkshire: It's unusual to see the words ''hair-raising'' and ''academic study'' in tandem, but your new study merits that marriage. You and your co-authors make the case that, just as with subprime mortgages, the federal government is encouraging the expansion of charter schools with little oversight, and the result could be a charter school ''bubble'' that blows up in urban communities. Do I have it right?
Preston Green: The problem of subprime mortgages began in part because the government tried to increase homeownership for poor people and minorities by enabling private entities to offer more mortgages without assuming the risk. Under the old system, the mortgage originator was still at risk if the mortgage went into default. With subprime, they were able to spread that risk by selling the mortgages on the secondary market. You had all these mortgage originators that could issue more mortgages without careful screening because they no longer had skin in the game. Now how are charter schools similar to subprime? In the charter school context, charter school authorizers are like mortgage originators.
Berkshire: There's a great moment in the new movie The Big Short when Selena Gomez turns to the camera and explains to the world what collateralized debt obligations are. Here's your opportunity to do the same, but for the convoluted world of charter school authorizing.
Green: Promoters of charter school expansion are calling for an increase in independent authorizers, such as nonprofits and universities. Supporters of charter school expansion believe that multiple authorizers will issue more charters, in part, because they are less hostile to charter schools than school districts. However, our research suggests another reason that multiple authorizers result in more charter schools: multiple authorizers are like mortgage originators with no skin in the game. In other words, these authorizers don't assume the risk of charter school failure. That means that if something happens with the charter school, the authorizers don't have to clean up the mess. Multiple authorizers may also weaken screening by giving charter schools the chance to find authorizers who ''won't ask questions.'' In fact, CREDO has found that states with multiple authorizers experienced significantly lower academic growth. CREDO suggested that this finding might be due to the possibility that multiple authorizers gave charter schools the chance to shop around to find authorizers who wouldn't provide rigorous oversight.
Berkshire: Your paper raises the spectre that a charter school ''bubble'' may be forming, particularly in urban areas where these schools are expanding the most rapidly, and often with the least oversight. Can you explain how a charter school bubble would form? And how can I bet against it?
Green: There is an intense push to increase the number of charter schools in Black, urban communities, where they're very popular because of the dissatisfaction with traditional public schools. Because of this desire for more educational options, these communities are more likely to support policies that could lead to charter school bubbles forming. In fact, I would argue that we are at ''ground zero'' for the formation of such bubbles. Supporters of charter schools are using their popularity in black, urban communities to push for states to remove their charter cap restrictions and to allow multiple authorizers. At the same time, private investors are lobbying states to change their rules to encourage charter school growth. The result is what we describe as a policy ''bubble,'' where the combination of multiple authorizers and a lack of oversight can end up creating an abundance of poor-performing schools in particular communities.
Berkshire: What's fascinating and frankly disturbing about your research is how well the subprime analogy fits, down to the edu-equivalent of predatory lending practices in particular communities. But it seems important to point out that these bubbles have their origin in worthy policy goals, like increasing home ownership, or sending more kids to college. Who would be against that?
Green: Who would be against that? That's the power of the choice argument. Folks in poor communities and Black, urban communities obviously want better opportunities for their kids. And I don't blame them for really pushing for better options. But I do feel that there are people taking advantage of their desire to get better opportunities by pushing forward more options for charters without ensuring that these schools are sufficiently screened. The argument that I hear all the time that drives me crazy is: ''Obviously this is a good choice. Look at all the parents who are standing in line.'' That's just evidence that people want a better education. That doesn't mean that they're actually getting it. What I'd love to see happen is that we have programs and oversight in place to ensure that their choices have meaning. I'm afraid that we're going down a path right now where we may not be setting up those mechanisms to provide those assurances.
Berkshire: You make a provocative argument that what could ultimately cause the charter bubble to burst in these communities is lawsuits, including those filed by parents against charter schools on civil rights grounds. Explain.
Green: You're already starting to see that happen. In New Orleans, for example, charters have been sued for failing to provide students with disabilities with an education. This is such a problem that the U.S. Department of Education issued a guidance letter last year reminding charter schools that if they receive federal money, they also have to comply with federal statutes such as Section 504 or Title 6. You may also start seeing state constitutional challenges, like we saw in Washington state. Where I see this playing out is that if you have too many charters or options that aren't public having a negative impact on the education system as a whole, you may start seeing challenges in these communities saying that the state is failing to provide children with a system of public education, or that the options provided aren't of sufficient quality to satisfy the state's obligation to provide a public education. The assumption is that if kids fail to get an education in a charter school they can return to the traditional system. But what happens if you don't have that option? You may soon see that develop in all of these urban settings. The really scary scenario that I could see happening is that you end up with all of these options that aren't traditional public schools with insufficient oversight by the authorizers and no real pressure to get these schools to perform well.
Berkshire: The paper ends with some very helpful suggestions about steps that might be taken to avert a charter school bubble. Since the subprime mortgage crisis taught us that your advice will be completely ignored, I want to give you the opportunity to share here.
Green: If we're going to have multiple authorizers, we have to impose standards to ensure that they do a good job, because without those standards there is really no incentive for them to ensure that these schools are operating in an acceptable manner. I should also mention putting sanctions in place to prevent the really squirrely practice of ''authorizer hopping,'' where schools are closed by one authorizer and then find another authorizer, which has happened quite a bit in places where oversight has been really weak, like Ohio. Further, authorizers should guard against predatory chartering practices, including fining students for discipline violations.
Berkshire: As someone who predicted the subprime crisis (who didn't???), I'm going to go out on a limb and predict how this paper will be received. You, sir, will be characterized as an ''anti-charter ideologue.'' Is that an accurate description?
Green: I used to be much more pro charter than I am now. I was really, really, really pro charter. I see my research as explaining the systems aspect of charters. I look at how these schools fit into the system of public schools, and at what terms like ''public'' and ''private'' mean in terms of oversight and student rights. This particular paper lays out how instances of fraud and mistreatment of students can happen systematically'--how they're embedded in the system and not just examples of rogue charter school operators.
Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.
The not-quite-solved mystery of the severed feet
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 21:26
Turns out all those detached feet in sneakers that have washed up on B.C. shores since 2007 aren't such a mystery after all '-- except for two feet belonging to the same unknown man.
''We may eventually figure it out,'' said Bill Inkster, the former dentist who manages the identification unit for the B.C. Coroners Service.
One foot belonging to the unidentified person '-- DNA testing revealed it was a man '-- washed up in False Creek near the Edgewater Casino in August 2011. The man's other foot turned up almost a year later at the dock by the Plaza of Nations.
''I have a condo right close to False Creek so I think about it a lot,'' said Inkster, whose team at the coroners service has seemingly done the impossible by identifying 10 other sneaker-clad feet that have floated onto B.C.'s shores since 2007. The feet belonged to seven different people.
But the identity of the eighth remains unknown. B.C. keeps a DNA database of people missing and believed dead, but the feet didn't match any of those.
They were able to determine that the man was wearing a pair of size-nine sneakers bought at Walmart in July 2010 or some time after. Because the feet both washed up in False Creek, Inkster is convinced the body is still there under the water.
''There's very little in and out current,'' Inkster said, adding police divers searched the area after the feet were found. ''But it was too murky and it's a huge area to look. Every summer, I feel like getting flippers and a mask and going down there to look for the rest of this guy.''
There was nothing suspicious in the deaths of any of the identified victims, Inkster said. The phenomenon of the feet in sneakers started in August 2007, when a girl found a foot on the beach at Jedediah Island, northwest of Vancouver.
''They're not severed, they're disarticulated,'' Inkster explains. As the body decomposes the feet are separated from the rest of the body. Time was, the feet would have just stayed underwater with the rest of the body. But Nike Air, and all those other sneakers that followed, changed that with designs that featured little air pockets.
''It was just the sudden appearance of the very buoyant shoes,'' Inkster said. ''It turned them into little life jackets, so (the feet) tend to bob up. Historically, they would just lay there.''
With the sneaker-clad feet, ''there's usually a sock and some bones, no teeth, no fingerprints, no ID '-- how in the world do you even start to guess who that is?''
B.C.'s unique missing persons DNA database helps, he said, and the coroners service has an anthropologist who helps with investigations by determining approximately how long each foot has been in the water. Exposure to water can degrade the DNA in human remains, but so far DNA matches have been the key to all their identifications.
''We've had a foot showing up, let's say somewhere out on the Fraser River, and then a year later a foot showing up in the Gulf Islands. But they're from the same victim. That's happened,'' Inkster said.
''Once you've determined who this is, you fill in the story of that person's life, and the story of their last moments before they went missing.''
Sadly, the feet generally belong to suicide victims. ''That's the common theme.''
This isn't just a B.C. phenomenon. Inkster has heard of similar cases elsewhere in the world. The most recent report came last May from Seattle, where volunteers picking up trash at Elliott Bay north of downtown found a foot in a white New Balance sneaker.
''It's just a function of waterways. We've had them in places like Norway, where there are a lot of islands and waterways. Wherever there's a lot of high bridges.''
Which bring us back to that guy who may or may not still be in False Creek. If he were suicidal, would he really have jumped off the comparatively low Cambie Bridge?
''If there's anyone who has any clues to this person, we'd love to hear,'' Inkster said. ''I kind of obsess about the last one.''
gschaefer@theprovince.com
twitter.com/glenschaefer
Every Student Succeeds Act To Fund Turkish Islamist's Charter Schools | The Daily Caller
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 21:21
Charter schools also attract wealthy foreign nationals who can run American schools at the expense of taxpayers. These include Turkish investors affiliated with Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish Islamist who is at the helm of the largest chain of charter schools in the U.S.
From its first U.S. charter in 1999 the Gulen Movement, a secretive and politically powerful religious group from Turkey headed by Gulen, now has a network of around 150 publicly funded charter schools in 26 states with over 60,000 students. Principals and school board members are usually Turkish males while Turkish teachers and employees are brought to the U.S., generally with H-1B guest worker visas.
As of October, 2015 there were 19 Gulen schools in seven states being investigated for a myriad of issues including hiring practices, financial mismanagement, curriculum, irregularities in charter applications, cash kickbacks from Turkish teachers to the Gulen movement, and improper visa practices.
The GM has a closely knit network of organizations run by Turkish people that provide contractors for building and renovating schools and numerous vendors for most all aspects ofschool business.
Hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are being siphoned off each year. In Texas the Cosmos Foundation under the name of Harmony Schools receives more than$100 millionannually in taxpayer funds.
The U.S. Gulen schools were openly discussed in 2009 on a Turkish-language website ('Sabah'). The goal for Gulen's schools is to ''teach tens of thousands of people the Turkish language and our national anthem, introduce them to our culture and win them over.'' Gulen schools regularly sponsor student trips to Turkey. An investigation byUSA Todayrevealed that the GM has secretly and illegally funded as many as 200 trips to Turkey for members of Congress since 2008.
Even though outwardly Gulen schools do not appear to teach Islamic ideology, teachers and parents have complained that the main goal of the schools is to promote love for everything Turkish and for Islam.
In theSyracuse Academy of Scienceis a prayer room with a library of Fethullah Gulen's books. Prayer rugs are shelved nearby for Muslim teachers and administrators to pray at least twice a day on school property funded by the American taxpayer.
In Inver Grove Heights, Minn., a substitute teacher namedAmanda Getzreported the activities at Tarek Ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA), a K-8th grade charter school funded by U.S. taxpayers.
The teacher said there is no clear separation of academics studied during the school day and Islamic studies after school. Assignments for both are written on the board next to each other.
She said she was instructed to take students in groups of four to the bathroom for ''ritual washing'' before lunch on Fridays (the Muslim holy day). Afterward, ''teachers led the kids into the gym, where a man dressed in white with a white cap'' led the students in Muslim prayers.
Fethullah Gulen and his Gulen Movement have had enormous influence in the regression of Turkey from a secular democracy to a jihadist state. Much of this is because of GM's vast network of financial institutions, banks and business organizations, and media entities. The most critical component of the empire is educational institutions in Turkey, where 75 percent of prep school students are enrolled in Gulen institutions.
The Gulen educational movement has spread to America and is being funded by the American people.
According to national security expert Frank J. Gaffney, president of Center for Security Policy, ''Fethullah Gulen's movement is just one more manifestation of what the Muslim Brotherhood has called civilization jihad.''
With ESSA providing federal funding to expand the charter school program, new Gulen schools will be opened '' and new opportunities for civilization jihad.
Charter schools also attract wealthy foreign nationals who can run American schools at the expense of taxpayers. These include Turkish investors affiliated with Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish Islamist who is at the helm of the largest chain of charter schools in the U.S.
From its first U.S. charter in 1999 the Gulen Movement, a secretive and politically powerful religious group from Turkey headed by Gulen, now has a network of around 150 publicly funded charter schools in 26 states with over 60,000 students. Principals and school board members are usually Turkish males while Turkish teachers and employees are brought to the U.S., generally with H-1B guest worker visas.
As of October, 2015 there were 19 Gulen schools in seven states being investigated for a myriad of issues including hiring practices, financial mismanagement, curriculum, irregularities in charter applications, cash kickbacks from Turkish teachers to the Gulen movement, and improper visa practices.
The GM has a closely knit network of organizations run by Turkish people that provide contractors for building and renovating schools and numerous vendors for most all aspects ofschool business.
Hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars are being siphoned off each year. In Texas the Cosmos Foundation under the name of Harmony Schools receives more than$100 millionannually in taxpayer funds.
The U.S. Gulen schools were openly discussed in 2009 on a Turkish-language website ('Sabah'). The goal for Gulen's schools is to ''teach tens of thousands of people the Turkish language and our national anthem, introduce them to our culture and win them over.'' Gulen schools regularly sponsor student trips to Turkey. An investigation byUSA Todayrevealed that the GM has secretly and illegally funded as many as 200 trips to Turkey for members of Congress since 2008.
Even though outwardly Gulen schools do not appear to teach Islamic ideology, teachers and parents have complained that the main goal of the schools is to promote love for everything Turkish and for Islam.
In theSyracuse Academy of Scienceis a prayer room with a library of Fethullah Gulen's books. Prayer rugs are shelved nearby for Muslim teachers and administrators to pray at least twice a day on school property funded by the American taxpayer.
In Inver Grove Heights, Minn., a substitute teacher namedAmanda Getzreported the activities at Tarek Ibn Ziyad Academy (TIZA), a K-8th grade charter school funded by U.S. taxpayers.
The teacher said there is no clear separation of academics studied during the school day and Islamic studies after school. Assignments for both are written on the board next to each other.
She said she was instructed to take students in groups of four to the bathroom for ''ritual washing'' before lunch on Fridays (the Muslim holy day). Afterward, ''teachers led the kids into the gym, where a man dressed in white with a white cap'' led the students in Muslim prayers.
Fethullah Gulen and his Gulen Movement have had enormous influence in the regression of Turkey from a secular democracy to a jihadist state. Much of this is because of GM's vast network of financial institutions, banks and business organizations, and media entities. The most critical component of the empire is educational institutions in Turkey, where 75 percent of prep school students are enrolled in Gulen institutions.
The Gulen educational movement has spread to America and is being funded by the American people.
According to national security expert Frank J. Gaffney, president of Center for Security Policy, ''Fethullah Gulen's movement is just one more manifestation of what the Muslim Brotherhood has called civilization jihad.''
With ESSA providing federal funding to expand the charter school program, new Gulen schools will be opened '' and new opportunities for civilization jihad.
COMEY-Seat Of Power: Coach K's Corner - Forbes
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:33
Forbes WelcomeHTTP/1.1 200 OK Content-Type: text/html;charset=utf-8 Content-Language: en-US Content-Encoding: gzip Vary: Accept-Encoding Server: Backend: templates Content-Length: 1055 Accept-Ranges: bytes X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN X-Cnection: close Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:33:00 GMT Connection: keep-alive
'I will run Uber out' vows London mayoral candidate as taxis gridlock streets again - CNET
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:13
As Nelson's Column looms in the distance, a Parisian taxi joins the iconic London cabs blockading Whitehall, seat of British government, in a protest against Uber.
Richard Trenholm / CNETA candidate to be the next mayor of London took to the city's streets today to vow he would "run Uber out" if elected -- but organisers of an anti-Uber blockade by taxi drivers didn't welcome his presence.
From 2.30pm, hundreds of London's iconic taxis gridlocked Whitehall, the street lined with government departments and ministries that connects tourist-packed Trafalgar Square with Parliament Square, seat of British government. Drivers' organisations and trade unions led the protest, the latest in a series of global demonstrations protesting that ride-hailing apps like Uber face few of the strict regulations placed on licensed taxi drivers.
As drivers, police, tourists, press and bemused office workers mingled among the stationary taxis, Mayoral candidate George Galloway took up a megaphone and drew a small crowd for his remarks. Wearing his signature black fedora, Galloway announced, "If I am mayor of London, I will run Uber out!" to cheers from assembled drivers. He then repeated the claim on Twitter.
However, despite his promise of support for the taxi cause, Galloway's presence was not welcomed by the organisers of the demonstration. "We did not invite Mr Galloway," Trevor Merralls, campaign manager of the United Cabbies Group, told me after giving his own speech to the assembled cabbies. "We're politically neutral...this is not about who's the next mayor."
"He's like all politicians," said Merralls of what he saw as Galloway's political opportunism. "He's prostituting himself and he's prostituting on our issues...he's making cabbies into political footballs."
Left-wing politician Galloway is something of a fringe candidate in the race to become London's mayor, but he's a highly visible figure in British politics because of his outspoken rhetoric and chequered past. Currently leader of the left-wing Respect party, he is campaigning for mayoral elections taking place in May, when the current mayor, Boris Johnson, will step down.
Incumbent Mayor Johnson has publicly backed the taxi industry against Uber, but during his tenure the city's transit authority, Transport for London, has come under fire from cabbies for failing to regulate ride-hailing apps. In a key decision in October, British courts backed TFL's controversial ruling that the app used by Uber drivers to calculate fares does not amount to a fare meter. A meter is one of the key differentiating elements between a licensed, metered taxi and an unlicensed private hire car.
"I will use all the tools that have been used against you," Galloway promised drivers, condemning TFL and calling for further legal action.
As I walked down Whitehall past rows and rows of stilled black cabs, I couldn't help but feel like I'd been here before. Because I had: The scene was identical to similar protests in April 2015 and June 2014. Those scenes have been repeated in multiple cities on various occasions as taxi drivers protest San Francisco-based Uber, which operates in more than 300 cities around the world.
Just this week, there have been demonstrations both for and against Uber in Paris, and a Parisian taxi today made the journey to London to show solidarit(C) with Britain's cabbies.
Today's protest is unlikely to be the last. "Disrupting the public isn't something we take lightly," Merralls told me. But as he assured applauding drivers through a megaphone, "We've been talking and talking and talking [with regulators]...we have no option but to take it to the streets."
The public doesn't seem to fully understand the issues, however. "I don't see what's so bad about Uber," I overheard one office worker saying to a friend as they walked down Whitehall with their supermarket meal-deal lunches in hand. "They're full of s**t", sneered another passerby to a friend regarding the cabbies.
At the time of writing, Uber has yet to respond to a request for comment.
Vowing that the drivers' representatives would continue the fight, Merralls took to his megaphone to announce, "We're going nowhere." Looking at both the gridlocked streets and the political gridlock, I'd say he's right in more ways than one.
Feminist FrequencyAbout
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 20:01
Feminist Frequency is a video webseries that explores the representations of women in pop culture narratives. The video series was created by Anita Sarkeesian in 2009 and largely serves as an educational resource to encourage critical media literacy and provide resources for media makers to improve their works of fiction.
Feminist Frequency is a 501(c)3 non profit charity and all videos are available on YouTube to watch and share for free without any advertising. These educational videos are made possible by generous donations from viewers.
TeamAnita Sarkeesian is a media critic and the creator of Feminist Frequency, a video webseries that explores the representations of women in pop culture narratives. Her work focuses on deconstructing the stereotypes and tropes associated with women in popular culture as well as highlighting issues surrounding the targeted harassment of women in online and gaming spaces. Anita earned her bachelor's degree in Communication Studies at California State University Northridge and her Master's degree in Social and Political Thought at York University.
Anita lectures and presents at universities, conferences and game development studios internationally. She's been a presenter and panelist at various fan, media and technology conferences and has also facilitated and taught multi-day filmmaking workshops. She has been interviewed and featured in publications such as Forbes, Wired, The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Her videos are freely available via the Feminist Frequency YouTube channel and widely serve as educational tools in high school and university classrooms.
Anita was the recipient of the 2014 Game Developers Choice Ambassador Award, she was given a 2013 honorary award from National Academy of Video Game Trade Reviewers and was nominated for Microsoft's 2014 Women in Games Ambassador Award.
She is currently an adviser to Silverstring Media and has served as a judge for the Games for Change Awards.
Click here for Anita's Media Kit including short bio and headshots.
MORE STAFF BIOS COMING SOON!Interviews2014
This Women Was Threatened With Rape After Calling Out Sexist Video Games '' Mother Jones '' May 30, 2014Curbing Online Abuse Isn't Impossible. Here's Where We Start '' WIRED '' May 15, 2014Blurred Lines: The New Battle of the Sexes '' BBC2 Documentary '' May 8, 2014 [VIDEO]The Setup Interview: Anita Sarkeesian '' Usesthis.com '' March 4, 2014Feminist Critics of Video Games Facing Threats in 'GamerGate' Campaign '' New York Times [front page] '' (Oct 15, 2014)Anita Sarkeesian on GamerGate: 'We Have a Problem and We're Going to Fix This' '' Rolling Stone Magazine '' (Oct 17, 2014)Gamergate is loud, dangerous and a last grasp at cultural dominance by angry white men '' The Guardian '' (Oct 21, 2014)Utah lawmaker: State colleges can't limit guns '' Salt Lake City Tribune '' (Oct 15, 2014)Anita Sarkeesian explains why she canceled USU lecture '' Salt Lake City Tribune '' (Oct 16, 2014)Feminist speaker questions Utah's campus gun laws '' Associated Press '' (Oct 15, 2014)Critique & Controversy '' Game Informer magazine '' (November 2014 '' Print/iPad only)2013
2012
Dangerous Games: Tropes vs Women Bullying '' Global 16—9 TV Segment '' Nov, 2012 [VIDEO]Sexual Harassment in Online Videogames: How to Fix the Problem '' Forbes '' August 3, 2012In Virtual Play, Sex Harassment Is All Too Real '' New York Times '' August 1, 2012GeekGirlCon '12 Preview: A Q&A with Anita Sarkeesian '' GeekGirlCon '' August 1, 2012Woman Vs. Internet: How Anita Sarkeesian beat trolls '' GamesIndustry International '' July 10, 2012From Samus to Lara: An Interview With Anita Sarkeesian '' Gamespot '' June 12, 2012How Anita Sarkeesian funded a project about video game sexism '' PMSClan '' June 10, 2012Tropes Vs Women in Video Games '' Gaming As Women '' June 18th, 2012Feminist Take on Games Draws Crude Ridicule, Massive Support '' Wired '' June 14th, 2012The slacker is back '' and this time she's female by Hermione Hoby, The Guardian '' March 24, 2012Oscars, Soccer, and Bluegrass on KSPC Uproot: A Public Affairs Show '' Feb 26, 2012 [Audio]The Oscars' woman problem by Michael Barthel on Salon.com '' Feb 25, 2012Parks and Recs' Unfortunate Misstep by Steve Winchell '' Feb 25, 2012Pre-2012
On the Female Anti-Hero'... by Ben Martin '' Dec 6, 2011The Bechdel Test and Women in Movies, KUOW Radio, The Conversation '' July 1, 2011 [Audio]Feminist Frequency, WAM! the media & Mujeres de Maiz, KPFK Radio, Feminist Magazine '' March 16, 2011 [Audio]The Feministing Five: Anita Sarkeesian, Feministing '' March 12, 2011My Interview with Feminist Frequency's Anita Sarkeesian, Text Appeal '' January 17, 2011GABcast: M.I.A./The Bechdel Test (Podcast or Transcript), Gender Across Borders '' September 14, 2010 [Audio]
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New 'Trust and Safety Council' Is Twitter Version of 1984's Ministry of Truth - Hit & Run : Reason.com
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:53
Feminist Frequency / YoutubeIn order for users to feel confident expressing themselves ''freely and safely,'' Twitter is debuting a new advisory group dubbed the ''Trust & Safety Council.'' But a quick glance at its membership roster suggests the council is almost as Orwellian as it sounds'--and overwhelmingly biased in favor of speech suppression.
If you thought Milo Yiannopoulos losing his blue checkmark was the opening salvo in the next great culture war (I tended to agree with Popehat's Ken White that the controversy was overblown), then this might be your virtual invasion of Poland.
The council includes more than 40 organizations that will be tasked with helping Twitter, ''strike the right balance between fighting abuse and speaking truth to power.'' But if the goal was really to find some middle ground between total free speech and safeguards against harassment, one might have expect Twitter to solicit some diversity of opinion. In fact, despite the press release's claim that the council includes a ''diversity of voices,'' virtually none of the council members are properly classified as free speech organizations. (Full list here).
Some of the groups'--such as Hollaback! and the Dangerous Speech Project'--don't think harassment should be criminalized outright. But the vast majority are certainly more concerned about allowing too much speech rather than too little. Notable members include Feminist Frequency'--the blog and Youtube channel of anti-Gamer Gate activist Anita Sarkeesian'--the Anti-Defamation League, and a host of suicide-and-domestic-violence prevention groups.
I sent Twitter's head of Global Policy Outreach a tweet asking why the council's composition is so one-sided (this seems like the best way to reach her, yes?). I did not immediately hear back.
Twitter is a private company. It is free to make whatever speech rules it wants. Forcing Twitter to permit more kinds of speech would not actually be pro-free speech'--in fact, it would violate the First Amendment.
But its users are also free to complain that the platform is cracking down on speech they would like it to permit. For my part, I would feel more comfortable if the Trust & Safety Council included at least a few principled speech or tech freedom groups, like the Foundation for Individual Rights and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
I hope I don't get banned for saying that.
Robby Soave is a staff editor at Reason.com.
Dangerous Speech '-- Dangerous Speech Project
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 19:41
Inflammatory public speech rises steadily before outbreaks of mass violence, suggesting that it is a precursor or even a prerequisite for violence, which makes sense: groups of killers do not form spontaneously. In many cases, a few influential speakers gradually incite a group to violence. Violence may be prevented, then, by interfering with this process in any of several ways: inhibiting the speech, limiting its dissemination, undermining the credibility of the speaker, or 'inoculating' the audience against the speech so that it is less influential or dangerous.Such efforts must not infringe upon freedom of speech, however, since that is a fundamental right and since free speech itself may help to prevent violence. Before acting to limit 'dangerous speech' - speech that catalyzes violence - we must have a means to distinguish it from other speech, even that which is controversial or repugnant.
Prof. Susan Benesch has developed a set of guidelinesfor making the distinction as part of the Dangerous Speech Project. The guidelines are based on the insight that the dangerousness of a particular speech act, in the context in which it is made or disseminated, depends on five variables: the speaker, the audience, the speech itself, the historical and social context, and the means of dissemination. For example, some speakers are more influential than others, and some audiences are especially vulnerable.
Hillary Earns More New Hampshire Delegates Than Sanders | The Daily Caller
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:54
4894858
After a lackluster showing in New Hampshire reports indicate that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will drop out of the 2016 race.
According to Fox Business Network, Christie will be suspending his campaign Wednesday after finishing sixth in the New Hampshire primary and tenth in Iowa.
The writing was on the wall last Tuesday night when Christie announced that he would return to New Jersey instead of head to South Carolina. Christie said, ''Mary Pat and I spoke tonight and we've decided to go home to New Jersey tomorrow and we're going to take a deep breath and see what the results are tonight. By tomorrow morning or tomorrow afternoon we should know.''
Christie said that after the final results of New Hampshire were known, ''that should allow us to make a decision.''
UPDATE: According to a Christie campaign spokesperson, ''No decision has been made'' as of 11:48 am EST, contradicting Reuters and ABC.
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Why pondering the flat earth theory isn't so crazy (with lots of juicy arguments by Stephen'... '-- Medium
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:37
Why pondering the flat earth theory isn't so crazy (with lots of juicy arguments by Stephen Hawking)
Last week, the Flat Earth Theory made a huge comeback and got some extra attention after rapper B.O.B called out physicist Neil Degrasse Tyson for ''probably getting written one hell of a check'', from aforementioned ''globalists''. Everyone agreed this flat earth thing was the most stupid thing ever.
I once read a phrase that talked about the importance of ''being open to entertaining a thought without accepting it''. It's important to mental health and creativity to keep the imagination muscle flexible! So when something such as, say, the flat earth story comes around, I see it as an amusing and worthwhile brain exercise, however silly. ''I'm just a child who has never grown up'' Stephen Hawkings once said. ''I still ask 'how' and 'why' questions.'' A challenging view from what you've believed as long as you can remember, is the perfect way to (re-)discover the how and why questions that would otherwise be long forgotten.
Looking at maps, wether imaginary or real, old (thus flat) or new, simply tickles my fancy. How many people are even aware of the difference between Peter's projection map, the waterman butterfly projection, or the Peirce quincuncial? (check the list of Map Projections on wikipedia, it might blow your mind)
You would think most people in the Western world by now could argue why they believe the earth to be round. After all, it wasn't too long ago we all just figured our home was flat, and it's because of our common knowledge that we know it is not, right? Well'...
To my shock and horror, when I jokingly asked around amongst my friends, why they assume the world to be round, only one in four had a clear cut answer. The fact that the earth is round is simply so matter of fact to us, that we've never had to explain it to ourselves. Most found the question in itself so ridiculous that they initially didn't even want to think about formulating an answer.
''I guess if you start at one point on the planet, and you just keep walking straight, you will end up at the exact same spot.'' The first one responded. This is completely physically impossible challenge to take on, no matter how much I'd love to. Circumstantial, your honour!
Another amusing answer I -seriously- got: ''If this was one big global conspiracy, North Korea would have let us know by now!'''Š'--'ŠNow tell me, when was the last time we took anything Kim Jong-un said seriously?! In the year to come I plan to repeat my question regularly, simply for the hours of guaranteed conversational entertainment.
Conclusion: despite me gladly believing the world is round, some of the most intelligent and most educated people I know seem to have some difficulty logically explaining, why they believe this to be the case. They simply trust in the second hand knowledge that was handed down to them from their childhood on, by people they considered trustworthy.
But do we know things because other people have told us and we blindly accepted? Or do we know things because we have personally found them to be true? It became very clear to me there is a big difference between these two ways of learning. So vastly different even, I propose we invent new, separate words for these two distinct types of ''learning'' and ''knowledge''.
''The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.'' Thank you, Stephen Hawking. Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.'' How do we keep our curiosity when we are constantly being told everything has already been explored and there's no point, or it's even harmful to ask questions about anything?
Go ahead, make it a fun game. Randomly ask five people why they think the world is round. It might lead to an interesting conversation about travel, planets, and possibly even to backyard physics experiments. (Or you can go ahead and watch that rerun again of Keeping up with the Kardashians, that's perfectly fine too, ofcourse.) It wasn't until I found a friend who has a physics PHD that I got a detailed, and lengthy explanation which one could test for oneself, which I will spare you in this very moment. I count myself lucky to have friends with physics phd's and lots of patience with their lesser educated friends. I know many people aren't blessed like that. Luckily everyone with a tv set has access to brilliant scientist such as Neil deGrasse Tyson to explain it to us, lesser fortunate ones, right?
So Neil, being the professional celebrity that he now is, took to a late night show to respond to, what was now his ''beef'' with the rapper. What came next was baffling, to say the least. There was literally nothing admirable about the way one of the world's most prominent educators'Š'--'Šand that is what NDGT ought to be'Š'--'Šresponded.
NdGT started the ''dialogue'' by taking off his jacket, as if he was the big fat playground bully who was about to beat the much younger kid up. Let's see this in perspective here: NDGT has probably come from a much more privileged background than rapper ''Bob''. He's enjoyed a much higher education, is much older and also much more famous.
Furthermore, Neil has the scientific facts on his side, so all he has to do is stand there and calmly share his knowledge and facts that Bob and company are probably unaware of. If anyone's in the position to do this, for the advancement of society as a whole, it's one of the world's most visible scientists. But what are kids learning from NDGT's ungraceful response to the flat earthers? It's okay and even admirable to abrasively call people names and humiliate them.
[the flat earth theory] ''It's a symptom of a larger problem.'' NDGT said. ''There is a growing anti-intellectual strain in this country. It may be the beginning of the end of our informed democracy.'' You got me there. Neil. You are completely right and I couldn't agree more. The problem is, the new generation of scientists such as Dawkins and yourself are the Kings of this strain of anti-intellectualism.
He goes on to say that in a free society you can and should think whatever you want. Only to go on to say that Bob doesn't have the right to think what he wants. What are you trying to tell us Neil, do we not live in a free society?
''When you have influence over others'' Neil goes on to argue, ''Being wrong becomes being harmful to the health, the wealth and the security of our citizenry.'' You're only allowed to speak out when you're right? What happened to having an open and honest debate? Sounds a hell of a lot like you're arguing against freedom of speech there, Neil.
You're seriously gonna stand there and defend science with the words ''Can I get an Amen''? This would be ironic if he came up with actual scientific arguments, but no.
''There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, and science, which is based on reason.'' Hawking taught us. Yet now, Neil demands us to believe him for his authority, not for his reason. Choosing to publicly respond in this insulting manner, he might as well not have any arguments, it wouldn't even make a damn difference. Neil's manner of communicating is not uplifting or enlightening, but down putting and limiting. The basics of science should be calm rationality and clearly explained arguments. Patience to educate.Instead, Neil's Spiel was nothing different than that of a baptist preacher. When science is taking the road of arrogantly shouting down the less educated, it is truly no better than good old religion. Simply by lowering the conversation to the same level that non-scientific arguments are known for, science is being turned into religion 2.0.
Neil, you are put on the foreground as one of the shining examples of modern Western society. Please find the grace to respond with patience, kindness, understanding, and actual information.
People are literally asking for it and society needs it more than ever. The school systems are failing us left and right. Kids aren't motivated to learn and discover anymore. Why would you position yourself as an abrasive polariser, when there are so many great things you could do in response to the rise of the flat earth theory? Scaring kids into censoring themselves to ask the most basic of questions by fear of ridicule, is a harsh disservice to mankind. No question should ever be too stupid to ask, for it is infinitely more idiotic to remain ignorant in fear of being shamed.
''Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.'' Hawkings said. Please Neil, give us discovery, not insults. Take this opportunity to educate kids and adults alike. You have the platform. You have the audience. One could start a (better) science school program like Jamie Oliver has done with his school lunch projects. Neil could start a youtube channel gracefully explaining the basics workings and physics of the round (''oblate spheroid'') earth.
So stop goofing around Neil, you've got work to do. We ''don't have time for a meeting of the flat earth society'' President Obama has said. We also don't have time for arrogant scientists. If you're not willing to be humble enough to explain basic science clearly to young viewers, your place is in a lab, not on television sets across the world.
''Communicate plainly what you are trying to do in science, and who knows, you might even end up understanding it yourself.'' And ''In a democratic society, this means that everyone needs to have a basic understanding of science to make informed decisions about the future.'' Thank you for your patience with us, Mister Hawking. We will not accomplish this with arrogance and ridicule, but rather with arguments.
And as for B.O.B.? When ''Bob'' could be rapping about violence and strip clubs, he's actually proposing to question everything around him, despite expected ridicule of all. And in the process of doing that, he might actually learn a lot. Meanwhile other rappers, who might know just as little about physics as he does, limit themselves to discussing their own essential elements; money, bitches and bling.
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Public cloud infrastructure provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) is getting snarky. And it's ...More news for aws zombieAmazon zombie clause - Business Insiderwww.businessinsider.com/amazon-zombie-clause-2016-2The only way to get out of Amazon's terms of service is a zombie apocalypse ... of the announcement was hidden in the Amazon Web Services Service Terms.AWS Service Terms - Amazon Web Serviceshttps://aws.amazon.com/service-terms/The following Service Terms apply only to the specific Services to which the Service Terms relate. In the event of a conflict between the terms of these Service ...AWS and Zombies | Hacker Newshttps://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=110715219 hours ago - Their architectures cannot be creatively improved, lest they break compatibility with AWS. They are zombies, serving only Amazon's will '-- and ...Stop Data Breaches Now'ŽAdwww.metaflows.com/'Ž
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The following Service Terms apply only to the specific Services to which the Service Terms relate. In the event of a conflict between the terms of these Service Terms and the terms of the AWS Customer Agreement or other agreement with us governing your use of our Services (the ''Agreement''), the terms and conditions of these Service Terms apply, but only to the extent of such conflict. Capitalized terms used herein but not defined herein shall have the meanings set forth in the Agreement.
1.1. You may only use the Services to store, retrieve, query, serve, and execute Your Content that is owned, licensed or lawfully obtained by you. As used in these Service Terms, ''Your Content'' includes any ''Company Content'' and any ''Customer Content''. As part of the Services, you may be allowed to use certain software (including related documentation) provided by us or third party licensors. This software is neither sold nor distributed to you and you may use it solely as part of the Services. You may not transfer it outside the Services without specific authorization to do so.
1.2. You must comply with the current technical documentation applicable to the Services (including the applicable developer guides) as posted by us and updated by us from time to time on the AWS Site. In addition, if you create technology that works with a Service, you must comply with the current technical documentation applicable to that Service (including the applicable developer guides) as posted by us and updated by us from time to time on the AWS Site.
1.3. You will provide information or other materials related to Your Content (including copies of any client-side applications) as reasonably requested by us to verify your compliance with the Agreement. We may monitor the external interfaces (e.g., ports) of Your Content to verify your compliance with the Agreement. You will not block or interfere with our monitoring, but you may use encryption technology or firewalls to help keep Your Content confidential. You will reasonably cooperate with us to identify the source of any problem with the Services that we reasonably believe may be attributable to Your Content or any end user materials that you control.
1.4. If we reasonably believe any of Your Content violates the law, infringes or misappropriates the rights of any third party or otherwise violates a material term of the Agreement (including the documentation, the Service Terms, or the Acceptable Use Policy) (''Prohibited Content''), we will notify you of the Prohibited Content and may request that such content be removed from the Services or access to it be disabled. If you do not remove or disable access to the Prohibited Content within 2 business days of our notice, we may remove or disable access to the Prohibited Content or suspend the Services to the extent we are not able to remove or disable access to the Prohibited Content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, we may remove or disable access to any Prohibited Content without prior notice in connection with illegal content, where the content may disrupt or threaten the Services, pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or as required to comply with law or any judicial, regulatory or other governmental order or request. In the event that we remove content without prior notice, we will provide prompt notice to you unless prohibited by law.
1.5. From time to time, we may offer free or discounted pricing programs covering certain usage of the Services (each, a ''Special Pricing Program''). We may stop accepting new sign-ups or discontinue a Special Pricing Program at any time. Standard charges will apply after a Special Pricing Program ends or if you exceed the limitations by the Special Pricing Program. You must comply with any additional terms, restrictions, or limitations (e.g., limitations on the total amount of usage) for the Special Pricing Program as described in the offer terms for the Special Pricing Program or on the pricing page for the eligible Service(s). You may not access or use the Services in a way intended to avoid any additional terms, restrictions, or limitations (e.g., establishing multiple AWS accounts in order to receive additional benefits under a Special Pricing Program), and we may immediately terminate your account if you do so. Any data stored or instances provided as part of a Special Pricing Program must be actively used.
1.6. If we make multiple discounts or pricing options for a Service available to you at one time, you will only be eligible to receive one discount or pricing option, and will not be entitled to cumulative discounting and pricing options.
1.7. You will ensure that all information you provide to us via the AWS Site (for instance, information provided in connection with your registration for the Services, requests for increased usage limits, etc.) is accurate, complete and not misleading.
1.8. From time to time, we may apply upgrades, patches, bug fixes or other maintenance to the Service Offerings (''Maintenance''). We agree to use reasonable efforts to provide you with prior notice of any scheduled Maintenance (except for emergency Maintenance) and you agree to use reasonable efforts to comply with any Maintenance requirements that we notify you about.
1.9 Beta Service Participation
1.9.1 This Section describes the additional terms and conditions under which You may access and use certain features, technologies and services made available to you by AWS that are not yet generally available, including, but not limited to, any products or features labeled ''beta'', ''preview'', ''pre-release'', or ''experimental''(each, a ''Beta Service'') or access and use Service Offerings available in AWS regions that are not generally available, including, but not limited to, any AWS regions identified by AWS as ''beta'', ''preview'', ''pre-release'', or ''experimental'' (each, a ''Beta Region''). In the event there is a conflict between these Beta Service terms and an existing AWS Beta Test Participation Agreement between You and AWS, the terms of the existing AWS Beta Test Participation Agreement will take precedence.
1.9.2 During the term of the applicable Beta Service or Beta Region (as specified by AWS), you may: (a) access and use the Beta Service or Service Offerings in any Beta Region solely for internal evaluation purposes; and (b) install, copy, and use any related AWS Content that may be provided to You by AWS in connection with the Beta Service (''Beta Materials'') solely as necessary to access and use the Beta Service or Service Offerings in any Beta Region in the manner permitted by this Section.
1.9.3 You agree not to allow access to or use of any Beta Service, Service Offerings in any Beta Region or Beta Materials by any third party other than Your employees and contractors who (i) have a need to use or access the Beta Service, Service Offerings in the Beta Region or Beta Materials in connection with Your internal evaluation activities, and (ii) have executed written nondisclosure agreements obligating them to protect the confidentiality of non-public information regarding the Beta Service, Beta Region and Beta Materials.
1.9.4 You must comply with all policies and guidelines related to any Beta Service or Beta Region as posted on http://aws.amazon.com or otherwise made available to You, including the Privacy Policy, Acceptable Use Policy, these Service Terms, and any additional terms and conditions for a specific Beta Service or Beta Region. AWS may add or modify restrictions, including lowering or raising any usage limits, related to access to or use of any Beta Service, Service Offerings in any Beta Region or Beta Materials at any time. If requested by AWS, You will promptly increase or decrease Your usage of the applicable Beta Service, Service Offerings in a Beta Region or Beta Materials to the levels that AWS may specify. Service Level Agreements do not apply to Beta Services or any Services Offerings in Beta Regions.
1.9.5 AWS may suspend or terminate Your access to or use of any Beta Service or Service Offerings in any Beta Region at any time and for any reason. AWS may at any time cease providing any or all of any Beta Service or any Service Offering in a Beta Region in its sole discretion and without notice. Beta Services and Services Offerings in Beta Regions also may be unavailable and/or their performance may be negatively affected by scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. AWS will use reasonable efforts to notify You in advance of scheduled maintenance, but AWS is unable to provide advance notice of unscheduled or emergency maintenance.
1.9.6 In consideration of being allowed to access and use a Beta Service or Service Offering in a Beta Region, You agree to provide AWS with information relating to Your access, use, testing, or evaluation of the Beta Service, Service Offerings in the Beta Region or any related Beta Materials, including observations or information regarding the performance, features and functionality of the Beta Service or any related Beta Materials as applicable, when and in the form reasonably requested by AWS (''Test Observations''). AWS will own and may use and evaluate all Test Observations for its own purposes. You will not use any Test Observations except for Your internal evaluation purposes of the Beta Service or Beta Region.
1.9.7 Each individual Beta Service and Service Offering in a Beta Region will automatically terminate upon the release of a generally available version of the applicable Beta Service or Service Offering in a Beta Region or upon notice of termination by AWS. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Agreement or these Services Terms, either You or AWS may terminate Your participation in a Beta Service or Service Offering in a Beta Region at any time for any reason upon notice to the other party. After the conclusion of your participation in a Beta Service or Service Offering in a Beta Region for any reason, (a) You will not have any further right to access or use the applicable Beta Service or Service Offering in the Beta Region and Beta Materials; (b) Your Content used in the applicable Beta Service or Service Offering in the Beta Region may be deleted or inaccessible; and (c) You will immediately return or, if instructed by AWS, destroy all Beta Materials or any other AWS Confidential Information related to the applicable Beta Service, Service Offering in any Beta Region or Beta Materials. If AWS releases a generally available version of a Beta Service or a Service Offering in a Beta Region, Your access to and use of the generally available version will be subject to the Agreement and any separate Section of these Service Terms as may be specified for that generally available Service Offering. If any Beta Region becomes generally available, Your access to and use of Service Offerings in the generally available AWS region will be subject to the terms and conditions applicable to that AWS region. AWS does not guarantee that any Beta Service or Service Offering in any Beta Region will ever be made generally available, or that any generally available version will contain the same or similar functionality as the version made available by AWS during the term of the Beta Service or Beta Region, as applicable. AWS does not guarantee that any Beta Region will become generally available.
1.9.8 Beta Materials, Test Observations, Suggestions concerning a Beta Service or Beta Region, or any other information about or involving (including the existence of) any Beta Service or Beta Region are considered AWS Confidential Information.
1.9.9 ADDITIONAL WARRANTY DISCLAIMERS. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY DISCLAIMERS IN THE AGREEMENT OR THESE SERVICE TERMS, THE BETA SERVICES, SERVICE OFFERINGS IN BETA REGIONS, BETA REGIONS AND BETA MATERIALS ARE NOT READY FOR GENERAL COMMERCIAL RELEASE AND MAY CONTAIN BUGS, ERRORS, DEFECTS OR HARMFUL COMPONENTS. ACCORDINGLY, AND NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING TO THE CONTRARY IN THE AGREEMENT OR THESE SERVICES TERMS, AWS IS PROVIDING THE BETA SERVICES, SERVICE OFFERINGS IN BETA REGIONS AND BETA MATERIALS TO YOU ''AS IS.'' AWS AND ITS AFFILIATES AND LICENSORS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED, STATUTORY OR OTHERWISE REGARDING THE BETA SERVICES, SERVICE OFFERINGS IN BETA REGIONS, BETA REGIONS AND BETA MATERIALS, INCLUDING ANY WARRANTY THAT THE BETA SERVICES, SERVICE OFFERINGS IN BETA REGIONS, BETA REGIONS AND BETA MATERIALS WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, ERROR FREE OR FREE OF HARMFUL COMPONENTS, OR THAT ANY CONTENT, INCLUDING YOUR CONTENT, WILL BE SECURE OR NOT OTHERWISE LOST OR DAMAGED. EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT PROHIBITED BY LAW, AWS AND ITS AFFILIATES AND LICENSORS DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, SATISFACTORY QUALITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, OR QUIET ENJOYMENT, AND ANY WARRANTIES ARISING OUT OF ANY COURSE OF DEALING OR USAGE OF TRADE.
2.1. You must own or have all necessary rights to use any domain name or SSL certificate that you use in conjunction with Amazon CloudFront. You are solely responsible for the renewal, security and proper configuration of any SSL certificates that you provide for use with Amazon CloudFront, including any disclosure of your SSL certificates to third parties.
2.2. Amazon CloudFront requires you to store the original version of Your Content in an origin server (such as Amazon S3). If you use other Services to store the original version of Your Content, you are responsible for the separate fees you accrue for the other Services and for Amazon CloudFront.
2.3. While you will only be charged fees specified for the selected Price Class, Your Content you select for delivery from edge locations in a Price Class may from time to time be served from edge locations located outside the regions in that Price Class.
2.4. Amazon CloudFront's Geo Restriction feature may utilize a third party geo-location database, which may not be accurate in all situations.
3.1. You may not knowingly create and maintain inactive queues. We may delete, without liability of any kind, any of Your Content that sits in an Amazon SQS queue or any Amazon SQS queue that remains inactive for more than the number of days specified in the user documentation.
4.1. In connection with your use of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (including all instances and instance types, hosts and other resources, dedicated, reserved or on-demand, collectively ''Amazon EC2'') and the Services, you are responsible for maintaining licenses and adhering to the license terms of any software you run.
4.2. Using Microsoft Software. In conjunction with the Services, you may be allowed to use certain software (including related documentation) developed and owned by Microsoft Corporation or its licensors (collectively, the ''Microsoft Software''). If you choose to use the Microsoft Software, Microsoft and its licensors require that you agree to these additional terms and conditions:
The Microsoft Software is neither sold nor distributed to you and you may use it solely in conjunction with the Services.You may not transfer or use the Microsoft Software outside the Services.You may not remove, modify or obscure any copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights notices that are contained in or on the Microsoft Software.You may not reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the Microsoft Software, except to the extent expressly permitted by applicable law.Microsoft disclaims, to the extent permitted by applicable law, all warranties by Microsoft and any liability by Microsoft or its suppliers for any damages, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from the Services.Microsoft is not responsible for providing any support in connection with the Services. Do not contact Microsoft for support.You are not granted any right to use the Microsoft Software in any application controlling aircraft or other modes of human mass transportation, nuclear or chemical facilities, life support systems, implantable medical equipment, motor vehicles, weaponry systems, or any similar scenario (collectively, ''High Risk Use''). Microsoft and its suppliers disclaim any express or implied warranty of fitness for High Risk Use. High Risk Use does not include utilization of the Microsoft Software for administrative purposes, to store configuration data, engineering and/or configuration tools, or other non-control applications, the failure of which would not result in death, personal injury, or severe physical or environmental damage. These non-controlling applications may communicate with the applications that perform the control, but must not be directly or indirectly responsible for the control function.Microsoft is an intended third-party beneficiary of this Section 4.2, with the right to enforce its provisions.4.3. Using Novell Software. In conjunction with the Services, you may be allowed to use certain software (including related documentation) developed and owned by Novell, Inc. or its licensors (collectively, the ''Novell Software''). If you choose to use the Novell Software, Novell and its licensors require that you agree to these additional terms and conditions:
Your use of the Novell Software is subject to the terms and conditions of the Novell End User License Agreement (''Novell EULA'') provided with the Novell Software. By using the Novell Software, you hereby agree to be bound by the terms of the applicable Novell EULA, which is presented the first time you access the relevant machine image.4.4. Using Red Hat Software. In conjunction with the Services, you may be allowed to use certain software (including related support, maintenance, and documentation) developed, owned or provided by Red Hat, Inc. or its licensors (collectively, the ''Red Hat Software''). If you choose to use the Red Hat Software, Red Hat and its licensors require that you agree to these additional terms and conditions:
Red Hat disclaims any (i) warranties with respect to the Red Hat Software and (ii) liability for any damages, whether direct, indirect, incidental, special, punitive or consequential, and any loss of profits, revenue, data or data use, arising from your use of the Red Hat Software.Your use of the Red Hat Software is subject to the terms and conditions of the Red Hat Cloud Software Subscription Agreement currently located at www.redhat.com/licenses/cloud_cssa/ (the ''Red Hat CSSA''). By using the Red Hat Software, you hereby agree to be bound by the terms of the Red Hat CSSA.4.5. Spot Instance Pricing. You may request that certain Amazon EC2 instances run pursuant to the Spot instance pricing and payment terms (''Spot Instance Pricing'') set forth on the Amazon EC2 product detail page on the AWS Site (each requested instance, a ''Spot Instance''). You must request Spot Instances through the AWS Management Console or by using API tools (''Spot Instance Request''). As part of your Spot Instance Request, you must specify the maximum hourly price you are willing to pay to run the requested Spot Instances (''Your Maximum Price''). Unless you specify a permissible alternative termination date, your Spot Instance Request will remain active until we fulfill it or you cancel it. We set the price for Spot Instances (the ''Spot Price''), which may vary over time based on a number of factors, including the amount of available compute capacity we have available and the price you and other customers are willing to pay for Spot Instances (e.g., supply and demand). While a requested Spot Instance remains running, you will be charged the current Spot Price in effect at the beginning of each instance hour. You will not be charged more than Your Maximum Price. We may terminate Spot Instances at any time and without any notice to you if we determine the current Spot Price equals or exceeds Your Maximum Price or for AWS capacity requirements. If we terminate your Spot Instance, you will only be charged for each full hour the Spot Instance ran. AWS may allow you to purchase Spot Instances of a fixed duration (each, a ''Spot Block''), where the Spot Price for that Spot Instance (the ''Block Price'') will remain constant for the duration of the Spot Block, and you will be charged the Block Price for the duration of your Spot Block. Spot Instances purchased as Spot Blocks run independently of the Spot Price, and will not be terminated because the Spot Price equals or exceeds Your Maximum Price. Spot Instances purchased as Spot Blocks may still be terminated for AWS capacity requirements and will terminate at the conclusion of the fixed duration. If a Spot Instance purchased as a Spot Block is terminated due to AWS capacity requirements, you will not be charged for that Spot Instance. Unless you designate your Spot Instance Request as a persistent request, terminated Spot Instances will not automatically restart. You should save your work frequently and test your application to ensure it is fault tolerant and will correctly handle interruptions. We have no liability whatsoever for any damages, liabilities, losses (including any corruption, deletion, or destruction or loss of data, applications or profits), or any other consequences resulting from our termination of any Spot Instance. Spot Instances may not be used with certain Services, features and third-party software we specify, including Amazon DevPay, IBM software packages, or Microsoft SQL Server. You may not, directly, indirectly, alone or in cooperation with any third party, attempt to control, influence or manipulate the price for Spot Instances. Without limiting the foregoing, you may not submit requests for Spot Instances through any third party (e.g., ''proxy bidding'') or share information with any third party regarding the maximum prices specified in your Spot Instance Requests. We may modify or terminate the Spot Instance Pricing program at any time. In addition to the Spot Instance Pricing, Spot Instances are subject to all data transfer and other usage fees applicable under the Agreement.
4.6. EC2 Reserved Instance Pricing. You may designate Amazon EC2 instances as subject to the reserved pricing and payment terms (''EC2 Reserved Instance Pricing'') set forth on the Amazon EC2 detail page on the AWS Site (each designated instance, a ''EC2 Reserved Instance''). Scheduled EC2 Reserved Instances (''Scheduled Instances'') will terminate upon completion of the scheduled reservation. You may designate instances as EC2 Reserved Instances by calling to the Purchasing API or selecting the EC2 Reserved Instance option in the AWS console. When you designate instances as Reserved Instances, you must designate an availability zone, instance type, EC2 Reserved Instance type, and quantity for the applicable EC2 Reserved Instances. The EC2 Reserved Instances may only be used in the designated availability zone. We may change EC2 Reserved Instance Pricing at any time but price changes will not apply to previously designated EC2 Reserved Instances, except as described in this Section 4.6. If Microsoft increases the license fees it charges for Windows, or if Red Hat increases the license fees it charges for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (''RHEL''), we may make a corresponding increase to the per-hour usage rate (or institute a corresponding per-hour usage rate) for EC2 Reserved Instances with Windows or RHEL. Any increase in (or institution of) the per-hour usage rate for EC2 Reserved Instances with Windows will be made between December 1 and January 31, and we will provide 30 days' notice. For any increase in (or institution of) the per-hour usage rate for EC2 Reserved Instances with RHEL we will provide 30 days' notice. If this happens, you may: (a) continue to use your EC2 Reserved Instances with Windows or RHEL with the new per-hour usage price; (b) convert your EC2 Reserved Instances with Windows or RHEL to comparable EC2 Reserved Instances with Linux; or (c) terminate your EC2 Reserved Instances with Windows or RHEL and receive a pro rata refund of the up-front fee you paid for the terminated EC2 Reserved Instances with Windows or RHEL. We may terminate the EC2 Reserved Instance Pricing program at any time. EC2 Reserved Instances are nontransferable, except in accordance with the requirements of the RI Marketplace, but Scheduled Instances are not eligible for the RI Marketplace. EC2 Reserved Instances are noncancellable and you will owe the EC2 Reserved Instance Pricing for the duration of the term you selected, even if the Agreement is terminated. All amounts paid in connection with the EC2 Reserved Instances are nonrefundable, except that if we terminate the Agreement other than for cause, terminate an individual EC2 Reserved Instance type, or terminate the EC2 Reserved Instance Pricing program, we will refund you a pro rata portion of any up-front fee paid in connection with any previously designated EC2 Reserved Instances. You may not purchase EC2 Reserved Instances for the purpose of reselling them in the RI Marketplace, and we reserve the right to refuse or cancel your purchase if we suspect you are doing so. Upon expiration or termination of the term of EC2 Reserved Instances, the EC2 Reserved Instance pricing will expire and standard on-demand usage prices will apply to the instances. In addition to being subject to EC2 Reserved Instance Pricing, EC2 Reserved Instances are subject to all data transfer and other fees applicable under the Agreement.
4.7 EC2 Reserved Instance (RI) Marketplace.
4.7.1. Eligibility. The rights to an active EC2 Reserved Instance can be offered for sale through the RI Marketplace as long as (1) the remaining term on the Reserved Instance is greater than one month, and (2) your payment of the upfront charge for it has been received and processed (for credit card purchases, 30 days after you have paid the upfront fee, and for invoice purchases, after you have paid the applicable invoice) (a ''Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance''). The characteristics of the Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance (e.g., Instance Type, Platform, Region, Availability Zone, Tenancy, Hypervisor, Reserved Instance Type, Duration, and Hourly Price) will remain as originally designated. The term for the Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance will be the remainder of the original EC2 Reserved Instance term rounded down to the nearest month (for example, an EC2 Reserved Instance with 9 months and 16 days until expiration will be listed and sold as a 9 month Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance). You can be a ''Seller'' if you are a current AWS customer in good standing, you have a Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance associated with your AWS account, and you complete the registration process through your AWS account. Non-U.S.-based entities may not be Sellers without providing the Form W-8BEN (Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding) to establish that you are not a U.S. person. You can be a ''Buyer'' if you are a current AWS customer in good standing. You can resell an EC2 Reserved Instance that you previously purchased through the RI Marketplace. You may not resell an EC2 Reserved Instance that you purchased through a discount program (Reserved Instance Volume Discounts or otherwise) without obtaining our prior approval.
4.7.2. Submitting Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance for Sale. As a Seller, you will set the one-time price for your Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance. The hourly price will be the then-current hourly price for that type of EC2 Reserved Instance, and you will not receive any funds collected from payments associated with the hourly prices. You will pay the then-current fee to us specified on the AWS Site when your Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance is sold. Your Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance will be available for sale after you list it in the RI Marketplace, but it will remain yours and you will be able to use it until it is sold. You may remove a listing of Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance from the RI Marketplace at any time before it has been purchased by a Buyer. We may remove Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance from the RI Marketplace at any time for any reason. Once sold and transferred to a Buyer, a Seller will have no rights to that Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance.
4.7.3. Our Role. As a Seller, you will be the seller of record of your rights to a Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance. Except as expressly set forth in these Service Terms, we are not involved in any underlying transaction between you and any Buyer. We or our affiliates may also participate in the market as a Seller or a Buyer.
4.7.4. Processing of Transactions; Collection of Transaction Proceeds. On Seller's behalf, we will process all payments for Transactions and collect the applicable Transaction Proceeds. ''Transaction'' means any sale of Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance through the RI Marketplace. ''Transaction Proceeds'' means the gross sales proceeds received by us from any Transaction. You will ensure that all fees and charges payable by Buyers for Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance are billed and collected through us and you will not offer or establish any alternative means of payment. We may impose transaction limits on some or all Buyers and Sellers relating to the value of any Transaction or disbursement, the cumulative value of all Transactions or disbursements during a period of time, or the number of Transactions that we will process over a period of time. We may withhold for investigation, or refuse to process, any of your Transactions that we suspect is fraudulent, unlawful or otherwise violates the terms of these Service Terms, the Agreement, or our Acceptable Use Policy. For each Transaction, we will not remit Transaction Proceeds to a Seller, and the Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance will be available to the Buyer, until after we have successfully processed payments for that Transaction from the Buyer.
4.7.5. Remittance of Transaction Proceeds to Sellers. At the end of each business day, we will pay to you all due and payable Transaction Proceeds that we have collected as of the date that is 2 business days prior to the date of payment. We will deduct from each payment any applicable fees and charges due to us related to Marketable EC2 Reserved Instances. The applicable fees and charges are posted on the AWS Site and may be changed from time to time. We may withhold, deduct, or setoff any amounts payable by you to us or our affiliates against any Transaction Proceeds. Payments will be made only to an ACH-enabled bank account located in the United States that you register with us. If there is an error in the processing of any Transaction, you authorize us to initiate debit or credit entries to your designated bank account, to correct such error, provided that any such correction is made in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. If we are unable to debit your designated bank account for any reason, you authorize us to resubmit the debit, plus any applicable fees, to any other bank account or payment instrument that you have on file with us or to deduct the debit and applicable fees from future Transaction Proceeds.
4.7.6. Taxes. Sellers are responsible for the calculation, validation and payment of any and all sales, use, excise, import, export, value added, withholding and other taxes and duties assessed, incurred or required to be collected (''Taxes'') or paid for any reason in connection with any Transaction and with Marketable EC2 Reserved Instance. We are not obliged to determine whether any Taxes apply to any Transaction, and we are not responsible for remitting Taxes to any taxing authority with respect to any Transaction, or for reporting any information (including the payment of Taxes) with respect to any Transaction. Each Seller will indemnify us and our affiliates against any claim or demand for payment of any Taxes imposed in connection with any Transaction, and for any fines, penalties, or similar charges imposed as a result of the Seller's failure to collect, remit or report any Taxes in connection with any Transaction.
4.7.7. Data Collection and Sharing. For each Seller, we will collect the necessary data and tax forms to enable compliance with applicable tax laws. For example, for U.S.-based Sellers, we will collect and retain Seller name and address, and may collect the tax identification number and other data as needed to comply with Form 1099K reporting requirements; for non-U.S.-based Sellers, we will collect and retain a Form W-8BEN tax form (which includes name, address, and a signature) as proof that you are exempt from Form 1099K reporting. For each Buyer, we will collect and retain the Buyer's name and address. Buyers and Sellers will not know the name of the other party to the Transaction until the Transaction is completed. Upon completion of the Transaction, we will share the applicable Buyer's city, state, and zip with the Seller so that the Seller can calculate the appropriate tax (if any) to remit to the appropriate government entity. We will share the Seller's legal name on the Buyer's invoice. Buyers and Sellers may not use information about the Transaction or about the other party gained in connection with a Transaction (''Transaction Information'') for any purpose that is not related to the Transaction. For example, you may not, directly or indirectly: (1) disclose any Transaction Information to any third party, except as necessary for you to perform your tax obligations or other obligations under these Service Terms and only if you ensure that every recipient uses the information only for that purpose and complies with these restrictions; (2) use any Transaction Information for any marketing or promotional purposes whatsoever; (3) use any Transaction Information in any way inconsistent with applicable law; (4) contact a party to influence them to make an alternative sale or purchase; (5) disparage us, our affiliates or any of their or our respective products; or (6) target communications of any kind on the basis of the intended recipient being an RI Marketplace Buyer or Seller.
4.8 You may only use the AWS Management Pack for System Center on computer equipment owned or controlled by you for your internal business purposes, solely to access Your Content used in connection with the Services. Your use of the AWS Management Pack for System Center is governed by the license agreement, located here: AWS Management Pack for System Center License Agreement http://aws.amazon.com/windows/system-center/aws-mp-license.
4.9 Dedicated Instances. You may request that certain Amazon EC2 instances run on physically isolated host hardware dedicated to a single customer account (each requested instance, a ''Dedicated Instance''), using the process set forth on the Amazon EC2 Dedicated Instance detail page on the AWS Site.
4.10.1 You may request that Amazon provide the Amazon EC2 service to you on host hardware physically dedicated to a single customer account (each, a ''Dedicated Host''), using the process set forth on the AWS Site.
4.10.2 You may designate Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts as subject to the reservation pricing and payment terms (''EC2 Dedicated Host Reservation Pricing'') set forth on the Amazon EC2 detail page on the AWS Site (each such host associated with a reservation, an ''EC2 Dedicated Host Reservation''). You may associate EC2 Dedicated Host Reservations to Dedicated Hosts by calling APIs or using the EC2 Dedicated Host Reservation console. The EC2 Dedicated Host and associated EC2 Dedicated Host Reservation may only be used in the designated availability zone. We may change EC2 Dedicated Host Reservation Pricing at any time but price changes will not apply to previously designated EC2 Dedicated Host Reservations, except as described in this Section 4.10.2. We may terminate the EC2 Dedicated Host Reservation Pricing program at any time. EC2 Dedicated Host Reservations are nontransferable. EC2 Dedicated Host Reservations are noncancellable and you will owe the EC2 Dedicated Host Reservation Pricing for the duration of the term you selected, even if the Agreement is terminated. Dedicated Hosts associated to an active EC2 Dedicated Host Reservation cannot be unallocated from your account, and you will continue to pay for the Dedicated Host while still associated with the EC2 Dedicated Host Reservation. All amounts paid in connection with the EC2 Dedicated Host Reservations are nonrefundable, except that if we terminate the Agreement other than for cause, terminate an individual EC2 Dedicated Host type, or terminate the EC2 Dedicated Host Reservation Pricing program, we will refund you a pro rata portion of any up-front fee paid in connection with any previously designated EC2 Dedicated Host Reservation. Upon expiration or termination of the term of an EC2 Dedicated Host Reservation, the EC2 Dedicated Host Reservation Pricing will expire and standard on-demand Dedicated Host prices will apply to the Dedicated Host. In addition to being subject to EC2 Dedicated Host Reservation Pricing, EC2 Dedicated Host Reservations are subject to all data transfer and other fees applicable under the Agreement.
4.11 Microsoft BYOL Licensing. Under this option, Amazon EC2 enables you to provision Amazon EC2 instances using your Microsoft Software and Microsoft Licenses (the ''BYOL Program''). Unless otherwise specified in your agreement(s) with Microsoft, you can use this benefit only if you comply with the requirements here, and you (a) use Dedicated Instances or Dedicated Hosts; (b) launch from Virtual Machines (VMs) sourced from software binaries provided by you; and (c) run the instances within your designated AWS regions.
You must be eligible to use the BYOL Program for the applicable Microsoft software under your agreement(s) with Microsoft. You are solely responsible for obtaining all required licenses and for complying with all applicable Microsoft licensing requirements, including the Product Use Rights/Product Terms. Further, you must have accepted Microsoft's End User License Agreement (Microsoft EULA), and by using the Microsoft Software under the BYOL Program, you agree to the Microsoft EULA.
You agree that you have determined that your use of the BYOL Program will comply with the applicable Microsoft licensing requirements. Usage of the Services in violation of your agreement(s) with Microsoft is not authorized or permitted.
4.12 As part of using Amazon EC2, you agree that your Amazon EC2 resources may be terminated or replaced due to failure, retirement or other AWS requirement(s). We have no liability whatsoever for any damages, liabilities, losses (including any corruption, deletion, or destruction or loss of data, applications or profits), or any other consequences resulting from the foregoing. THE USE OF AMAZON EC2 DOES NOT GRANT YOU, AND YOU HEREBY WAIVE, ANY RIGHT OF PHYSICAL ACCESS TO, OR PHYSICAL POSSESSION OF, ANY AWS SERVERS, EQUIPMENT, REAL OR PERSONAL PROPERTY, OR OTHER ASSETS.
5.1. You may use Alexa® Web Services to create or enhance applications or websites, to create search websites or search services, to retrieve information about websites, and to research or analyze data about the traffic and structure of the web.
5.2. You may not display data you receive via the Alexa® Services that has been cached for more than 24 hours.
5.3. You may not resell or redistribute the Alexa® Web Services or data you access via the Alexa® Web Services.
5.4. You may use data you receive from the Alexa® Web Services, such as web site traffic data, to enhance your application or website, but may not use it in any application whose primary purpose is to display the same or related data or whose primary purpose is to compete with www.alexa.com .
6.1. The terms in this Section 6 apply only to Amazon FPS and use of Your Content with the web-based payment service provided by Amazon Payments, Inc. (''Amazon Payments'') that enables the processing of payment transactions initiated by third parties, and that may include, without limitation, the processing and settlement of credit card transactions, bank transfers, or the administration of prepaid or post-paid balances (the ''Payment Service'').
6.2. You may:
access and use Amazon FPS to enable use of the Payment Service by users who have an appropriate Payment Service account (each, an ''Amazon Payments User'') via Your Content in accordance with any applicable FPS Specifications (as defined below);install, copy, and use the software development kit provided by us as part of Amazon FPS, including the related development guides and technical documentation (collectively, the ''FPS SDK''), and access and use the online testing environment made available by us (the ''FPS Sandbox''), in each case as necessary to internally develop and test Your Content for use with the Payment Service; andcreate, incorporate, compile, and copy derivative works of the sample computer programming code provided by us for development and testing of Your Content (the ''FPS Sample Code'') as part of Your Content for distribution in machine readable binary form or object code form to Amazon Payments Users as necessary for them to use the Payment Service. Use of FPS Sample Code is also subject to any additional license terms included with the FPS Sample Code. Such additional terms will control in the event of any inconsistency or conflict with the Agreement.6.3. The FPS SDK, FPS Sample Code, and FPS Specifications (as defined below) constitute Amazon Properties. Except as expressly authorized by this Section 6, you may not sublicense, loan, sell, assign, lease, rent, transfer, act as a service bureau, distribute or grant rights to any person or entity in Amazon FPS, the FPS SDK, the FPS Sandbox or the Payment Services.
6.4. You and Your Content will comply with any technical and operational specifications and other documentation or policies provided or made available by us or Amazon Payments with respect to Amazon FPS or the Payment Service respectively (the ''FPS Specifications''). We reserve the right to update or modify the FPS Specifications at any time. Prior to making Your Content generally available for commercial use, you will thoroughly test Your Content to ensure that it operates properly with Amazon FPS, including without limitation that it complies with the FPS Specifications.
6.5. We may review and test Your Content to confirm that it operates properly with Amazon FPS and complies with the FPS Specifications, using review and test processes determined in our sole discretion. You agree to correct any material errors, defects or other non-compliance of which you become aware, including from review and test results provided by us. We may make modifications, updates or upgrades to Amazon FPS, the FPS SDK, or FPS Specifications. In such event, you will test and, if necessary, modify Your Content to ensure that it continues to operate properly with the then-current version of Amazon FPS, the FPS SDK, and FPS Specifications.
6.6. You must establish and maintain a payments account with Amazon Payments to use Your Content commercially with Amazon FPS and to access the Payment Service. Your use of the Payment Service is subject to Amazon Payment's policies, procedures, and user agreements, and any breach of the foregoing will constitute a breach of the Agreement. In addition to the limitations described in the Agreement, any use of the Amazon Payments logo and trademark is subject to the trademark usage guidelines issued by Amazon Payments.
6.7. You are responsible for (a) the collection and payment of any and all sales, use, excise, import, export, value added and other taxes and duties assessed, incurred or required to be collected or paid for any reason in connection with any offer or sale of products or services by you, including Your Content, and (b) any payment transaction that is initiated using Your Content that is charged back or reversed (a ''Chargeback'') to the extent that such Chargeback is attributable to any error, act or omission of you or Your Content and is not otherwise recovered by Amazon Payments from an Amazon Payments User. You will indemnify and reimburse Amazon Payments and its affiliates against any claim or demand for payment of any such taxes or any Chargebacks.
6.8. You represent, warrant, and covenant that you will at all times:
represent the capabilities and features of the Payment Service consistent with our description of such capabilities and features and avoid false, deceptive, misleading or unethical practices that may be detrimental to us or Amazon Payments, the Payment Service, Amazon Payments Users or other third parties;refrain from providing warranties or disclaimers with respect to the Payment Service;promptly investigate and report to us all complaints received by you with regard to Amazon FPS and the Payment Service, and make every reasonable effort to maintain and promote good public relations for us in the handling of any such complaints; andensure that the terms of any agreements between you and any Amazon Payments User are consistent with the terms of the Agreement and these Service Terms.7.1. You may use Amazon DevPay to: (a) sell to end users (''Customers'') use of Your Content that you develop and make available with the Services (the ''Bundled Application''), including machine images that you develop; (b) establish accounts for Customers that use the Bundled Application (''Customer Accounts''); (c) manage features of Customer Accounts; and (d) receive payments from Customers for Bundled Applications.
7.2. You will establish the pricing applicable to Customers for their use of any Bundled Application. We will only be responsible for collecting those fees that are fully disclosed and properly configured within the DevPay Service. The fees you charge to Customers for your Bundled Applications through the DevPay Service (as further described in Section 7.6 below) must constitute the full and complete fees you charge Customers for such Bundled Applications. You may not charge or impose any additional or supplemental fees for Bundled Applications other than those disclosed through the DevPay Service. While you are using the DevPay Service, you shall not establish any alternative means of payment for such Bundled Applications. The foregoing does not limit your ability to charge and receive payments for goods and services other than the Bundled Application sold through the DevPay Service.
7.3. You are responsible for designating all terms and conditions applicable to the use of the Bundled Application; provided that, use of the underlying Services are subject to the terms of the Agreement which will control in the event of a conflict. We may require users to register an AWS account (including agreeing to the terms of the Agreement) in order to use Amazon EC2 or other Services associated with the Bundled Application. You may not extend on behalf of us any written or oral warranty or guarantee, or make any representation or claim, with respect to the Services without our prior written consent. Upon termination of the Agreement or the Amazon Payments, Inc. Customer Agreement for any reason, all access by Customers with respect to your Bundled Applications may be terminated by us.
7.4. Except as set forth in Section 7.5 below, you are fully liable for all charges incurred for Services under your account identifiers or those assigned to your Customers for your Bundled Applications. All Services will be charged at the then current price applicable to such Services under the Agreement. Payments will be processed by Amazon Payments, Inc. and are subject to the terms of the Amazon Payments, Inc. Customer Agreement, including your liability for chargebacks. All payments collected using the DevPay Service are subject to the then current processing fee described on the DevPay detail page on the AWS Site. Amounts owed under the Agreement may be deducted from proceeds collected under the Amazon Payments, Inc. Customer Agreement .
7.5. If we are unable to collect the fees you specify from your Customers for the sale of your Bundled Applications (''Customer Fees'') or a prior transaction for those fees is reversed, you will not be responsible for paying the fees for the Services used by you and your Customer (''Service Fees'') and AWS will have no obligation to remit or otherwise seek collection of the Customer Fees, provided that the payment failure is due to:
AWS's inability to charge a Customer's credit card for the Customer Fees, orA transaction is reversed as a result of a Chargeback (as described in the Amazon Payments, Inc. Customer Agreement ) because the transaction was not authorized or was otherwise fraudulent.In addition, in the applicable month, the Customer Fees charged must exceed the Service Fees. In the event of such a payment failure, we may recover or otherwise set off any Customer Fees from you that we collected in the month to the extent they do not exceed the Service Fees. In the event that either you or AWS is subsequently able to collect the Customer Fees, you will pay to AWS the corresponding Service Fees as provided in the Agreement.
7.6. We will host and make available to Customers a customer interface (''Customer UI'') permitting (a) the display to Customers of certain pricing, terms and conditions and other information you provide to us regarding your Bundled Applications (''Subscription Information'') and (b) Customers to engage in certain functions with respect to your Bundled Applications, such as account establishment, account termination, payment authorization and termination rights. We will define and control the fields and format for the Customer UI and for Subscription Information. We retain all rights to the Customer UI, including its look and feel, and you will not copy or mimic the Customer UI in any manner.
7.7. You are responsible for ensuring and shall ensure that all Subscription Information (as you provide it to us and as it is ultimately shown on the Customer UI) is: (a) full, accurate and complete, (b) not misleading; and (c) in compliance, in all respects, with applicable laws. You must promptly update the Subscription Information when and as necessary to ensure that the Subscription Information continues to comply with the foregoing requirements, even if the updates are necessary as a result of changes we make to the data input fields or to the Customer UI.
7.8. You are responsible for providing customer service (if any) to Customers for your Bundled Applications. We shall have no obligation to provide customer or technical support to any Customer for Bundled Applications; provided that, we will provide support to Customers regarding billing and payment questions.
7.9. You will use the communication methods we establish through the DevPay Services for the administration of Customer Accounts, including, but not limited to, any communications regarding Customer Account termination or pricing changes.
7.10. You acknowledge and agree that we may take any of the corrective action regarding Customer Accounts to the extent we deem necessary or appropriate, in our sole discretion, to (a) comply with law, (b) enforce or apply the Agreement, the Amazon Payments, Inc. Customer Agreement , or other agreements or policies applicable to the Services or DevPay Service, or (3) protect the rights, property or safety of our business, a Customer, or any third party. Corrective action may include (i) suspending, canceling or closing of Customer Accounts; (ii) re-establishment of Customer Accounts; and (iii) waiving or refunding of fees on Customer Accounts. We shall have no liability to you for taking any such actions. You shall promptly comply with any actions we take or may require of you regarding Customer Accounts. These actions may include, without limitation, reimbursing us for Customer refunds we issue, discontinuing provision of services on Customer Accounts we cancel, and re-establishment of services on Customer Accounts we re-establish. Should you ask us to close a Customer Account by using a method we have provided for that purpose, we will endeavor to close the Customer Account reasonably promptly, but we shall have no liability to you for the speed with which we do so or for our failure to do so. You shall indemnify and hold us and our employees, officers, directors and representatives, harmless from and against any and all claims, losses, damages, liabilities, judgments, penalties, fines, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorneys fees), arising out of or in connection with any claim based on or related to any actions we may take with respect to any Customer Account at your direction, including, without limitation, any closure of a Customer Account.
7.11. You acknowledge and agree that: (a) you have no expectation and have received no assurances that your business relationship with us will continue beyond the Term (or its earlier termination), that any investment by you in the promotion of any Bundled Application will be recovered or recouped, or that you will obtain any anticipated amount of profits; and (b) you will not have or acquire by virtue of the DevPay Services or otherwise any vested, proprietary or other right in the promotion of any Services or in any related goodwill created by your efforts.
8.1. If during the previous six (6) months you have incurred no fees for Amazon SimpleDB and have registered no usage of Your Content stored in Amazon SimpleDB, we may delete, without liability of any kind, Your Content that is stored in Simple DB upon thirty (30) days prior notice to you.
9.1. You may only access and use Amazon FWS to query, access, transmit and receive product and shipping information related to your use of the Fulfillment by Amazon service (''FBA Service'') sold and provided by Amazon Services LLC (''Amazon Services'') in accordance with any applicable FBA Specifications (as defined below).
9.2. To use Amazon FWS, you must have an Amazon seller account (your ''Seller Account'') that is in good standing and be registered to use the FBA Service. Your use of the FBA Service and your Seller Account is solely subject to Amazon Services' policies, procedures, the Amazon Business Services Agreement or other applicable user agreements. Amazon FWS is only a technical interface that enables you to access and process certain information related to your Seller Account. AWS will have no liability to you or any third party related to your Seller Account.
9.3. You may use Amazon FWS only to administer product and shipping information associated with your Seller Account. When registering for Amazon FWS, you must use the same username and password which is associated with your Seller Account. You may not develop or use an application to access Amazon FWS that collects, processes or stores the account identifiers or other security credentials (including usernames and passwords) of any third party associated with AWS or any of its affiliates.
9.4. You and Your Content will comply with any technical and operational specifications, security protocols and other documentation or policies provided or made available by us with respect to Amazon FWS (the ''FBA Specifications''). We reserve the right to update or modify the FBA Specifications at any time. Prior to making Your Content available for commercial use, you will thoroughly test Your Content to ensure that it operates properly with Amazon FWS, including, without limitation, that it complies with the FBA Specifications.
10.1. We may collect certain information about computing jobs you run using Amazon Elastic MapReduce, including CPU utilization, memory usage, IO performance, and error and information messages.
10.2. You are responsible for all fees incurred from your use of Amazon Elastic MapReduce regardless of the results obtained, the quality of the resulting data, or whether a computing job runs successfully. Use of Amazon Elastic MapReduce requires use of Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3, and certain features require use of Amazon SimpleDB. You are responsible for the separate fees you accrue for Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, and Amazon SimpleDB.
10.3. You are solely responsible for monitoring the status of your computing jobs. We may throttle or terminate computing jobs that we determine degrade the performance of Amazon Elastic MapReduce, the Services, or any component of the Services. We are not responsible for any data loss or data corruption that occurs as part of your computing jobs.
11.1. You may only use Amazon CloudWatch to perform monitoring and auto-scaling functions in connection with Amazon EC2. Amazon CloudWatch enables Auto Scaling in connection with Amazon EC2. Auto Scaling requires use of both Amazon CloudWatch and Amazon EC2.
11.2. In connection with Auto Scaling, we may launch additional Amazon EC2 instances or terminate Amazon EC2 instances based on conditions you set. You are responsible for the separate fees you accrue for Amazon EC2. You are responsible for all fees incurred from your use of Amazon CloudWatch and Auto Scaling regardless of the results obtained or the quality or timeliness of the results. Charges for Amazon CloudWatch will accrue as soon as you use begin using Amazon CloudWatch or Auto Scaling functionality.
11.3. Amazon CloudWatch collects and stores certain information for the Amazon EC2 instances you are monitoring, including CPU utilization, data transfer, and disk usage and activity. Amazon CloudWatch metric data is kept for 14 days; we may delete CloudWatch metric data, without liability of any kind, at any time after 14 days.
12.1. You may only use Elastic Load Balancing to provide load balancing functionality in connection with Amazon EC2. You must have instances running in all Availability Zones across which you want to balance loads with Elastic Load Balancing.
12.2. Use of Elastic Load Balancing requires use of Amazon EC2. You are responsible for the separate fees you accrue for Amazon EC2. You are responsible for all fees incurred from your use of Elastic Load Balancing regardless of the results obtained or the quality or timeliness of the results. Charges for Elastic Load Balancing will accrue as soon as you use begin using Elastic Load Balancing functionality.
13.1. As part of AWS Import/Export Disk, you may send physical storage media (the ''Media'') to us that we will use to either (a) transfer data contained on the Media into supported AWS Services as Your Content or (b) transfer certain of Your Content to the Media (such data contained on Media either before or after transfer, ''Data'') and provide the Media to you.
13.2. You will not deliver to us, and we may refuse to accept any, damaged, defective or unreadable Media or any Media otherwise not shipped in accordance with the Agreement (collectively, ''Unsuitable Media''). We may return or dispose of any Unsuitable Media, or erase Data on such Unsuitable Media. In addition, you will reimburse us for any expenses we incur in connection with any Unsuitable Media. If you request and we return Unsuitable Media to you, you agree that we will select the shipping carrier and handling standards for return of such Unsuitable Media in our sole discretion, and the carrier and standards may not be the same (and may cost more) than those we use for shipping media in connection with AWS Import/Export generally. For avoidance of doubt ''Media'' includes ''Unsuitable Media''.
13.3. As part of AWS Import/Export Snowball, we will ship you an agreed upon number of network-attached storage appliances (each an ''Appliance'') and provide you with access to the AWS Snowball Client (together with the software contained on the Appliance, and any updates or upgrades to the foregoing, the ''Software''). AWS Import/Export Snowball availability is limited to certain AWS regions and account types; please contact us to see if you qualify. You agree that you will not allow any Appliance to leave the United States state or non-U.S. country to which the Appliance is shipped until you deliver it (in the same U.S. state or non-U.S. country) to a carrier for redelivery to us. After you receive an Appliance, you may transfer certain of Your Content onto the Appliance as ''Data'' and provide the Appliance to the carrier for return to us. Once we receive the Appliance, we will transfer the Data on the Appliance into a supported AWS Service as Your Content.
13.4. You will comply with all specifications and documentation for AWS Import/Export as provided and updated by us from time to time, including shipping and encryption requirements, the AWS Import/Export Disk Pack and Ship Check List, the AWS Import/Export Snowball User Guide, and any documentation on the AWS Site or an Appliance.
13.5. You will be solely responsible for all shipping and handling costs (which may include costs of freight and transit insurance) for shipping Media and Appliances to or from us. For AWS Import/Export Disk, we may pay some reasonable return shipping charges as described on the AWS Import/Export Disk section of the AWS Site. You are responsible for payment of all customs, duties, taxes and other charges in connection with Media and Appliances being shipped to or from us. Use of AWS Import/Export requires use of a supported AWS Service. You are responsible for the separate fees you accrue for AWS Services.
13.6. We have no liability or responsibility with respect to any delay, damage or loss incurred during shipment in connection with AWS Import/Export, including loss of Data. For AWS Import/Export Disk, you will bear the entire risk of loss of, or damage to, any Media (including Data) while in transit and you are solely responsible for obtaining insurance at your expense. For AWS Import/Export Snowball, you are responsible for the entire risk of loss of, or any damage to, an Appliance once it has been delivered by the carrier to your address until the carrier accepts the Appliance for delivery back to Amazon. If you have not provided an Appliance to the carrier for delivery to Amazon for any reason within 12 days of the date it was delivered to your address, we may charge you a late fee as described on the AWS Import/Export Snowball section of the AWS Site. If you have not provided an Appliance to the carrier for return to Amazon within 90 days of the date it was delivered to you, we may charge you a lost device fee of $7500, in addition to the applicable late fees. If we receive an Appliance back from you and it has any damage which it did not have when we sent it to you, you may be charged the cost to us of fixing the damage or, if the damage cannot be reasonably fixed, the lost device fee described in the previous sentence.
13.7. You will retain title to any Media and Data we receive from you and store on an AWS Service as part of AWS Import/Export. You supply us with Media and Data entirely at your own risk. You should back-up Data prior to transfer onto an Appliance or Media and prior to delivery to us. Your Data should not include live or production data or any other data that you are not prepared to lose. We are not responsible for and will not be held liable for any damage to Media or any loss of Data. Our confirmed receipt of delivery does not: (a) indicate or imply that any Media, Appliance or Data has been delivered free of loss or damage, or that any loss or damage to any Media, Appliance or Data later discovered occurred after confirmed receipt of delivery; (b) indicate or imply that we actually received the number of units of Media specified by you for such shipment; or (c) waive, limit or reduce any of our rights under the Agreement. We reserve the right to impose, and change, from time to time, volume limitations on the delivery of your Media, and you will comply with any of these restrictions or limitations.
13.8. You represent that you have all necessary rights to (a) provide the Media and Data to us for upload into supported AWS Services and (b) authorize our transfer of any Data specified by you to the Media. You represent that import or export of the Media or Data to or from us does not require a license under the laws or regulations of any country. We may reproduce Data as necessary to transfer it between Media or Appliances and supported AWS Services.
13.9. IN ADDITION TO THE DISCLAIMERS IN THE AGREEMENT, WE HEREBY DISCLAIM ANY DUTIES OF A BAILEE OR WAREHOUSEMAN, AND YOU HEREBY WAIVE ALL RIGHTS AND REMEDIES OF A BAILOR (WHETHER ARISING UNDER COMMON LAW OR STATUTE), RELATED TO OR ARISING OUT OF ANY POSSESSION, STORAGE OR SHIPMENT OF MEDIA OR DATA BY US OR OUR AFFILIATES OR ANY OF OUR OR THEIR CONTRACTORS OR AGENTS. YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR APPLYING APPROPRIATE SECURITY MEASURES TO YOUR DATA, INCLUDING ENCRYPTING SENSITIVE DATA. You use the Appliances and Software entirely at your own risk. We are not responsible and will not be liable for any damage to, or any loss or misuse of, systems or equipment you use in connection with the Appliances and Software.
13.10. In addition to your indemnification obligations under the Agreement, you agree to indemnify, defend and hold us, our affiliates and licensors, each of our and their business partners (including third party sellers on websites operated by or on behalf of us) and each of our and their respective employees, officers, directors and representatives, harmless from and against any and all claims, losses, damages, liabilities, judgments, penalties, fines, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorneys' fees), arising out of or in connection with any claim arising out of (a) the Media (whether or not title has transferred to us) and Data, including any personal injury, death or property damage (including any damage caused by malicious or harmful code included in Data); (b) any sales, goods and services, use, excise, import, export, property, value added or other taxes or duties assessed or imposed on us or our affiliates in connection with or as a result of the storage, shipping or other actions taken by you with respect to the Appliances or taken by us with respect to the Media or Data; (c) any legal or regulatory violation, arising under the laws or regulations of any country, related to import or export of the Media or the Data.
13.11. Once AWS Import/Export services are complete, we will return the Media to you (for AWS Import/Export Disk) or delete the Data from the Appliance (for AWS Import/Export Snowball). We may return Media to you for any reason, including upon termination of the Agreement or the AWS Import/Export service. Returned Media will be sent to your designated shipping address. Media shipped to us for import into or export from supported AWS Services in the EU (Ireland) Region must originate from and be returned to an address within the European Union. If we have an outdated, incorrect or prohibited address for you, we will attempt to notify you and you will have thirty (30) calendar days from the date we provide notification to supply a substitute address. If you do not supply a substitute address within thirty (30) calendar days of notification, the Media will be deemed Unsuitable Media subject to disposal. We may erase Data and dispose of Media in any manner and we have no obligation to reimburse or compensate your for any loss of Media or Data due to our disposal.
13.12. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Agreement, you may give agents and subcontractors of your choosing access to the private key associated with your AWS account solely for the purpose of (a) preparing Data for import or export using AWS Import/Export or (b) confirming the integrity of Data imported or exported using AWS Import/Export. You remain fully responsible for and indemnify us for all activities undertaken by such third parties under your account. Other than as specifically set forth in this section, all terms and conditions of the Agreement continues to apply to your use of the Services.
13.13. The Appliances, the Software and all other proprietary information, know-how, programming, software, trademarks, trade secrets, plan drawings, requirements, specifications, designs, and patterns furnished or created by us or our agents or contractors and all property rights embodied therein are and will remain our sole property at all times. At no point do we sell, rent, lease or transfer any ownership or other rights to the Appliance to you. You may not use the Appliance in any manner not expressly permitted herein. Without limiting the foregoing, you will not, and will not permit or authorize third parties to (or attempt to), (a) disassemble or reverse engineer the Appliance or the Software; (b) open, modify, alter or otherwise tamper with the Appliance; (c) circumvent or disable any features or measures in the Appliance or the Software. Your use of the Software is governed by the licenses included with the Software.Certain components of the Software included on Appliances are governed by the open source software licenses identified here. Your license rights with respect to such components are defined by the applicable open source software license.
13.14. For AWS Import/Export, Disk, we will not act as the importer of record for your shipments of Media or Data. If we are importing or exporting your shipments of Media or Data into the Asia Pacific (Singapore) Region, you will not act as the importer of record and you represent and warrant that: (a) You are not a resident of Singapore; (b) You have a business establishment or fixed establishment outside of Singapore and not in Singapore; (c) You are domiciled outside Singapore if you have no business or fixed establishment in any country; (d) You are not registered or required to be registered for GST in Singapore.
You will notify us if, at any time, you are using the AWS Import/Export Disk service to ship Media or Data into the Asia Pacific (Singapore) Region and you are not acting as the importer of record, and you become unable to make any of the above representations and warranties.
If you are not acting as the importer of record on your shipment of Media or Data to the Asia Pacific (Singapore) Region, then the Media or Data must (i) be returned to a location outside of Singapore, (ii) be exported on an FCA basis; and (iii) you must be importer of record in the country that the Media or Data is returned to.
14.1. You may only use Amazon VPC to connect your computing resources to certain AWS computing resources via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection.
14.2. Use of Amazon VPC requires the use of other Services. You are responsible for all applicable fees associated with your use of other Services in connection with Amazon VPC. When you transfer data between AWS computing resources running inside Amazon VPC and AWS computing resources running outside Amazon VPC, you will be charged VPN data transfer rates in addition to any applicable Internet data transfer changes. VPN connection charges accrue during any time your VPN connection is in the ''available'' state.
14.3. You are solely responsible for the configuration, operation, performance and security of all equipment and computing resources you use with Amazon VPC, including any gateways or other devices you use to connect to Amazon VPC.
15.1. You may only use AWS MFA in connection with accessing your AWS account.
15.2. Your use of AWS MFA requires the use of other Services. You are responsible for all applicable fees associated with your use of other Services in connection with AWS MFA.
15.3. You are solely responsible for the procurement and for the configuration, operation, performance and security of any hardware or non-AWS software that you use in connection with AWS MFA, including any compatible authentication devices.
16.1. You may only use Amazon RDS to store, query, retrieve and serve data and other content owned, licensed or lawfully obtained by you. You acknowledge that neither we nor our licensors are responsible in any manner, and you are solely responsible, for the proper configuration of database security groups and other security settings associated with Amazon RDS.
16.2. You may store snapshots of Your Amazon RDS Content for later use in Amazon RDS but snapshots cannot be downloaded outside the Services.
16.3. We may terminate your Amazon RDS database instance if you attempt to access or tamper with any software we pre-load on the database instance, including the operating system software running on the database instance.
16.4. You are responsible for configuring your backup retention period to give yourself enough time to recover data from your backups in the event of a hardware or file system failure.
16.5. Reserved DB Instance Pricing. You may designate Amazon RDS database instances as subject to the reserved pricing and payment terms (''Reserved DB Instance Pricing'') set forth on the Amazon RDS detail page on the AWS Site (each designated instance, a ''Reserved DB Instance''). You may designate database instances as Reserved DB Instance by calling to the Purchasing API or selecting the Reserved DB Instance option in the AWS console. When you designate a database instance as a Reserved DB Instance, you must designate a region, instance type and quantity for the applicable Reserved DB Instances. The Reserved DB Instances may only be used in the designated region. We may change Reserved DB Instance Pricing at any time but price changes will not apply to previously designated Reserved DB Instances. We may terminate the Reserved DB Instance Pricing program at any time. Reserved DB Instances are noncancellable, and you will owe the Reserved DB Instance Pricing for the duration of the term you selected, even if the Agreement is terminated. Reserved DB Instances are nontransferable and all amounts paid in connection with the Reserved DB Instances are nonrefundable, except that if we terminate the Agreement other than for cause, terminate an individual Reserved DB Instance type, or terminate the Reserved DB Instance Pricing program, we will refund you a pro rata portion of any up-front fee paid in connection with any previously designated Reserved DB Instances. Upon expiration or termination of the term of a Reserved DB Instance, the Reserved DB Instance Pricing will expire and standard on-demand usage prices will apply to the database instance. In addition to being subject to Reserved DB Instance Pricing, Reserved DB Instances are subject to all data transfer and other fees applicable under the Agreement.
16.6. Using Oracle Software.
16.6.1 ''License Included''. As part of the Services, you may be allowed to use certain software (including related documentation) described on the AWS Site developed and owned by Oracle America, Inc. or its affiliates (''Oracle'') and Oracle's licensors (collectively, the ''Oracle Software''). If you choose to use the Oracle Software and do not already have a license from Oracle for that Oracle Software, Oracle and its licensors require that you agree to these additional terms and conditions:
Oracle or its licensors retains all ownership and intellectual property rights in the Oracle Software, and title to the Oracle Software does not transfer to you or any third party by virtue of this Agreement.The Oracle Software is subject to a restricted license and may only be used in connection with the Service Offerings, and only by the individual or legal entity that entered into the Agreement.You may only use the Oracle Software for your internal business operations and in accordance with the Agreement. You may permit agents or contractors (including outsourcers) to use the Oracle Software on your behalf for the purposes set forth in, and subject to, the Agreement, provided you are responsible for the agent's, contractor's and outsourcer's compliance with the Agreement in connection with such use.You may not:assign, grant, or transfer the Oracle Software or any interest in the Oracle Software to another individual or entity, and if you purport to grant a security interest in the Oracle Software, the secured party will have no right to use or transfer the Oracle Software;use the Oracle Software for rental, timesharing, subscription services, hosting, or outsourcing;remove or modify any notice of Oracle's or its licensors' proprietary rights;make the Oracle Software available in any manner to any third party for use in the third party's business operations;duplicate, reverse engineer (unless required by law for interoperability), disassemble or decompile the Oracle Software (including by reviewing data structures or similar materials produced by the Oracle Software); orpublish any results of benchmark tests run on the Oracle Software.Third party technology that may be appropriate or necessary for use with some Oracle Software is specified in the related documentation, and that third party technology is licensed to you only for use with the Service Offerings and under the terms of the third party license agreement specified in the documentation, not this Agreement.To the extent permitted by applicable law, Oracle disclaims any liability for any damages, whether direct, indirect, incidental, special, punitive or consequential, and any loss of profits, revenue, data or data use, arising from your use of the Oracle Software.Notwithstanding anything to the contrary elsewhere in the Agreement, Oracle is an intended third party beneficiary of the Agreement, but solely with respect to this Section 16.6.1 of these Service Terms.The Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act does not apply to your use of the Oracle Software.Upon any termination of the Agreement, you must discontinue use of the Oracle Software and any related documentation.16.6.2 ''Bring-Your-Own-License'' (BYOL). Under the BYOL option, Amazon RDS enable you to provision Oracle Software to Amazon EC2 instances and use the management capabilities of Amazon RDS for the Oracle Software. You can use the Oracle Software with Amazon RDS if you meet the following conditions:
You must have a valid license with ''Software Update License & Support'' for the Oracle Software you wish to run. The terms of your existing license and support agreement(s) with Oracle continue to apply to your use of the Oracle Software; andYou must follow Oracle's current policies for licensing Oracle Database software in the cloud computing environment. The database instances using the Oracle Software with Amazon RDS reside in the Amazon EC2 environment.16.7 Using Microsoft Software.
16.7.1 ''License Included.'' In conjunction with the Services, you may be allowed to use certain software (including related documentation) developed and owned by Microsoft Corporation or its licensors (collectively, the ''Microsoft Software''). If you choose to use the Microsoft Software, Microsoft and its licensors require that you agree to these additional terms and conditions:
The Microsoft Software is neither sold nor distributed to you and you may use it solely in conjunction with the Services.You may not transfer or use the Microsoft Software outside the Services.You may not remove, modify or obscure any copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights notices that are contained in or on the Microsoft Software.You may not reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the Microsoft Software, except to the extent expressly permitted by applicable law.Microsoft disclaims, to the extent permitted by applicable law, all warranties by Microsoft and any liability by Microsoft or its suppliers for any damages, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from the Services.Microsoft is not responsible for providing any support in connection with the Services. Do not contact Microsoft for support.You are not granted any right to use the Microsoft Software in any application controlling aircraft or other modes of human mass transportation, nuclear or chemical facilities, life support systems, implantable medical equipment, motor vehicles, weaponry systems, or any similar scenario (collectively, ''High Risk Use''). Microsoft and its suppliers disclaim any express or implied warranty of fitness for High Risk Use. High Risk Use does not include utilization of the Microsoft Software for administrative purposes, to store configuration data, engineering and/or configuration tools, or other non-control applications, the failure of which would not result in death, personal injury, or severe physical or environmental damage. These non-controlling applications may communicate with the applications that perform the control, but must not be directly or indirectly responsible for the control function.SQL Server Web Edition may be used only to support public and Internet accessible Web pages, Web sites, Web applications or Web services. It may not be used to support line of business applications (e.g., Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Management and other similar applications).16.7.2 License Mobility with Software Assurance (Bring Your Own License or BYOL). Under this option, Amazon RDS enable you to provision Microsoft SQL Server Software to Amazon EC2 instances and use the management capabilities of Amazon RDS for the SQL Server Software. You can use this benefit if only you meet the requirements and have signed up as described here.
16.7.3 Microsoft is an intended third-party beneficiary of this Section 16.7, with the right to enforce its provisions.
17.1. You may only use Amazon SNS to send notifications to parties who have agreed to receive notifications from you.
17.2. We may throttle or restrict notifications if we determine, in our sole discretion, that your activity may be in violation of the AWS Acceptable Use Policy or the Agreement.
17.3. Your notifications sent through Amazon SNS may be blocked, delayed or prevented from being delivered by destination servers and other reasons outside of our control and there is no warranty that the service or content will be uninterrupted, secure or error free or that notifications will reach their intended destination during any stated time-frame. In addition, you acknowledge that we may not be able to provide the service if a wireless carrier delivering Amazon SNS notifications by short messaging service (SMS) terminates or suspends their service. Your payment obligations may continue regardless of whether delivery of your notifications are prevented, delayed or blocked.
17.4. You may not use Amazon SNS to send SMS messages that include Premium Content (as defined in the Mobile Marketing Association Guidelines). You may not charge recipients for receiving Amazon SNS notifications by SMS unless you have obtained the recipient's express consent. You must advise recipients receiving Amazon SNS notification by SMS that wireless carriers may charge the recipient to receive Amazon SNS notifications by SMS. You must obtain our prior written consent before using Amazon SNS to send SMS messages for:
financial transactions or payment services (e.g., mobile banking, bill presentment, bill payment, money transfer, peer-to-peer payment or lending credit, debit or stored value payment services);charitable programs (e.g., soliciting donations for a non-profit organization);sweepstakes or contests;advertisements or promotions for commercial products, goods or services; orlocation-based services (e.g., where a recipient receives messages based on the geographical location of the recipient's wireless device).17.5. Any third party push notification platform that you use in connection with Amazon SNS is Third Party Content under the Agreement, and features of Amazon SNS that depend on such platforms may not be secure, uninterrupted or error-free. Your use of such push notification platform is subject to the platform's terms and conditions, and you are solely responsible for complying with those terms and conditions. We may change, discontinue or deprecate support for a push notification platform for any reason at any time.
17.6. You and any of your applications that use Amazon SNS must comply with all laws, rules, and regulations applicable in jurisdictions in which your applications are used.
17.7. Through your use of Amazon SNS you will not:
Transmit any material that contains viruses, Trojan horses, worms or any other malicious, harmful, or deleterious programs.Offer or purport to offer any Emergency Services. ''Emergency Services'' means services that allow a user to connect with emergency services personnel or public safety answering points such as 911 or E911 services.Materially violate or facilitate the material violation of any local or foreign law, rule, regulation or order, including laws regarding the transmission of data or softwareTransmit material that is sexually explicit, relates to ''adult services'', or contains sensitive financial or identifying information (such as social security numbers)Resell, sublicense or timeshare the Services or use them on behalf of anonymous or other third parties.Use the Services in hazardous environments (such as operation of nuclear facilities, aircraft navigation, or any other use that may result in foreseeable risk of injury, death, or destruction of property).18.1. You may only use Consolidated Billing as described in this Section and on the AWS Site to (i) link an AWS account (the ''Paying Account'') with another AWS account (each, a ''Linked Account''), or (ii) allow an AWS account to be linked to a Paying Account. You may only link accounts held by you, your affiliates or your employees, or by your agents or subcontractors currently doing work on your behalf. If an agent or subcontractor ceases doing work on your behalf, you will promptly unlink the applicable account. When accounts are linked, the Paying Account will be billed for and will pay all applicable charges for each Linked Account in accordance with the payment provisions in the Agreement while the accounts are linked. By linking your Linked Account to a Paying Account, you consent to disclosing your billing and account activity for that Linked Account to the Paying Account. We will determine the number of accounts that may be linked. An account may unlink another account from it at any time. As soon as a Linked Account is unlinked from a Paying Account, the Linked Account will be billed for and will pay all applicable charges for the Linked Account in accordance with payment provisions in the Agreement. If a Paying Account is terminated for failure to satisfy the payment provisions in the Agreement, then all linked Accounts associated with the Paying Account will be unlinked. We may unlink a Linked Account from a Paying Account at any time upon notice to both accounts in accordance with the Agreement, except that accounts linked in violation of this Section 18.1 may be unlinked by us immediately and without notice. Paying Accounts and Linked Accounts are jointly and severally liable for all fees accrued by Linked Accounts while the accounts are linked. Accordingly, if a Paying Account fails to pay for fees accrued by a Linked Account while the accounts are linked, the Linked Account remains liable for such fees.
18.2. When you use the CreateLinkedAccount API to create an AWS account (each, a ''Programmatically Created Account''), (i) each Programmatically Created Account is a Linked Account; (ii) the AWS account that you used to access the API is the Paying Account; (iii) except as otherwise provided in the Paying Account's Agreement, each Programmatically Created Account is governed by the terms of the AWS Customer Agreement; (iv) except as otherwise authorized by AWS, each Programmatically Created Account may be used only by you or your agents or contractors performing work on your behalf and may not be created for any third party; (v) only AWS may unlink a Programmatically Created Account from the Paying Account; and (vi) you are responsible for ensuring that users abide by the terms governing each Programmatically Created Account and for all activities that occur under such account.
19.1. You may use IAM to create additional sets of security credentials (the ''User Credentials'') under your AWS account, the format of which may include a username and password, roles, policies, permissions, access keys, and/or a security token. The User Credentials are subject to change: (a) by you through the IAM APIs, or (b) if we determine in our reasonable discretion that a change is necessary. We will promptly notify you of any change we make to the User Credentials.
19.2. You will ensure that all use of the Services under the User Credentials complies with the terms and conditions of the customer agreement between you and us that governs your use of the Services.
19.3. You are responsible for all applicable fees associated with use of the Services in connection with IAM, including fees incurred as a result of any User Credentials. You are responsible for maintaining the secrecy and security of the User Credentials (other than any key that we expressly permit you to use publicly). You are solely responsible, and we have no liability, for any activities that occur under the User Credentials, regardless of whether such activities are undertaken by you, your employees, agents, subcontractors or customers, or any other third party. You are responsible for the creation, distribution, and security (including enabling of access) of all User Credentials created under your AWS account, including credentials that you have used IAM to create or disclose to other parties.
19.4. Except as otherwise provided by AWS, you may only use User Credentials for your internal use and may not expose your User Credentials publicly. You may not sell, transfer or sublicense or authorize the creation of User Credentials (other than public use of any key that we expressly permit you to use publicly) to any other party; provided that, you may disclose or cause to be disclosed User Credentials to your agents or subcontractors that are performing services for you, solely to allow the agents or subcontractors to use the Services on your behalf in accordance with the agreement between you and us that governs your use of the Services.
19.5. Any third party identity provider that you use in connection with the Service Offerings is Third Party Content under the Agreement and may be provided directly to you by a third party under separate terms and conditions. You are solely responsible for complying with those terms and conditions. We may change, discontinue or deprecate support for an identity provider for any reason, including if the continued use of the identity service (a) poses a security or intellectual property issue, (b) is economically or technically burdensome, or (c) must be terminated to comply with the law or requests of governmental entities.
20.1. You may use Amazon Route 53 to answer Domain Name System (DNS) queries for your applications.
20.2. You will not create a hosted zone for a domain that you do not own or have authority over.
20.3. All DNS records (other than Private DNS records) used in connection with Amazon Route 53 will be publicly available and AWS will have no liability for disclosure of those DNS records.
20.4 Domain name registration services are provided under our Domain Name Registration Agreement.
21.1. The URL used in connection with an AWS Elastic Beanstalk environment will have the formulation [myapp].elasticbeanstalk.com. You will select the ''myapp'' portion of the URL and will not:
include any trademark of Amazon or its affiliates, or a variant or misspelling of a trademark of Amazon or its affiliates '' for example, "endlessboots", "amaozn", "smallpartsstore", "amazonauctions", "kindlemagazines", or "kindlewirelessreader" would be unsuitable; orotherwise violate the intellectual property rights of any third party or the AWS Acceptable Use Policy (including, without limitation, containing any offensive, harmful or illegal content).AWS may reject any URL that fails to comply with this Section. Further, AWS may modify any URL in order to make it compliant with this Section. In addition, AWS may treat any URL that fails to comply with this Section as Prohibited Content.
21.2. The [myapp] portion of the URL is reserved for you only during the time your application environment is running. If you stop running your application environment at any time, for any reason, the [myapp] portion of the URL you were using to run the application environment will no longer be available to you, and will be returned to a pool from which it may be used by another AWS customer.
21.3. AWS may make available reference or sample applications for you to use in connection with AWS Elastic Beanstalk (''Elastic Beanstalk Sample Apps''). Elastic Beanstalk Sample Apps are provided ''as is'' and you will be charged the same fees for running Elastic Beanstalk Sample Apps as you would be charged for running your own application.
21.4. AWS Elastic Beanstalk is offered at no additional charge, but requires the use of other AWS services. You are responsible for all fees incurred for AWS services used in connection with AWS Elastic Beanstalk.
22.1. We take steps to increase the security and reliability of email you send, attempt to send, or receive using SES (''SES Email''). Like many email service providers, when you send, attempt to send, or receive an email, we (or our third-party providers) may store and scan your SES Email and Your Content included in SES Email. This helps us protect you and SES by preventing and blocking ''spam'' e-mails, viruses and spyware, and other harmful or unwanted items from being sent and received over SES.
22.2. Your use of SES and all SES Email must comply with the AWS Acceptable Use Policy and the Agreement. We may throttle, suspend or terminate your access to SES, or block or decline to send and/or receive any SES Email, if we determine in our sole discretion that
our scan of SES Email or Your Content included in SES Email reveals abusive or low quality email (such as ''spam''),SES Email bounces back to us or we receive abuse complaints (including complaints from third parties) in connection with your SES Email,the source or ReturnPath email address you have provided us for ''address bounces'' or complaints is not successfully receiving email, oryour use of SES Email does not comply with the AWS Acceptable Use Policy or the Agreement, oryour SES Emails or Your Content include an attachment in a format that we do not support.22.3. Your SES Emails may be blocked, delayed or prevented from being delivered by destination email servers and other reasons outside of our control. Your payment obligations continue regardless of whether delivery of your emails is prevented, delayed or blocked.
22.4. You are solely responsible for ensuring any emails you send and receive using SES comply with the Federal CAN-SPAM Act. AWS is not the ''sender'' as defined in the Federal CAN-SPAM Act. You will not use SES in connection with an open mail relay, including, without limitation, an open mail relay in the form of an SMTP server, unrestricted web form, or otherwise.
22.5. Your SES Emails may be blocked, delayed or prevented from being received due to your configuration of the Service. You are solely responsible for the proper configuration of the Service to ensure the receipt of emails.
23.1. You may use AWS CloudFormation to create a collection of AWS resources and provision them.
23.2. AWS may make sample templates available for you to use in connection with AWS CloudFormation. All sample templates are offered ''as is'' and you are solely responsible for your use of the sample templates.
23.3. Any templates you use in connection with AWS CloudFormation must comply with the Agreement and the AWS Acceptable Use Policy and you are solely responsible for your use of any templates.
23.4. AWS CloudFormation is offered at no additional charge, but requires the use of other AWS services. You are responsible for all fees incurred for AWS services used in connection with AWS CloudFormation.
24.1. You may use AWS Direct Connect to establish a dedicated network connection between your network and your AWS resources by using connection types and locations supported by AWS. When you establish a dedicated connection, your network traffic that would have otherwise been routed over the Internet may be routed through your dedicated network connection, including your network traffic sent to or from (i) services offered by other affiliates of Amazon.com, Inc. or (ii) the AWS resources of other AWS customers.
24.2. The hardware and equipment you use with AWS Direct Connect must comply with the Documentation provided by AWS. You are responsible for protecting your AWS Direct Connect connections, including using physical security, firewalls and other network security tools as appropriate.
24.3. AWS will permit data center operator or other service provider to connect your hardware to AWS's hardware at the AWS Direct Connect location(s) that you select. AWS will provide the necessary information to enable the data center operator or other service provider to establish and monitor this connection, including your name, email address, network configuration, activity information, and AWS account number.
24.4. You are responsible for your separate relationship with the data center operator or other service provider, including compliance with your agreement with, and the policies and procedures of, the data center operator or other service provider, and payment of applicable fees to the data center operator or other service provider. You are responsible for providing or procuring (and AWS will not own) any equipment or cabling necessary to establish this dedicated connection. Neither AWS nor any of its affiliates are responsible for the actions, errors or omissions of any employees or contractors of data center operators or service providers, including if the employees or contractors fail to follow instructions from you or AWS.
24.5. We may disconnect your AWS Direct Connect connection at any time for any reason. If the connection you establish as part of AWS Direct Connect is temporarily unavailable or terminated, AWS will route traffic bound for your AWS resources over the public Internet and AWS's standard data transfer charges will apply. However, if you are using Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), traffic bound for your Amazon VPC resources will be routed through an IPsec VPN connection. If an IPsec VPN connection is unavailable, traffic bound for your Amazon VPC resources will not be delivered.
25.1. You may only use Amazon ElastiCache to store, query, retrieve and serve Your Content. You are solely responsible, for the proper configuration of all security settings associated with Amazon ElastiCache.
25.2. You may not access or tamper with any software we install on the cache nodes as part of Amazon ElastiCache.
25.3. Amazon ElastiCache is designed for the ephemeral storage of Your Content. You are responsible for maintaining a persistent data storage for Your Content, and routinely archiving Your Content to prevent the loss of Your Content.
25.4. Replacement cache nodes automatically generated by Amazon ElastiCache may have different IP address, and you are responsible for reviewing your application configuration to ensure that your cache nodes are associated with the appropriate IP addresses.
25.5. We may apply software updates on your behalf if we determine there is a security vulnerability in the system or software we install on the cache nodes as part of Amazon ElastiCache.
25.6. Reserved Cache Node Pricing. You may designate Amazon ElastiCache cache node as subject to the reserved pricing and payment terms (''Reserved Cache Node Pricing'') set forth on the Amazon ElastiCache detail page on the AWS Site (each designated instance, a ''Reserved Cache Node''). You may designate cache nodes as Reserved Cache Nodes by calling to the Purchasing API or selecting the Reserved Cache Node option in the AWS console. When you designate a cache node as Reserved Cache Node, you must designate a region, cache node type, Reserved Cache Node type, and quantity for the applicable Reserved Cache Node. The Reserved Cache Node may only be used in the designated region. We may change Reserved Cache Node Pricing at any time but price changes will not apply to previously designated Reserved Cache Nodes. We may terminate the Reserved Cache Node Pricing program at any time. Reserved Cache Nodes are nontransferable and all amounts paid in connection with the Reserved Cache Nodes are nonrefundable, except that if we terminate the Agreement other than for cause, terminate an individual Reserved Cache Node type, or terminate the Reserved Cache Node Pricing program, we will refund you a pro rata portion of any up-front fee paid in connection with any previously designated Reserved Cache Nodes. Upon expiration or termination of the term of a Reserved Cache Node, the Reserved Cache Node Pricing will expire and standard on-demand usage prices will apply to the cache node. In addition to being subject to Reserved Cache Node Pricing, Reserved Cache Nodes are subject to all data transfer and other fees applicable under the Agreement.
26.1. We will provide ''Support'' in accordance with the terms of AWS Support Features page available at http://aws.amazon.com/premiumsupport (the ''Guidelines''). AWS Support is available only as described in the Guidelines. If you are experiencing problems with one or more Services in connection with your use of any Content that was provided to you by a third party (someone other than yourself or AWS) then AWS Support is not available.
26.2. In providing AWS Support, AWS will use commercially reasonable efforts to (a) respond within the ''Response Times'' set forth in the Guidelines for all properly submitted cases from authorized individuals, and (b) work towards the identification and resolution of the problems submitted. When submitting a case, you may designate the severity level of a problem; provided that, we reserve the right to reclassify the severity level in our reasonable opinion. All Response Times are measured from the point when a case has been properly submitted by an authorized individual to us. Cases may be submitted as specified in the Guidelines. We do not represent, warrant or guarantee that (i) we will always be able to resolve a case fully, (ii) you will no longer experience a problem, (iii) we will provide a bug fix, patch or other workaround in connection with the identified problem, or (iv) any support or advice will result in any performance efficiency or improvement. You are solely responsible for the implementation and results of any suggestions or advice received.
26.3. Unless otherwise set forth in the Guidelines, AWS Support fees will be the greater of (a) the specified minimum monthly fee, or (b) a percentage of your monthly usage charges for all Services during the billing period. Regardless of when you sign up or terminate AWS Support, you are obligated to pay for a minimum of thirty (30) days of support each time you register to receive the service. Implementation of any suggested configurations or improvements may result in additional fees and charges. We reserve the right to refuse to provide AWS Support to any customer that frequently registers for and terminates the service.
27.1 You are responsible for satisfying any applicable eligibility requirements for using the AWS GovCloud (US) Region including providing accurate and current registration information. We may require you to provide additional registration information before we permit you to access the AWS GovCloud (US) Region. Such information may include your U.S. person status, as defined by 22 CFR part 120.15 (''US Person''), and whether you are subject to export restrictions under U.S. export control laws and regulations. We may make, directly or through third parties, any inquiries we consider necessary to validate information that you provide to us, including without limitation checking commercial and/or governmental databases. While we may take steps to verify the identity of our Customers, we cannot and do not guarantee any Customer's identity.
27.2 AWS is responsible for maintaining access controls to the AWS GovCloud (US) Region that limit AWS personnel's physical and logical access to the ''AWS Network'' to US Persons only. The AWS Network consists of AWS's internal data center facilities, servers, networking equipment, and host software systems that are within AWS's reasonable control and are used to provide the AWS Services. You are responsible for all physical and logical access controls beyond the AWS Network including, but not limited to, Customer or End User account access, data transmission, encryption, and appropriate storage and processing of your Content within the AWS GovCloud (US) region. AWS makes no representation or warranty related to the US Persons status of any Customer or End Users that may be granted access to the AWS GovCloud (US) Region by other Customers and their End Users.
27.3 You are responsible for verifying the adequacy of the AWS GovCloud (US) Region for the processing and storage of your Content and that your use of AWS Services will comply with the laws and regulations that may govern your Content. You are also solely responsible for verifying that End Users are eligible to access your Content in the AWS GovCloud (US) region.
27.4 You may only use Amazon VPC to connect your computing resources to the AWS GovCloud (US) region.
27.5 AWS Services may not be used to process or store classified data. If you or your end users introduce classified data into the AWS Network, you will be responsible for all sanitization costs incurred by AWS.
28.1 You will be charged for the throughput capacity (reads and writes) you provision in your Amazon DynamoDB tables even if you do not fully utilize the provisioned capacity.
28.2 The actual reads and writes performance of your Amazon DynamoDB tables may vary and may be less than the throughput capacity that you provision.
28.3 Reserved Capacity Pricing. You may purchase reserved throughput capacity (reads and writes) subject to the pricing and payment terms set forth on the Amazon DynamoDB detail page on the AWS Site (''Amazon DynamoDB Reserved Capacity''). You may purchase Amazon DynamoDB Reserved Capacity by submitting a request through the AWS console. When you purchase Amazon DynamoDB Reserved Capacity, you must designate a region, quantity, and term. You will be charged (1) a one-time, up-front fee and (2) an hourly fee for each hour during the term based on the amount of Amazon DynamoDB Reserved Capacity you purchase. The Amazon DynamoDB Reserved Capacity may only be used in the designated region and only by the account that purchased the Amazon DynamoDB Reserved Capacity. We may change the pricing for Amazon DynamoDB Reserved Capacity at any time, but price changes will not apply to previously purchased Amazon DynamoDB Reserved Capacity. We may terminate the Amazon DynamoDB Reserved Capacity program at any time. Amazon DynamoDB Reserved Capacity is nontransferable and all amounts paid in connection with the Amazon DynamoDB Reserved Capacity are nonrefundable, except that if we terminate the Agreement (other than for cause) or the Amazon DynamoDB Reserved Capacity program, we will refund you a pro rata portion of any up-front fee paid in connection with any previously purchased Amazon DynamoDB Reserved Capacity. Upon expiration or termination of the term of any Amazon DynamoDB Reserved Capacity, standard on-demand usage prices will apply to the your use of Amazon DynamoDB. Amazon DynamoDB Reserved Capacity is also subject to all storage, data transfer and other fees applicable under the Agreement.
28.4 You may install the local version of DynamoDB only on computer equipment owned or controlled by you and may use it solely (a) for your internal business purposes and (b) in connection with the Services. Your use of DynamoDB Local is governed by the DynamoDB Local License Agreement, located here: DynamoDB Local License Agreement.
29.1 You may only use the AWS Storage Gateway on computer equipment owned or controlled by you for your internal business purposes, solely to access Your Content used in connection with the Services. Your use of the AWS Storage Gateway is governed by the AWS Storage Gateway License, located here: AWS Storage Gateway License Agreement.
30.1 The AWS Marketplace is a venue operated by AWS that allows Content to be offered, sold, and bought. Content may sold by AWS or a third party, and the party offering or selling the Content may specify separate terms and conditions and privacy policies for the use of the Content. If the Content is offered or sold by a third party, that party will be the seller of record for the Content. AWS is not a party to the terms with respect to Content offered or sold by third parties. Any Content of third parties offered through the AWS Marketplace constitutes ''Third Party Content'' under the Agreement. While AWS may help facilitate the resolution of disputes between you and third parties, AWS is not responsible for Third Party Content and has no control over and does not guarantee the quality, safety or legality of items advertised, the truth or accuracy of Third Party Content or listings, or the ability of sellers to offer the Content.
30.2 Except to the extent Content is provided to you under a separate license that expressly states otherwise, neither you nor any End User may, or may attempt to, (a) modify, alter, tamper with, repair, or otherwise create derivative works of any Content, (b) reverse engineer, disassemble, or decompile the Content or apply any other process or procedure to derive the source code of any software included in the Content, (c) resell or sublicense the Content, (d) transfer Content outside the Services without specific authorization to do so, or (e) tamper with or circumvent any controls or make unauthorized copies of the Content.
30.3 AWS may stop providing the AWS Marketplace (or any features of or listings within the AWS Marketplace) to you at AWS's sole discretion, without prior notice to you. In addition, AWS may disable or remove Content already purchased, if AWS determines in its sole discretion that the Content may violate any AWS policies or any other regulations, policies or laws.
30.4 You authorize AWS, its affiliates, and its third-party payment processors and any service providers to charge the payment method you select in your AWS account for Content that you purchase in the AWS Marketplace. This may include one-time payments as well as recurring payments. A ''recurring payment'' is a payment that occurs at the specified intervals and amounts provided at the time of purchase (e.g. annually or monthly). The applicable fees and billing periods for the Content are listed on the confirmation screen when you place your order. Your authorizations will remain until cancelled. You may cancel your subscriptions at any time by logging into ''Your Software Subscriptions'' on the AWS Site. Unless we specify otherwise, only valid credit cards may be used to purchase a recurring payment subscription.
31.1 You may only use the AWS Data Pipeline on computer equipment owned or controlled by you for your internal business purposes, solely to access Your Content used in connection with the Services.
31.2 Your use of the AWS Data Pipeline Remote Runner is governed by the AWS Data Pipeline Remote Runner License, located here: AWS Data Pipeline Remote Runner License Agreement.
32.1 The further distribution of files created by Amazon Elastic Transcoder may require that you obtain license rights from third parties, including owners or licensors of certain third party audio and video formats. You are solely responsible for obtaining these licenses and paying any necessary royalties or fees.
32.2 We do not represent, warrant or guarantee the quality of any files you create through your use of Amazon Elastic Transcoder or that the files will be of a certain fidelity or error free.
33.1 You may use AWS OpsWorks to create a collection of AWS resources and provision them.
33.2 AWS may make sample templates available for you to use in connection with AWS OpsWorks. Sample templates may include chef recipes and/or sample code. All sample templates are offered ''as is'' and you are solely responsible for your use of the sample templates.
33.3. Any templates you use in connection with AWS OpsWorks must comply with the Agreement and the AWS Acceptable Use Policy and you are solely responsible for your use of any templates.
33.4. In addition to any charges you incur for your use of AWS Opsworks, you are responsible for all fees incurred for AWS services used in connection with AWS OpsWorks.
33.5. You may install and use the AWS Opsworks agent solely with AWS Opsworks. Your use of the AWS Opsworks agent is governed by the AWS Opsworks Client License Agreement, located here: AWS Opsworks Client License Agreement.
34.1 You may not access, modify, update or tamper with, or attempt to access, modify, update or tamper with, any of the software installed on the HSM device, except as expressly permitted by us.
34.2 As part of the AWS CloudHSM service, AWS will provide access to HSM devices of its choosing. You have no ownership or rental rights in the specific HSM device to which we provide you access in the course of providing the AWS CloudHSM service.
34.3. In conjunction with the AWS CloudHSM service, you may be allowed to use certain software (including related documentation) developed and owned by SafeNet, Inc. or its licensors (collectively, the ''SafeNet Software''). In connection with your use of the SafeNet Software, SafeNet and its licensors require that you agree to the additional terms and conditions located here .
34.4. If you elect to discontinue use of a HSM device, you must issue a command to delete the contents of the device (i.e., ''zero-ize'' the device). You will continue to be charged for use of an HSM device until the device has been zero-ized out and you notify us that you wish to discontinue the service.
34.5. Failure of an HSM device can result in unrecoverable data loss. We do not perform backups or implement fault tolerant configurations on your behalf. You are solely responsible for backup and fault tolerant configurations.
35.1. When you use AppStream, you also use Amazon EC2, CloudWatch and AutoScaling, S3, and DynamoDB, and your use of AppStream is subject to all the terms that govern those services.
35.2. The software and other content that you upload to run on AppStream (including your AppStream hosted application, dependencies and installer), your AppStream entitlement service, and your AppStream client software are Your Content. The use of Your Content with AppStream, including the transmission of internet video and your distribution of any video decoder in your AppStream client software, may require that you obtain license rights from third parties. You are solely responsible for obtaining necessary licenses and paying any necessary royalties or fees applicable to Your Content.
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Clinton likely to leave NH with same number of delegates as Sanders | TheHill
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:29
Hillary Clinton is expected to leave New Hampshire with just as many delegates as Bernie Sanders, even after he crushed her in Tuesday's presidential primary.
Sanders had won 13 delegates with his 20-point victory on Tuesday and is expected to raise that total to 15 by the time all of the votes are counted.
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Two of the state's 24 delegates are currently unpledged but will likely be awarded to Sanders once the results are finalized.Clinton won nine delegates in the primary but came into the contest with the support of six superdelegates, who are state party insiders given the freedom to support any candidate they choose.
Superdelegate support is fluid, though, so some of those delegates now backing Clinton could switch to Sanders before the Democratic National Convention in late July.
But as it stands, the superdelegate support gives Clinton a total of 15 New Hampshire delegates.
The Clinton campaign has mounted an aggressive effort to secure about 360 superdelegates across the country, according to The Associated Press. Sanders has a total of eight superdelegates.
Two of New Hampshire's eight superdelegates are uncommitted: state party chairman Ray Buckley and state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, according to the AP.
Buckley was barred from picking a side until after the primary, and Fuller Clark told The Hill that she remains uncommitted.
''I wanted to ensure that we had a very open and fair process in New Hampshire, and I don't t believe as an elected officer of the party that I should be choosing between two very fine Democrats who are running for office,'' she said.
''For the time being, I continue to hold that position and will wait until closer to the convention to decide.''
Clinton's superdelegate supporters includes Gov. Maggie Hassan, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and Rep. Annie Kuster.
She's also backed by Democratic National Committee members Joanne Dodwell, Billy Shaheen and Kathy Sullivan.
Review of euthanasia in psychiatric patients raising 'serious concerns' | CTV News
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:27
A new review of patients in the Netherlands is shedding light on the controversial practice of euthanasia or assisted suicide among patients with psychiatric disorders, as the practice is increasing in certain jurisdictions. The review comes at a time when the Canadian government is crafting new legislation to address the euthanasia in this country.
The review, published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, looked at 66 cases of euthanasia or assisted suicide (EAS) among patients with psychiatric disorders. The cases were from 2011 to 2014.
The new review found that in most of the 66 psychiatric EAS cases, the patients had chronic, severe conditions, with histories of attempted suicides or hospitalizations.
EAS has been practised in the Netherlands for decades, however formal legislation was only enacted in 2002. Although the numbers remain small, psychiatric EAS is becoming more frequent, the review authors note.
The researchers who wrote the review cite a Dutch study from 1997 that estimated the number of psychiatric EAS cases was between two and five. In 2013, there were 42 reported psychiatric EAS cases, the authors say.
The review comes as the Canadian government crafts doctor-assisted death legislation. In January, the Supreme Court of Canada granted the federal government a four-month extension to come up with laws outlining assisted suicide and euthanasia in Canada.
Majority of patients had depressive disorders
The study found that most of the 66 patients had more than one psychiatric condition, and depressive disorders were the primary issue in 55 per cent of those cases.
Other conditions observed in the patients included psychosis (26 per cent), PTSD or anxiety (42 per cent), and cognitive impairment (6 per cent). Eating disorders, as well as prolonged grief and autism were also observed.
The review found that 41 per cent of the patients had a psychiatric history spanning between 11 and 30 years, and in 27 per cent of the patients, the history exceeded 30 years. It also found that 58 per cent of the patients had at least one other illness, including cancer, heart disease or diabetes.
In 56 per cent of the case reports, there was mention of the patients' social isolation or loneliness.
The researchers found the following characteristics among the 66 patients:
' 70 per cent were women;
' 52 per cent had attempted suicide;
' 80 per cent had been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons;
Treatment and refusal
The study noted that patients with difficult-to-treat depression had sought different types of therapy, including electroconvulsive therapy and deep brain stimulation.
However, in one EAS case, a woman in her 70s without health problems had decided, with her husband, that they would not live without each other. After her husband died, she lived a life described as a "living hell" that was "meaningless."
A consultant reported that this woman "did not feel depressed at all. She ate, drank, and slept well. She followed the news and undertook activities."
The review found that 32 per cent of the patients had been refused EAS at some point, but in three cases the physicians later changed their mind and performed EAS. The remaining 18 patients had physicians who were new to them perform EAS.
In 41 per cent of the cases the physician performing EAS was a psychiatrist, but in the rest of the cases it was usually a general practitioner, the review found.
Consultation with other doctors was "extensive," the review found. But in 11 per cent of the cases, there was no independent psychiatric input. In 24 per cent of the cases, there were disagreements among the physicians.
The authors of the review note that the aim of their study was to examine the cases of EAS in psychiatric patients in the Netherlands. ''Whether the system provides sufficient regulatory oversight remains an open question that will require further study,'' they said.
'Serious concerns'
A separate editorial says the review of the Dutch cases raises "serious concerns."
Dr. Paul Appelbaum, of the New York State Psychiatric Institute, says there are particular concerns that come with the practice of EAS in psychiatric patients.
He notes that, in many such patients, a desire to die is often part of their disorder. As well, their response to treatment is less certain, meaning it's "much more difficult" for doctors to assess patients' competence to decide to end their lives.
Appelbaum points to many troubling trends observed in the Dutch data, including the finding that 56 per cent of the cases included reports in which "social isolation or loneliness was important enough to be mentioned."
This "evokes the concern that (EAS) served as a substitute for effective psychosocial intervention and support," he said.
He also noted that it was also troubling that, in 12 per cent of cases, the "psychiatrist involved believed that the criteria for EAS were not met, but assisted death took place anyway."
There are several moral implications to consider as well, including the concern that psychiatrists may conclude from the legalization of EAS that it is acceptable to give up on treating some patients, he said.
Appelbaum noted, however, that it is important to keep in mind the limitation of the Dutch data.
In particular, the available sample did not reflect all cases involving psychiatric disorders. As well, the cases only included cases where EAS took place, which does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the effectiveness of the screening process.
GitHub · Where software is built
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 18:06
Control Hue Lights with AlexaWell, you already can turn them on and off and dim them with Alexa. But this Alexa program gives you much more control: change colors, recall scenes, save scenes, set timers, turn on dynamic effects (color loops and alerts) and, of course, turn them on and off and dim them.
Demo here: https://youtu.be/JBZlaAQtOXQ
Since Amazon does not give 3rd party developers a way to access your local network, we need a bit of a workaround. This skill has two components:
An Amazon Alexa Lambda function -- thanks to Matt Kruse -- on AWS that just passes the Alexa request onto...A server on your local network that does have access your Hue Bridge.To deploy the Lambda function, you'll need to set up a developer account at the developer portal.
For information on how to set up the Lambda function, look at the instructions here.
(In particular, follow the steps under "Creating a Lambda Function for an Alexa Skill")
Add your code as Node.js. Just copy and paste lambda_passthrough.js in the code editor.
Then in the Amazon developer portal, you'll need to create a new skill.
For "Name" pick anything you want.For "Invocation Name" pick anything you want. This is the name you'll use to open the skill (e.g., "Alexa, tell house lighting to....")For "Version Number"...anything. How about 0.0.1?For "Endpoint" select 'Lambda ARN' and point it to your Lambda function by filling in the field with the proper resource name. Just go to your Lambda Function in the AWS Console. The ARN will look something like this: arn:aws:lambda:us-east-1:123456789805:function:my_functionOn the next page fill in the interaction model, custom slot values, and utterance samples by copying and pasting the info from intent_schema.txt, sample_utterances.txt and custom_slots.txt onto the appropriate form fields.Now, for the custom slot values "LIGHTS" and "SCENES" substitute in the appropriate values for your lights and scenes. For lights, single bulbs should be indicated by 'light' (e.g, "kitchen light") and groups with 'lights' (e.g., "living room lights.)
Note:You can only recall scene names you can speak. Many apps store scenes on the bridge with alphanumeric codes, and then provide user friendly names in the app. Unfortunately, Alexa can't get at those scenes. However, you can create scenes with Alexa friendly names within the skill. Just set up the lights how you like and say, "Alexa, tell [invocation name] to save scene as [name]. Then, add 'name' as a SCENE custom slot value.
The program require ruby 2.0 or above, and two gems: sinatra and hue_switch.
To install ruby, I suggest using RVM. Instructions are here. After rvm is installed, install a recent version of ruby:
rvm install 2.2.0 --disable-binary
Place all files in the same directory. And then type
gem install sinatra
to install the sinatra web server. Then
bundle install
to install the needed gems. If you don't already have bundler installed (and you get errors on the last step) you might need to
gem install bundler
and the repeat the last step. Finally,
ruby app.rb
to start the server on port 4567.
Almost done!
You need some way to expose the server to the internets. I like to use an ngrok tunnel. Download the appropriate version of the program and start it up like this:
./ngrok http 4567
Andd you can add a bit of security by requiring basic auth credentials
./ngrok http -auth="username:password" 4567
(For a bit more security, uncomment the application id check on line 15 of lights.rb and plug in the application id of your skill from the developer's portal.)
If using ngrok, you'll end up looking at something like this, which is the public IP address of the tunnel to your local server.
Forwarding http://bb1bde4a.ngrok.io -> localhost:4567
Finally, head back to the lambda function on aws and replace the application_id and url with the application_id of your skill (found in the developer portal) and the ip address of your server (e.g., the ip address of your ngrok tunnel.) So, line 9 (or so) of the Lambda function might look something like this:
'amzn1.echo-sdk-ams.app.3be28e92-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx':'http://username:password@bb1bde4a.ngrok.io/lights'
(If you end up using this alot, it would probably make sense to pay ngrok $5 and get a reserved address for you tunnel. That way you won't have to change the lambda function everytime you restart the ngrok tunnel.)
If you've added some basic auth to the tunnel, use the following format to specify the route to your local server in the lambda function:
http://username:password@bb1bde4a.ngrok.io/lightsBefore you can use the skill, you'll need to give it access to your Hue bridge. Press the link button on your bridge and launch the skill (within, I think, 20 seconds or so.) If you don't do this step, Alexa will remind you.
At this point the skill should be available to you. You can say things like:
"Alexa, tell [whatever invocation name you chose] to turn the kitchen lights blue."
"Alexa, tell...set the floor light to saturation ten and brightness five"
"Alexa, tell...change the table light to the color relax"
"Alexa, tell...turn off the bedroom lights in 5 minutes"
"Alexa, tell...turn on the lights at eight forty five p.m.""Alexa, tell...set dinner scene in one hour"
"Alexa, tell...start color loop on the bedside light"
"Alexa, tell...start long alert on the kitchen lights in forty five seconds"
"Alexa, tell...stop alert"
You can use the "flash" command instead of "long alert." (It's just easier to say.) It's also helpful for using your lights as a timer:
"Alexa, tell...to flash the lights in five minutes."
Mark Loewe (L-TX) | Tea Party Cheer
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:37
Back to TX Candidate Bios
Mark Loewe
Campaign links: Mark Loewe (L-TX-21)
Mark Loewe, Congressional Candidate, District 21
Mark Loewe's scientific background
Mark Loewe graduated from El Modena High School in Orange, California, where he attended physics, chemistry, and mathematics courses taught by Mr. Ed Gaines, Mrs. Jeanne Carter, and Mr. Bill Ervin, respectively. At the request of Mr. Gaines, Mark received credit during his Senior year as an in-class physics teaching assistant.
Mark graduated with Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics and Chemistry, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of California at Irvine, where he attended physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics courses taught by excellent professors, including Nobel Laureates Linus Pauling, Frederick Reines, and Mario Molina. Mark was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at the end of his third year, completed six graduate level physics and chemistry courses, and was honored as the outstanding Senior graduating in Chemistry. Mark worked for the Physics and Chemistry departments as a physics tutor, physics laboratory instructor, and chemistry research assistant. During summers, Mark worked full-time at Hughes Aircraft Company.
Mark received offers to enter the physics doctoral programs at the University of Texas at Austin, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley, and other universities. Fellowship and other financial aid offers included a scholarship that John A. Wheeler chose Mark to receive.
Mark graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin, where he learned from and collaborated with excellent physicists, especially his supervisor and mentor Arno Bohm and mentor Piotr Kielanowski. Mark worked for the Physics Department as a research assistant and laboratory instructor and substitute lectured in lower-division, upper-division, and graduate level physics courses.
The Candidate - Thomas Wakely for Congress
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:35
He is a USAF Vietnam-era Veteran
He and his wife, Norma Leticia Gomez Rodriguez - a native of Mexico, own & operate Ann's Place: a private care hospice.
Among the many individuals who have come to Ann's Place was Lucy Coffey, who at 108 at the time of her death, was the oldest living female veteran in the United States. For the last 3 years of her life, Lucy lived with Tom and his wife. ''She was a remarkable woman,'' recalls Tom. ''Every night she joined us at the dinner table for a couple glasses of wine and good conversation. We miss her very much. ''
Another hospice patient Tom remembers with great love was WWII veteran Clayton Rider, who lived with them for 2 years and who was 96 yrs. old when he died. "Clayton fought in North Africa against Gen. Rommel, participated in the allied invasion of Italy and fought his way across Europe to Paris," said Tom. "He was one of the funniest guy's I have ever known."
Over the years, dozens of military veterans having chosen Ann's Place as the place where they wanted to go live before they died. That in and by itself should tell you what type of man Tom is and the type of man you would want as your Congressman - caring, compassionate and understanding.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
Tom is a grandfather -
He graduated from Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio -
He worked with C(C)sar Chvez on the grape boycott in Texas -
He published an underground newspaper - the San Antonio Gazette -
He was a Labor Union Organizer in Denver, Colo and a Union Business Agent in Milwaukee, Wisconsin -
He was a small business owner -
He attended the Chicago Theological Seminary -
He organized a Unitarian Universalist Church in Wisconsin and served as their first minister -
He was elected to the Lake Geneva, Wisconsin School Board -
He build Affordable Housing in Manor, Texas -
He rehabbed dozens of homes for low-income home owners in east Austin -
He attempted to organize A Community Development Bank in Austin -
He and his wife once owned & operated a Wine Bar/Jazz Club on the Pacific Coast of Mexico -
What Tom is not is a career politician like Lamar Smith !
Tejas Vakil for Congress
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:34
TEJAS VAKIL
A Different Kind of DemocratFiscally Responsible
Socially Liberal
For an Assertive but Sensible Foreign Policy
Supports Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Pro-Choice on Abortion, strongly supports Equal Pay for Equal Work
For Equal Rights for LGBT Community, pro Gay Marriage
Why am I runningI believe that America is the one indispensable nation in the world today. But to remain indispensable we need a government that is not tied down by ideological gridlock. We cannot lead the world and alleviate its problems if we cannot solve our own.
We have a national debt that is spiraling out of control, the service of which will imperil our future ability to fund economic growth, national security, or infrastructure investment. A long, costly, and ill-advised war in Iraq has now exhausted our ability to deal effectively with Islamic terrorist outfits like ISIS and Al-Qaeda, or respond to belligerence from Russia and China. There is urgent need for reform of our tax system, entitlements, and immigration policy, and we still need a solution to rising healthcare costs. The list goes on.
Lamar Smith, our incumbent Congressman for the last 30 years, has been a pillar of the Republican establishment...the same establishment that is responsible for the gridlock in Washington, that has pushed for government shutdowns, taken the country into an ill-considered and costly war in Iraq, and has an extreme position on immigration. It is time for a change.
I want to go to Washington to help define and push for non-partisan, practical solutions to our nation's challenges.
Why am I the best Democrat?I can beat Lamar Smith because, with my policies, I can attract independents and moderate Republicans to vote for me. That is critically important in this gerrymandered district, which we Democrats have lost in 15 straight elections because we've run traditional progressive campaigns that cannot broaden our base of support.
My opponent in the Democratic primary is a far left-wing candidate who has impractical and utopian ideas about wealth distribution, free healthcare, and free college education - without realistic plans for funding these programs.
My policy initiatives are designed to grow the overall economy to create the wealth necessary to pay for the programs that we Democrats care about.
Todd Phelps for Congress | Texas - Todd Phelps For Congress
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:33
Fellow Texans,
My name is Todd Phelps and I'm proud to announce that I am a Conservative Republican running to represent the 21st District in the United States Congress.
Washington is broken. Immigration insanity has ruled for the last 30 years'--immigration insanity given to us by Washington insiders from both the Democrat and Republican parties. This immigration policy insanity gave visas and entry to many of the nine eleven hijackers, the Boston marathon bombers and countless other radical Islamic terrorists that have sought to do us harm. Not only has the lack of will to crack down on illegal immigration put us in harms way from criminal subcultures, it has caused death and injury to Americans and immigrants that are human trafficked within in this insane framework. In addition, this immigration insanity has cost innumerable jobs to American citizens and legal residents.
I'm running for Congress because I believe it's time to get rid of the Washington insiders'--the life-long politicians'--and replace them with common sense individuals who listen to the people. I believe it's time for a new generation of candidates to rise up who get their campaign contributions from the people, not from the special interest lobby and major corporations that benefit from these insane immigration policies that cost and endanger the people of America. When we start to enforce the laws and prosecute illegal immigration, the estimated 11 million illegals will head-on home on their own.
This is why I am running for Congress. I am here to take on the immigration insanity for a better America and safer existence for all. In addition to the corrupt insider influencers, forces within the Democratic party have crushed the insider Republicans when it comes to messaging the extreme Democratic agenda to the public. The insider Republicans have failed to effectively communicate and sell the conservative principles of self reliance to Generation X, Generation Y and Millennials. The life-long insiders fail to connect and don't understand the messaging machine they are up against. I am here to change that. I am here to not only make America great in the future, but amazing for all of us who want to strive to make our lives better. I am here to empower congress' role as law maker, messenger and the people's branch to block any imperial presidency. The current insider Republican Congress has forgotten their role as we the people. I am here to change that and return our country to greatness starting by running for Congress.
I am asking for your vote, but I also need your support. Would you consider making a donation to my campaign? Your support will help me begin to return us to greatness and beyond. I also need your help by asking your friends and family to support my campaign by voting, getting the word out and by making a donation to help me get the message out. We are up against the insider money and it will be an uphill battle. We do not need as much as them as our message is the right one, but it will take a lot to let all of the voters in the district know about the campaign and our message. We can change the culture of Washington and return to greatness. Please help me and together we will triumph.
For Liberty,
Todd Phelps
Meet John '-- Murphy for Texas
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:32
John is no career politician. He did not preface a political career with that of attorney, and he did not earn a degree from the Ivy League. With some of the biggest and best research universities in his backyard, he didn't need to. In fact, not only did John earn his bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Texas, his entire education, from primary school on, took place in District 21.
Growing up in Bandera and Utopia, Texas he learned the value of hard work, integrity and respect from his family and the strong community that surrounded him. On the family ranch, John helped to raise livestock, bale hay and mend fences.
John now works as a software engineer at a local start-up in the burgeoning tech corridor of Austin. He is eager to bring his tech savvy to our district where he believes that a free and open internet is essential for continued growth and innovation. John has unique experiences that mirror the diversity and strength of District 21, and he would be proud to serve the people he has grown up with.
Elon Musk just lost $3.3B on a double whammy
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 17:12
Elon Musk, CEO of US automotive and energy storage company Tesla, presents his outlook on climate change at the Paris-Sorbonne University in Paris on December 2, 2015.(Photo: ERIC PIERMONT, AFP/Getty Images)
It's been an ugly stock market for most investors. But famed inventor and investor Elon Musk is having an exceptionally bad year - not just on one investment - but two.
Musk's holdings in solar panel installer SolarCity (SCTY) and electric car maker Tesla (TSLA) are down a staggering $3.3 billion - just this year. Musk is the largest single owner of both companies - which together have handed all investors total market value losses of $14.8 billion this year.
Both Musk's companies have been falling out of favor with investors this year as the market punishes companies that are thin on profit but high on valuation. Falling oil prices have also taken out the urgency and enthusiasm over alternative energy plays.
Musk is now down $666 million in his shares of SolarCity on the year. The stock plunged 25% Wednesday to $19.56 after the company that installs and leases solar panels told investors late Tuesday it will likely lose up to $2.65 a share in the current quarter. That's deeper than the $2.49 a share loss investors were expecting, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The negative outlook completely overshadowed the fact that during the fourth quarter the company reported a better-than-expected quarterly loss of an adjusted $2.37 a share. Shares of SolarCity were already down 48% this year - before Wednesday's drop.
SolarCity shares have been plunging this year. (Photo: USA TODAY)
Next, all eyes are on Musk's big investment: Tesla. Musk's massive $4.3 billion stake in the electric car maker makes his $419 million position in SolarCity look minor. Shares of Tesla are down 37% this year - serving up a nearly $12 billion loss to investors - of which Musk has personally eaten $2.6 billion. Tesla is expected to report quarterly earnings after the market closes Wednesday. Investors predict the company to turn a profit of an adjusted 12 cents a share, reversing four-straight quarterly losses. Revenue for the quarter is expected to rise 65% to $1.8 billion.
It's too soon to feel bad for Musk. His stakes in SolarCity and Tesla are still valued at $4.8 billion. That doesn't even include Musk's stake in space flight pioneer SpaceX, which is privately held.
And perhaps Tesla's profit report can turn on the turbo and blow away the negative investor sentiment. But so far, investors who have gotten hammered this year betting on Musk - including Musk himself.
ELON MUSK'S ROUGH YEAR
Company, symbol, % ch. YTD, Musk's paper loss
SolarCity, SCTY, -61%, $666,257,752
Tesla, TSLA, -37.4%, $2,596,965,278
Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence, USA TODAY
Follow Matt Krantz on Twitter @mattkrantz
ELON MUSK IN THE NEWSSpaceX rocket launch, landing postponed to Monday | 00:40SpaceX announced Sunday it has pushed back its planned launch of a Falcon 9 rocket with 11 Orbcomm Inc. communications satellites to 8:33 p.m. ET Monday. USA TODAY
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ELON MUSK IN THE NEWSElon Musk goes ballistic over Jeff Bezos' rocket feat | 01:28Amazon's Jeff Bezos, who's also Blue Origin's CEO, took to Twitter to boast about their latest rocket launch. Shortly after, SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, said 'not so fast.' VPC
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ELON MUSK IN THE NEWSTesla misses estimates, but shares Rev up on positive CEO comments | 01:10Tesla Motors (TSLA) reported quarterly results that missed analysts' estimates on both the top and bottom line. For the third quarter, the company reported a loss of $0.58 a share, more than what analysts' had expected. Sales came in at $1.24 billio Newslook
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ELON MUSK IN THE NEWSElon musk calls Apple A 'Tesla Graveyard' | 01:03Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he isn't sweating the Apple car rumors. Video provided by Newsy Newslook
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ELON MUSK IN THE NEWSElon Musk's Tesla to unveil first Model X SUV on Tuesday night | 00:50Tesla will unveil its Model X on Tuesday - an electric SUV. While pricing has yet to be announced, reports suggest a fully-loaded version of the car, The Signature Series, will sell for $132,000. Newslook
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ELON MUSK IN THE NEWSTesla CEO Elon musk unveils 'Ludicrous Mode: 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds | 00:56Tesla (TSLA) founder Elon Musk announced three new features related to its Model S vehicle on Friday. First, Tesla released a 90 kWh batter pack option, for $3,000. This adds 15 miles, putting the total range on a charge to 300 miles. The battery pa Newslook
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ELON MUSK IN THE NEWSElon Musk wants your help for his Hyperloop | 01:06Already creating quite a buzz in the years since it was announced, Elon Musks Hyperloop project now wants your help. A competition is on for the best ideas at designing the pods that will whisk passengers around at super-fast speeds. Brett Larson ex Buzz60
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ELON MUSK IN THE NEWSElon Musk talks Tesla stock | 00:37Elon Musk told us in October, 2014, that he thinks Tesla stock investors will make money over the long term. Video by Michael Kofsky/USA TODAY
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ELON MUSK IN THE NEWSElon Musk plans to provide internet from space | 00:50If Elon Musk gets his way, your Internet coverage will soon be beamed down from space. The billionaire entrepreneur has requested permission from the US government to test a project which he claims "would be like rebuilding the Internet". USA TODAY
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ELON MUSK IN THE NEWSElon Musk is selling battery packs for houses | 01:35Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils Powerwall, a device that stores energy absorbed by solar panels, for use when the sun is down. The technology is based on the electric batteries that run Teslas. Laura Mandaro reports.
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ELON MUSK IN THE NEWSElon Musk on Tesla's patents | 00:39Tesla CEO Elon Musk tells USA TODAY's Chris Woodyard says other companies have taken him up on his offer to use Tesla's patents for free. /Michael Kofsky/USA TODAY
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Last VideoNext VideoSpaceX rocket launch, landing postponed to Monday
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Elon musk calls Apple A 'Tesla Graveyard'
Elon Musk's Tesla to unveil first Model X SUV on Tuesday night
Tesla CEO Elon musk unveils 'Ludicrous Mode: 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds
Elon Musk wants your help for his Hyperloop
Elon Musk talks Tesla stock
Elon Musk plans to provide internet from space
Elon Musk is selling battery packs for houses
Elon Musk on Tesla's patents
Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1Tc7rRU
Ballot access requirements for political candidates in Texas - Ballotpedia
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:55
In order to get on the ballot in Texas, a candidate for state or federal office must meet a variety of complex, state-specific filing requirements and deadlines. These regulations, known as ballot access laws, determine whether a candidate or party will appear on an election ballot. These laws are set at the state level. A candidate must prepare to meet ballot access requirements well in advance of primaries, caucuses and the general election.State lawmakers have developed ballot access procedures in an effort to prevent non-serious candidates from appearing on the ballot; meanwhile, critics contend that stringent ballot access requirements discourage candidate and voter participation in the electoral process.
There are three basic methods by which an individual may become a candidate for office in a state.
An individual can seek the nomination of a state-recognized political party.An individual can run as an independent. Independent candidates often must petition in order to have their names printed on the general election ballot.An individual can run as a write-in candidate.For information about filing requirements for presidential candidates, see "Ballot access requirements for presidential candidates in Texas."
Year-specific dates2016See also: Texas elections, 2016The calendar below lists important dates for political candidates in Texas in 2016. More dates will be added as they become available.
Legend: Ballot access Campaign finance Election date
Dates and requirements for candidates in 2016DeadlineEvent typeEvent descriptionSeptember 15, 2015Ballot accessFirst day to file for a place on the primary ballot for precinct chair candidatesNovember 14, 2015Ballot accessFirst day to file for all other candidates for offices that are regularly scheduled to be on the primary ballotDecember 14, 2015Ballot accessFiling deadline for candidates; filing deadline for independent candidates to file intent declarationJanuary 15, 2016Campaign financeJanuary semi-annual report dueFebruary 1, 2016Campaign finance30th-day pre-primary report dueFebruary 12, 2016Campaign financePersonal financial statement dueFebruary 22, 2016Campaign finance8th-day pre-primary report dueMarch 1, 2016Election datePrimary electionMay 16, 2016Campaign finance8th-day pre-runoff report dueJuly 15, 2016Campaign financeJuly semi-annual report dueOctober 11, 2016Campaign finance30th-day pre-election report dueOctober 31, 2016Campaign finance8th-day pre-election report dueNovember 8, 2016Election dateGeneral electionJanuary 17, 2017Campaign financeJanuary semi-annual report dueSources:Texas Secretary of State, "Important 2016 Election Dates," accessed July 17, 2016Texas Ethics Commission, "2016 Filing Schedule for Candidates and Officeholders Who File with the Texas Ethics Commission," accessed November 25, 20152015See also: Texas elections, 2015There were no regularly scheduled state executive, state legislative or congressional elections in Texas in 2015.
2014To view historical dates for 2014, click [show] to expand the section.
See also: Texas elections, 2014Texas had a primary for federal, statewide, and state legislative offices on March 4, 2014. Texas also conducted a primary runoff on May 27, 2014, and a general election for state and federal offices on November 4, 2014. Voters elected candidates to serve in the following state and federal offices:
The 2014 filing deadline for partisan candidates participating in the primary was December 9, 2013. The deadline to qualify as a political party in time for the 2014 election was January 2, 2014.[1] For minor party candidates to be nominated by their party conventions, the filing deadline was December 9, 2013.[1] The deadline for independent candidates to file for the 2014 general election ballot was June 26, 2014.[2]
Legend: Ballot access Campaign finance Election date
Dates and requirements for candidates in 2014DeadlineEvent typeEvent descriptionDecember 9, 2013Ballot accessDeadline for independent candidates to file a notice of intent to runDeadline for candidates to file application for place on ballot with county or state party chair (application must include filing fee or a nominating petition)
January 2, 2014Ballot accessDeadline for a new political party to register itself with the Secretary of State's officeJanuary 15, 2014Campaign financeJanuary semiannual campaign finance report due for all candidates and officeholdersJanuary 21, 2014Campaign financeDeadline for all candidates to file a Personal Financial Statement with the Texas Ethics CommissionFebruary 3, 2014Campaign financeFirst pre-primary campaign finance report due for all candidates with a primary opponent on the ballotFebruary 24, 2014Campaign financeSecond pre-primary campaign finance report due for all candidates with a primary opponent on the ballotMarch 4, 2014Election datePrimary election dateMarch 11, 2014Ballot accessDeadline for a new political party to hold precinct conventionsMarch 15, 2014Ballot accessDeadline for a new political party to hold county conventionsMarch 22, 2014Ballot accessDeadline for a new political party to hold district conventionsApril 12, 2014Ballot accessDeadline for a new political party to hold a state conventionMay 19, 2014Campaign financePre-runoff campaign finance report due for all candidates in the primary runoffMay 26, 2014Ballot accessDeadline for new political parties to file with the Secretary of State to have their nominees on the general election ballot.May 27, 2014Election datePrimary runoff electionJune 26, 2014Ballot accessFiling deadline for independent candidates to appear on the general election ballotJuly 15, 2014Campaign financeJuly semiannual campaign finance report due for all candidates and officeholdersAugust 18, 2014Ballot accessFiling deadline for write-in candidates to participate in the general electionOctober 6, 2014Campaign finance30-day pre-general election campaign finance report due for all candidates and officeholdersOctober 27, 2014Campaign finance8-day pre-general election campaign finance report due for all candidates with an opponent in the general electionNovember 4, 2014Election dateGeneral electionJanuary 15, 2015Campaign financeFinal campaign finance report due36th congressional districtIn December 2013, Rep. Steve Stockman withdrew his candidacy for re-election in Texas' 36th congressional district in order to run for the United StatesSenate.[3] His withdrawal caused the Texas Republican Party to extend the filing deadline for the 36th district seat to December 16, 2013.[4] In the event of a candidate's withdrawal from a place on a general primary election ballot, the filing deadline is extended to the fifth day after the date of the regular filing deadline.[5] According to Texas state law, candidates that have previously filed for a different race were prohibited from running for the 36th congressional district without first withdrawing from their races before the filing deadline, which was December 9, 2013.[3]
Process to become a candidateSee statutes:Title 9 of the Texas Election Code
A candidate in Texas may run with an officially recognized political party, as an independent or as a write-in.
For major party candidatesIn order to run with a major political party, a candidate must file an application with the county or state party chair and pay a filing fee. A candidate also has the option of filing a petition in lieu of the filing fee. Application and petition forms are available through local party officials or the Texas Secretary of State. The regular filing period for the primary election begins on the 30th day before the date of the regular filing deadline, which is 6 p.m. on the second Monday in December of an odd-numbered year.[6]
A chart detailing the signature and filing requirements for each particular office can be accessed here.[7]
For minor party candidatesMinor parties nominate candidates by convention. To be considered for nomination by a convention, a minor party candidate must file an application for nomination no later than 6 p.m. on the second Monday in December of an odd-numbered year, preceding the minor party's convention. A candidate seeking nomination for a state or district office must file with the state party chair. Candidates for county or precinct offices must file applications with county party chairs.[8][9]
For independent candidatesA candidate may have his or her name placed on the general election ballot as an independent candidate if he or she is not affiliated with a political party.[10][2][11][12][13]
To run as an independent, a candidate must file a Declaration of Intent to Run as an Independent Candidate with the county judge (county or precinct offices) or the Texas Secretary of State (district and state offices) during the same filing period as major and minor party candidates.[2][14]
This paperwork must include signatures of voters who have not participated in the primary election or the runoff primary election of a party that has nominated, at either election, a candidate for the office the petitioning candidate seeks.[2][15]
A chart detailing the signature and filing requirements for each particular office can be accessed here.[2]
For write-in candidatesIn order to become a write-in candidate in the general election, the candidate must file a Declaration of Write-in Candidacy with the Texas Secretary of State or the county judge, as appropriate, no later than 5 p.m. of the 78th day before general election day.[16][17]
The declaration must be accompanied by either a filing fee or a nominating petition signed by a certain number of qualified voters. A chart detailing the signature and filing requirements for each particular office can be accessed here.[16][18]
Petition requirementsIn some cases, political parties and/or candidates may need to obtain signatures via the petition process to gain access to the ballot. This section outlines the laws and regulations pertaining to petitions and circulators.
Format requirementsGeneral petition requirements related to a candidate's position on the ballot are established in Title 9, Chapter 141, Subchapter (C) of the Texas Election Code.
Circulation requirementsA person circulating a petition must:
before permitting a person to sign, point out and read to the person each statement pertaining to the signer that appears on the petition;witness each signature;ascertain that each date of signing is correct; andbefore the petition is filed, verify each signer's registration status and ascertain that each registration number entered on the petition is correct.[19]Petitions are also required to include an affidavit of the person who circulated it, stating that the person:
point out and read to the person each statement pertaining to the signer that appears on the petition, before permitting a person to sign;witnessed each signature;verified each signer's registration status; andbelieves each signature to be genuine and the corresponding information to be correct.[20]The relevant statutes do not stipulate a date on which petitions may begin to circulate.
Campaign financeSee statutes:Title 15 of the Texas Election Code
A candidate for statewide office, the state legislature, State Board of Education, or district attorney must file campaign finance reports with the Texas Ethics Commission. The candidate must file an Appointment of a Campaign Treasurer by a Candidate Form (Form CTA) with the Texas Ethics Commission when he or she becomes a candidate even if he or she does not intend to accept campaign contributions or make campaign expenditures.[21]
After a candidate has filed a form appointing a campaign treasurer, the candidate is responsible for filing periodic reports of contributions and expenditures. Filing reports is the responsibility of the candidate, not the campaign treasurer. A candidate may not accept a campaign contribution or make a campaign expenditure unless he or she has a campaign treasurer appointment on file with the Texas Ethics Commission.[21]
A report must disclose all political contributions accepted and expenditures made during the reporting period.[21]
If a contributor contributes $50 or less during the reporting period, contributions from that contributor may be disclosed as part of a lump sum. For other contributions, the candidate must disclose the name and address of the contributor, the date of the contribution, and, for in-kind contributions, the nature and value of the contribution.[21]A candidate must report any campaign expenditure (regardless of whether it is made from political contributions or from personal funds) and any political expenditure (campaign or officeholder) from political contributions (regardless of whether the expenditure is a political expenditure).[21]Required reportsThe candidate must file the following reports with the Texas Ethics Commission electronically unless the filer is entitled to claim the exemption from electronic filing.
Report After Appointment of a Campaign Treasurer: The candidate must file a report after filing a campaign treasurer appointment. This report of contributions and expenditures is due no later than 15 days after the campaign treasurer appointment was filed. This report is required even if there is no activity to report.[21]Personal Financial Statement: A candidate must file a financial statement within 40 days after the regular deadline for filing an application for a place on the ballot in the March primary election.Semiannual Reports: Every candidate and every officeholder is required to file reports of contributions and expenditures by January 15 and July 15 of each year. The candidate must file semiannual reports even if there is no activity to report for the period covered.[21]Final Report: If a filer expects to accept no further political contributions and to make no further political expenditures and if the filer expects to take no further action to get elected to a public office, the filer may file a final report. Filing a final report terminates a filer's campaign treasurer appointment and relieves the filer from any additional filing obligations as a candidate.[21]Contribution limitsNo statutory limits are placed on campaign contributions in Texas.
Election-related agenciesSee also: State election agenciesCandidates running for office will require some form of interaction with the following agencies:
Texas Secretary of State-Elections DivisionWhy: This agency provides and processes nominating petitions, declarations of candidacy and other candidate forms. This agency also accepts payment for requisite filing fees.208 East 10th StreetRusk Building, Third FloorAustin, Texas 78701-2407Toll-free: 1.800.252.VOTE (8683)Phone: 512-463-5650Fax: 512-475-2811Email: elections@sos.state.tx.usMain website: http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/index.shtmlComplaint website: http://www.sos.ga.gov/cgi-bin/emailelectionscomplaint.aspWhy: This agency processes campaign finance reports.201 East 14th St., 10th FloorAustin, TX 78701Phone: 512-463-5800Website: http://www.ethics.state.tx.us/tecTerm limitsState executivesSee also: State executives with term limits and States with gubernatorial term limits and Texas state executive official elections, 2014There are no state executive positions with certain provisions specifying the number of terms allowed.
State legislatorsSee also: State legislatures with term limitsThere are no term limits placed on Texas state legislators.
Congressional partisanshipSee also: List of United States Representatives from Texas and List of United States Senators from TexasHere is the current partisan breakdown of the congressional members from Texas as of 2014:
Congressional Partisan Breakdown from TexasPartyU.S. SenateU.S. HouseTotal Democratic Party01111 Republican Party22527TOTALS as of February 201623638State legislative partisanshipHere is the current partisan breakdown of members of the state legislature of Texas as of 2014:
State SenateState HouseRecent newsThis section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms Texas ballot access.
Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.
Matt McCall for Congress
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:45
Matt McCall is a Christian, a father, a small business owner, and a citizen. He believes in freedom, opportunity, and growth through a much smaller federal government. He also believes the Constitution is the way to get there, and that it can and should be a rallying point for like-minded Americans everywhere. A lifetime of experience in business and travel has informed these beliefs.
Matt and his family came to know the Lord at a young age. While Matt's older brothers went on to be pastors, Matt felt his calling was in the world of business. During high school, he used to go with his father to the local breakfast spot in Boerne and discuss the Wall Street Journal over coffee with other adults. His passion for business and interest in the wider world flourished, and he attended college at Westmont in California, majoring in business and economics.
While at college, Matt travelled, taking advantage of an opportunity to visit Europe and the Soviet Union. Gorbachev was in power, there were millionaires and billionaires, and everyone else was dirt poor. Dirt poor. Matt's first real world lesson in economics taught him that communism created income disparity, not capitalism. This lesson was cemented in his post college travels to forty-two countries around the world.
Matt married in 1996 and has two beautiful daughters, Madeleine and Antoinette. After starting a family, Matt owned several small businesses before entering the medical sales field in 1997. In 2004, he started a new business supplying surgical products to the United States military hospitals in Europe. Matt still does this, and he considers it a privilege to work alongside our men and women in uniform.
Matt's political values come from experience. His life and work have taught him several important lessons. Never spend more than you have. Allow the market and private business owners to adapt and make the decisions that best benefit them and their families. Keep your customer's interests in mind. Washington politicians have spent way more of our money than they have. They have manipulated markets through favoritism and special interests. And they have forgotten to vote their constituents' values. This has to stop.
Matt believes in America and believes in the Constitution. Congress was meant to be an equal branch of government and should not be ceding its power to the executive and judicial branches. Congress has not lived up to the charge the founding fathers laid out in the Constitution, and it will take ordinary citizens'--men and women of action, who are not professional politicians'--to bring real conservative change that will save America from crushing debt and preserve our freedoms as stated in the 10th Amendment. It is time to return power to Texas and her people, and Matt intends to do just that from Washington D.C. Please join him.
Lamar Smith, Representative for Texas's 21st Congressional District - GovTrack.us
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:38
Sponsorship AnalysisOur unique analysis of the bills Smith has sponsored and cosponsored provides insight into his position in the House of Representatives.
Each dot in the chart below is a member of the House of Representatives. The dots are positioned horizontally according to our progressive'--conservative ideology score and vertically according to our leadership score (leaders toward the top). Smith is shown as a purple triangle. (analysis methodology)
Committee MembershipLamar Smith sits on the following committees:
Bills SponsoredIssue AreasSmith sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:
Immigration (24%)Crime and Law Enforcement (20%)Law (16%)Commerce (16%)Government Operations and Politics (8%)Taxation (6%)Education (6%)Environmental Protection (4%)
Recent BillsSome of Smith's most recently sponsored bills include...
View All >> (including bills from previous years)
Voting RecordFrom Jan 1987 to Feb 2016, Smith missed 537 of 18,176 roll call votes, which is 3.0%. This is on par with the median of 2.2% among the lifetime records of representatives currently serving. ProPublica has tracked 4 explanations for these missed votes. The chart below reports missed votes over time.
Show the numbers...
Time PeriodVotes EligibleMissed VotesPercentPercentile1987 Jan-Mar3912.6%48th1987 Apr-Jun18710.5%7th1987 Jul-Sep9500.0%0th1987 Oct-Dec167169.6%73rd1988 Feb-Mar4900.0%0th1988 Apr-Jun16131.9%40th1988 Jul-Sep15221.3%20th1988 Oct-Oct8955.6%57th1989 Jan-Mar1417.1%50th1989 Apr-Jun10532.9%43rd1989 Jul-Sep12843.1%62nd1989 Oct-Nov1211411.6%89th1990 Jan-Mar6011.7%34th1990 Apr-Jun15032.0%39th1990 Jul-Sep183105.5%71st1990 Oct-Oct14385.6%63rd1991 Jan-Mar6169.8%95th1991 Apr-Jun139117.9%84th1991 Jul-Sep8111.2%14th1991 Oct-Nov16242.5%57th1992 Jan-Mar661319.7%95th1992 Apr-Jun18521.1%18th1992 Jul-Sep196126.1%70th1992 Oct-Oct4100.0%0th1993 Jan-Mar12743.1%55th1993 Apr-Jun19073.7%49th1993 Jul-Sep16410.6%26th1993 Oct-Nov13421.5%48th1994 Jan-Mar9577.4%80th1994 Apr-Jun21941.8%39th1994 Jul-Sep14242.8%47th1994 Oct-Nov5100.0%0th1995 Jan-Mar27993.2%77th1995 Apr-Jun18963.2%63rd1995 Jul-Sep232104.3%85th1995 Oct-Dec18521.1%30th1996 Jan-Mar110109.1%88th1996 Apr-Jun182105.5%83rd1996 Jul-Sep16321.2%36th1997 Jan-Mar7179.9%91st1997 Apr-Jun17463.4%66th1997 Jul-Sep23241.7%45th1997 Oct-Nov16321.2%35th1998 Jan-Mar8944.5%66th1998 Apr-Jun18500.0%0th1998 Jul-Sep19931.5%41st1998 Oct-Dec7422.7%59th1999 Jan-Mar7722.6%54th1999 Apr-Jun184147.6%84th1999 Jul-Sep20442.0%59th1999 Oct-Nov146106.8%81st2000 Jan-Mar9522.1%34th2000 Apr-Jun27710.4%13th2000 Jul-Sep13010.8%30th2000 Oct-Dec10155.0%35th2001 Jan-Mar7500.0%0th2001 Apr-Jun1351611.9%95th2001 Jul-Sep14964.0%75th2001 Oct-Dec15321.3%36th2002 Jan-Mar7911.3%34th2002 Apr-Jun203136.4%81st2002 Jul-Sep14175.0%70th2002 Oct-Nov6123.3%58th2003 Jan-Mar9466.4%83rd2003 Apr-Jun23941.7%46th2003 Jul-Sep19352.6%64th2003 Oct-Dec15153.3%51st2004 Jan-Mar10400.0%0th2004 Apr-Jun22183.6%60th2004 Jul-Sep16100.0%0th2004 Oct-Dec5811.7%43rd2005 Jan-Mar9000.0%0th2005 Apr-Jun272145.1%75th2005 Jul-Sep14600.0%0th2005 Oct-Dec16342.5%47th2006 Jan-Mar8111.2%39th2006 Apr-Jun276124.3%77th2006 Jul-Sep15910.6%29th2006 Nov-Dec27622.2%90th2007 Jan-Mar21373.3%71st2007 Apr-Jun39361.5%47th2007 Jul-Sep317113.5%71st2007 Oct-Dec26341.5%28th2008 Jan-Mar14932.0%32nd2008 Apr-Jun32110.3%10th2008 Jul-Sep205136.3%79th2008 Oct-Dec1500.0%0th2009 Jan-Mar17442.3%51st2009 Apr-Jun303247.9%91st2009 Jul-Sep26831.1%33rd2009 Oct-Dec24641.6%33rd2010 Jan-Mar19552.6%46th2010 Apr-Jun21983.7%62nd2010 Jul-Sep15110.7%22nd2010 Nov-Dec9922.0%34th2011 Jan-Mar21231.4%56th2011 Apr-Jun28193.2%78th2011 Jul-Sep24731.2%46th2011 Oct-Dec20800.0%0th2012 Jan-Mar15110.7%23rd2012 Apr-Jun29900.0%0th2012 Jul-Sep15232.0%57th2012 Nov-Dec5147.8%78th2013 Jan-Jan500.0%0th2013 Jan-Mar8922.2%57th2013 Apr-Jun21520.9%37th2013 Jul-Sep20000.0%0th2013 Oct-Dec13710.7%29th2014 Jan-Mar14821.4%39th2014 Apr-Jun219125.5%77th2014 Jul-Sep14753.4%76th2014 Nov-Dec4900.0%0th2015 Jan-Mar14400.0%0th2015 Apr-Jun24420.8%42nd2015 Jul-Sep13932.2%63rd2015 Oct-Dec17784.5%85th2016 Jan-Feb6311.6%44thPrimary SourcesThe information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including:
Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2015 (H.R. 1643) - GovTrack.us
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:38
The bill now has 4 cosponsors (3 Republicans, 1 Democrat).
Committee Meeting '-- Jun 2, 2015 10 a.m.House Committee on the Judiciary: Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law Meeting
Nexus Issues: Legislative Hearing on H.R. 2315, the "Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2015", H.R. 1643, the "Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2015", and H.R. 2584, the "Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of 2015" (Location: RHOB 2141)
Check out our new committee meeting calendar.
Committee Meeting '-- Jun 2, 2015 10 a.m.House Committee on the Judiciary: Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law Meeting
Nexus Issues: Legislative Hearing on H.R. 2315, the "Mobile Workforce State Income Tax Simplification Act of 2015", H.R. 1643, the "Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2015", and H.R. 2584, the "Business Activity Tax Simplification Act of 2015" (Location: RHOB 2141)
Check out our new committee meeting calendar.
Bill Text '-- Mar 26, 2015H.R. 1643: Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2015
This bill's text is now available.
Introduced '-- Mar 26, 2015Sponsor: Rep. Lamar Smith [R-TX21]
This bill was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary and House Committee on the Judiciary: Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law which will consider it before sending it to the House floor for consideration.
Rep. Lamar Smith [R-TX21] is a member of the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Introduced:Mar 26, 2015
Status:Reported by Committee on Jun 17, 2015
The committees assigned to this bill sent it to the House or Senate as a whole for consideration on June 17, 2015.
Sponsor:Lamar Smith
Representative for Texas's 21st congressional district
Republican
Text:Read Text >>Last Updated: Mar 26, 2015Length: 20 pages
Prognosis:19% chance of being enacted (details)
Track this bill—Call Congress
A phone call to Congress is an effective way to let your voice be heard. We'll walk you through the whole thing. How do you feel about H.R. 1643?
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Change Position '–¶Call Congress '–¶Hello!
About the billFull TitleTo promote neutrality, simplicity, and fairness in the taxation of digital goods and digital services.
The bill's title was written by its sponsor.
Read CRS Summary >
HistoryJun 28, 2012
Earlier Version '-- Reported by Committee
This activity took place on a related bill, H.R. 1860 (112th).
Dec 12, 2013
Earlier Version '-- Introduced
This activity took place on a related bill, H.R. 3724 (113th).
Mar 26, 2015
Introduced
This is the first step in the legislative process.
Read Text >>
Jun 17, 2015
Reported by Committee
A committee has issued a report to the full chamber recommending that the bill be considered further. Only about 1 in 4 bills are reported out of committee.
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by the President
This is a House of Representatives bill in the United States Congress (indicated by the ''H.R.'' in ''H.R. 1643''). A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.
DetailsCosponsors7 cosponsors (4R, 3D) (show)(joined Mar 26, 2015)
(joined Mar 26, 2015)
(joined Mar 26, 2015)
(joined Jun 12, 2015)
(joined Jul 7, 2015)
(joined Sep 16, 2015)
(joined Oct 20, 2015)
Committee AssignmentsThe committee chair determines whether a bill will move past the committee stage.
VotesThere have been no roll call votes related to this bill.
Related BillsLegislative action may be ocurring on one of these bills in lieu of or in parallel to action on this bill.
H.R. 3724 (113th) was a previous version of this bill.Referred to CommitteeLast Action: Dec 12, 2013
S. 851 (Related)Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2015
Referred to CommitteeLast Action: Mar 24, 2015
Search for similar bills.
Links & toolsCitationClick a format for a citation suggestion:
Civic Impulse. (2016). H.R. 1643 '-- 114th Congress: Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2015. Retrieved from https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr1643
''H.R. 1643 '-- 114th Congress: Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2015.'' www.GovTrack.us. 2015. February 10, 2016
{{cite web|url=https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr1643|title=H.R. 1643 (114th)|accessdate=February 10, 2016|author=114th Congress (2015)|date=March 26, 2015|work=Legislation|publisher=GovTrack.us|quote=Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2015}}
—Prognosis Details
This bill has a . . .
19% chance of being enacted.
Only about 21% of bills that made it past committee in 2013''2015 were enacted.
Factors considered:The sponsor is on a committee to which the bill has been referred, and the sponsor is a member of the majority party.A cosponsor is the vice chairman of a committee to which the bill has been referred.The sponsor is in the majority party and at least one third of the bill's cosponsors are from the minority party.A cosponsor in the majority party has a high leadership score.At least two cosponsors serve on a committee to which the bill has been referred.The bill was referred to House Judiciary.This bill was a re-introduction of H.R. 3724 (113th) from the previous session of Congress.Please read our full methodology for further details.
Watch Out, Siri: Amazon Echo Is All Growed Up
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 16:03
When Amazon Echo first launched in late 2014, its purpose wasn't entirely clear. It was a Bluetooth speaker you could talk to, but'... why? And what then? At the time, we called it ''weird.'' (We weren't wrong!) Then last spring, Amazon opened up the SDK for Alexa, the personal assistant that powers Echo, letting any developer integrate its product with the platform. It attracted a few nibbles'--quirky trivia apps and smart home capabilities that amounted to logical but limited extensions of Echo's prowess. This week, it finally landed some whales.
Now, after a flurry of big-name integrations, it's all starting to make sense. Amazon Echo (and more specifically Alexa) is a full-fledged platform'--one that Apple and Google should be taking very seriously.
Like celebrity deaths and well-structured jokes, Echo's big announcements came in threes. As it happens, they were of increasing importance.
First, Domino's. The pizza chain announced Wednesday that it would bring not just ordering capabilities to Echo, but its pizza-tracker as well. Hungry customers can ask Echo either to repeat their most recent order, or a pre-loaded ''Easy Order,'' with all their favorite toppings. Enter the phone number associated with the order, and Echo will alert the customer as their doughy disc makes its way from toppings to oven to the front door.
If this smells like a double-cheese gimmick, it should. Domino's is, after all, the same foodmonger that lets you place an order by tweeting an emoji. Being everywhere is its shtick; it literally owns and operates a Domino's AnyWare (sic, so very sic) domain. That fact that ordering a pizza from Echo also happens to be the most convenient of the company's multi-pronged approaches could be written off as incidental next to Dominos' larger vision of reinforcing the ubiquity of its brand.
The next announcement? Spotify. And that's when things got serious.
The addition of Spotify to the roster of apps makes Echo more convenient for the Swedish streamer's 20+ million paid users, sure, especially if they didn't already pay for Amazon Prime and its relatively paltry music catalog. The significance of Spotify on Echo extends well beyond convenience, though. Spotify isn't just a popular music app; it's the most popular direct competitor to Amazon's Prime Music unlimited streaming service.
Not only that, but it's reportedly the target of a forthcoming premium streaming service from Amazon.
Most importantly, it bridges a very significant gap: It brings the outside world to you.
This is a big deal. It would be like finding Google Play Movies on Apple TV, or your iTunes selection on a Nexus Player. This just doesn't happen. These gardens have walls for a reason; it's in a company's best interest to limit a customer's options to its own ecosystem. The convenience of on-demand music (Pandora, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio were already there, but they represent a different class of streaming) made Echo a perfect opportunity to lock customers into Amazon Prime. Instead, Amazon prioritized Echo functionality over its Prime directive. Amazon clearly considers Echo important to its future plans; it is, after all, the star of the company's first Super Bowl ad.
The last partnership announced this week, which allows you to summon an Uber, indicates just how seriously we should take the Echo'--and more accurately, the power of Alexa'--as a platform. Like Spotify, it's a major partner, and like Domino's, it extends Echo's reach beyond the kitchen or living room. It's no gimmick, though. It's clever, it's useful, and it saves time. But most importantly, it bridges a very significant gap: It brings the outside world to you.
''Domino's and Uber provide services to the home that Echo can direct from inside the home,'' says James McQuivey, principal analyst at Forrester research. ''This shows that Amazon understands both the power of what it is offering'--a persistent personal assistant that's just a voice command away'--and the urgency of what it's doing as other major competitors are rapidly increasing the reach of their voice agents as well.''
Remarkably enough, this also implies that Amazon is ahead of its competition. And having found itself with a lead in a surprisingly popular category'--Echo is the fourth-best-selling consumer electronic, behind three sub-$50 Fire devices'--it's now working hard to maintain it. That means thinking outside the home.
''Everyone else can put [a voice assistant] on the phone, which is also powerful, but Amazon's services are more home-related, and so Amazon's Alexa is the most likely agent to help you buy things on Amazon,'' says McQuivey. ''But to get you to use it often, Amazon has always known that it would need to get you to use it frequently for other things that are related to your home.''
Apple and Google have voice assistants of their own. Microsoft, too. Amazon's brilliance'--or necessity, after the Fire Phone flop'--was to untether Alexa from a smartphone. Why tell your smartphone to tell your speaker to play a song when you can just tell the speaker itself? If you need an Uber or a pizza, or to know the weather, or a sports score, or to set a timer, why pull out a phone at all?
What's most exciting about the trio of top-shelf apps that hit Echo this week is what it signals for the future. Echo has become a big enough business to attract the kinds of apps people want. The more of those apps Echo has, the more people will be enticed to buy one. The more people that own an Echo, the more developers it will attract. The snowball gets bigger as it rolls faster down the hill.
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phd doctor makes denounces alarming, '' microcephaly is not caused by Zika virus, but for unused vaccines '' ~ Always Question - Latest news, UFO, New World Order, Science, Religion and more.
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 15:13
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Winds of climate change will make transatlantic flights longer, study shows | Environment | The Guardian
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 15:09
Climate change is increasing the speed of the jet stream, which blows west-east across the Atlantic. Photograph: Andrei Orlov/Alamy
Airline flights are known to worsen climate change but now climate change is set to worsen flight times, according to new research.
The work shows faster jet stream winds will delay transatlantic flights, adding thousands of hours a year to journey times and millions of dollars to airline fuel bills. Earlier work showed other impacts of rising temperatures on aviation, including bumpier, more turbulent flights and reducing the weight planes can carry.
Climate change is increasing the speed of the jet stream, a strong high-altitude wind that blows west to east across the Atlantic. Pilots harness the jet stream to get from the US to Europe more quickly, but have to battle it on the return journey, which currently takes an hour longer.
Dr Paul Williams, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Reading, UK, combined the software used by aviation companies to calculate the best routes each day with climate models to reveal the impact of warming on flight times.
The faster jet stream slowed eastbound transatlantic flights more than it speeded up westbound flights, leading to round trips that were on average a minute and 18 seconds longer. There are currently 300 round trips a day, meaning the delay adds up to 2,000 extra hours year, $22m in extra fuel and 70m extra kilogrammes of CO2 emitted.
''The aviation industry is facing pressure to reduce its environmental impacts, but this study shows a new way in which aviation is itself susceptible to the effects of climate change,'' Williams said. ''This effect will increase the fuel costs to airlines, potentially raising ticket prices, and it will worsen the environmental impacts of aviation.'' Fuel costs are a critical factor in the competitiveness of airlines.
''The jet stream is does not just live in the Atlantic, it goes all the way around the world and there is another one in the southern hemisphere too,'' Williams said. ''So it is plausible that similar flight routes around the world will be affected and when you look at those numbers, it is just enormous.''
Carbon emissions from aviation are a significant and fast growing factor in driving global warming. On Monday, governments proposed for the first time to reduce future emissions from airplanes, although campaigners said the new standards would have little real effect.
The new research, published in Environmental Research Letters, examined flights between London's Heathrow airport and New York's John F. Kennedy International and calculated the impact of a 15% increase in the speed of the jet stream, which is expected in the next few decades unless current carbon emissions are heavily cut.
William's calculated more than 1.3m flight paths in simulations covering 40 years and found that while New York to London flights were on average four minutes faster, the return flights were five minutes and 18 seconds longer. This was because planes slowed down by the jet stream spend more time fighting the headwind, while those sped up by it spend less time getting the boost.
The current record for the fastest (non-Concorde) transatlantic flight - five hours and 16 minutes, set in 2015 - was assisted by an unusually fast jet stream. Williams said passengers should expect that record to be broken more often, but they should also expect more frequent very slow flights of over seven hours. Climate change will approximately double the chances of both, he said.
The jet stream is driven by the temperature difference at high altitudes between the polar region and the equator. Satellite measurements have already shown that climate change is increasing this temperature difference. ''We know the jet stream is getting stronger,'' said Williams. ''This is good hard science that we understand very well.''
Changes to the northern hemisphere jet stream have also been linked to extreme rainfall and flooding in the UK and heavy snowfalls in the US.
PayPal Is Blocking Payments To VPN Providers | Gizmodo Australia
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 14:03
Although using a VPN isn't illegal, it is getting more difficult. Joining in on Netflix's attempt to clamp down on viewers breaching terms of service by utilising VPNs to avoid geo-blocking restrictions, PayPal has now begun removing its services to VPN providers.
VPN provider Unotelly has provided an update to customers:
''PayPal has severed payment processing agreement unilaterally and without prior warning. PayPal indicated that UnoTelly is not allowed to provide services that enable open and unrestricted Internet access.''
''As result, UnoTelly can no longer accept payment from PayPal. This development is outside of our control, and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience.''
As result, UnoTelly can no longer accept payment from PayPal. This development is outside of our control, and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience.''
The following email was reported as sighted by Torrentfreak:
PayPal states that its services cannot be used to ''send or receive payments for items that infringe or violate any copyright, trademark, right of publicity or privacy, or any other proprietary right under the laws of any jurisdiction.''
It appears in this case, the breach of Netflix's terms of service by utilising a VPN to access content is what the payment provider is referring to.
If you find PayPal is no longer available as a payment option for your VPN, let us know in the comments below.
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Official Google Blog: Staying at the forefront of email security and reliability: HTTPS-only and 99.978 percent availability
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 13:50
Your email is important to you, and making sure it stays safe and always available is important to us. As you go about your day reading, writing and checking messages, there are tons of security measures running behind the scenes to keep your email safe, secure, and there whenever you need it.
Starting today, Gmail will always use an encrypted HTTPS connection when you check or send email. Gmail has supported HTTPS since the day it launched, and in 2010 we made HTTPS the default. Today's change means that no one can listen in on your messages as they go back and forth between you and Gmail's servers'--no matter if you're using public WiFi or logging in from your computer, phone or tablet.
In addition, every single email message you send or receive'--100 percent of them'--is encrypted while moving internally. This ensures that your messages are safe not only when they move between you and Gmail's servers, but also as they move between Google's data centers'--something we made a top priority after last summer's revelations.
Of course, being able to access your email is just as important as keeping it safe and secure. In 2013, Gmail was available 99.978 percent of the time, which averages to less than two hours of disruption for a user for the entire year. Our engineering experts look after Google's services 24x7 and if a problem ever arises, they're on the case immediately. We keep you informed by posting updates on the Apps Status Dashboard until the issue is fixed, and we always conduct a full analysis on the problem to prevent it from happening again.
Our commitment to the security and reliability of your email is absolute, and we're constantly working on ways to improve. You can learn about additional ways to keep yourself safe online, like creating strong passwords and enabling 2-step verification, by visiting the Security Center: https://www.google.com/help/security.
Posted by Nicolas Lidzborski, Gmail Security Engineering LeadCross-posted from the Official Gmail Blog
Frauke Petry '' Wikipedia
Wed, 10 Feb 2016 02:25
Ausbildung, Studium und wissenschaftliche T¤tigkeitBearbeitenPetry gr¼ndete im M¤rz 2007 das Unternehmen PURinvent GmbH in Leipzig-Plagwitz, das einen neuartigen Polyurethan-Kunststoff (HydroPUR) als Reifendichtmittel herstellt.[11] Das Unternehmen hatte zun¤chst neun, ab 2011 drei Mitarbeiter.[1] Die Idee ging auf ihre Mutter zur¼ck, die zusammen mit Petry Erfinderin ist: 'žNeuartige hoch wasserhaltige Polyurethane, Verfahren zu ihrer Herstellung und Anwendung'' (EP 2 057 233[12]).[8] Petry wurde f¼r ihre innovative Unternehmensgr¼ndung mehrfach ausgezeichnet, unter anderem mit der Verdienstmedaille des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und dem ¼ber 75.000 Euro dotierten Darboven IDEE-F¶rderpreis.[8] Petry investierte etwa eine Million Euro in das Unternehmen: eigenes Geld, Preisgelder von Auszeichnungen und Kredite.[13]
Ende 2013 musste Petry f¼r das Unternehmen Insolvenz beantragen[14] und anschlieŸend in die Privatinsolvenz gehen,[15] da sie privat geb¼rgt hatte.[16][17][1] Das Unternehmen wurde 2014 von einem s¼ddeutschen Investorenkonsortium erworben und in PURinvent System GmbH umbenannt. Der Gesch¤ftsbetrieb wurde aufrechterhalten.[18] Petry ist im neuen Unternehmen weiterhin Gesch¤ftsf¼hrerin, wollte sich jedoch Ende 2015 aus der Firma zur¼ckziehen. Als Begr¼ndung gab sie an, mit Politik, Familie und Firma ¼berlastet zu sein.[13]
Drei Tage vor der Landtagswahl in Sachsen 2014 wurden durch Presseberichte Ermittlungen der Staatsanwaltschaft Leipzig wegen Insolvenzverschleppung gegen Petry bekannt.[19] Petry selbst vermutete hinter der Anzeige und dem Bekanntwerden des Ermittlungsverfahrens kurz vor der Landtagswahl politische Motive. Sie sagte, der Insolvenzverwalter habe keine versp¤tete Anmeldung erkennen k¶nnen.[20] Die Staatsanwaltschaft fand in der Folge keine Anhaltspunkte f¼r eine Insolvenzverschleppung und stellte die Ermittlungen nach kurzer Zeit ein.[13]
BundesparteiBearbeitenPetry war anfangs Landesbeauftragte f¼r Sachsen des Vereins zur Unterst¼tzung der Wahlalternative 2013 um ehemalige CDU-Mitglieder.[21] Seit der Gr¼ndung der Alternative f¼r Deutschland (AfD) im Februar 2013 in Oberursel war sie deren stellvertretende Sprecherin.
Beim Gr¼ndungsparteitag der AfD am 14. April 2013 in Berlin wurde sie neben Bernd Lucke und Konrad Adam als eine von drei Sprechern in den Bundesvorstand gew¤hlt,[22] wobei Lucke und Petry in der –ffentlichkeit nach Meinung von Beobachtern am pr¤sentesten waren.
Nach einem vorangegangenen innerparteilichen Machtkampf zwischen nationalkonservativen und wirtschaftsliberalen Kr¤ften wurde sie am 4. Juli 2015 auf dem auŸerordentlichen Bundesparteitag der AfD in Essen mit ca. 60 Prozent der Stimmen neben J¶rg Meuthen als Bundessprecherin wiedergew¤hlt. Die Abl¶sung von Lucke und die einhergehende Umgestaltung des Bundesvorstandes wurde durch die Politikwissenschaft als Rechtsruck und 'žDurchmarsch'' des rechten Fl¼gels gewertet.
Politikwissenschaftler wie Lars Geiges, Stine Marg, Franz Walter,[23]Gudrun Hentges,[24]J¼rgen W. Falter[25] und Frank Decker[26] verorten sie sp¤testens seit 2015 als f¼hrende Protagonistin im nationalkonservativen Parteifl¼gel der AfD.
Abgeordnetent¤tigkeitBearbeitenPetry ist Landessprecherin der AfD Sachsen. Im Vorfeld der Bundestagswahl 2013 wurde sie mit 89,1 Prozent der Stimmen zur Spitzenkandidatin des Landesverbandes gew¤hlt. Die Partei erreichte in Sachsen 6,8 Prozent der Zweitstimmen.
Erneut war sie Spitzenkandidatin bei der Landtagswahl in Sachsen 2014. Sie trat als Direktkandidatin im Wahlkreis 23 (Leipziger Land 1) an und erhielt nach den Mitbewerbern der CDU, der Linken und der SPD 10,8 % der Erststimmen. 'ber die Landesliste wurde sie in den 6. S¤chsischen Landtag[27] gew¤hlt, wo sie auch einstimmig den Fraktionsvorsitz der AfD ¼bernahm.[28]
Sie ist Mitglied im Haushalts- und Finanzausschuss sowie stellvertretendes Mitglied im Ausschuss f¼r Umwelt und Landwirtschaft, Ausschuss f¼r Schule und Sport, Ausschuss f¼r Soziales und Verbraucherschutz, Gleichstellung und Integration, Ausschuss f¼r Wissenschaft und Hochschule, Kultur und Medien und Ausschuss f¼r Gesch¤ftsordnung und Immunit¤tsangelegenheiten.
SonstigesBearbeitenPetry engagierte sich ehrenamtlich in einem Kreativschulzentrum, das Lehrerstellen in S¼dafrika unterst¼tzt. F¼r ihre 'žerfolgreiche Existenzgr¼ndung in einer m¤nnerdominierten Branche'' erhielt sie 2011 den Gr¼nderinnenpreis des Landes Sachsen.[29] Sie amtierte 2012 auch als Jurorin des Preises.[30]
Im Dezember 2015 musste Petry eine Unterlassungserkl¤rung gegen¼ber der Technischen Universit¤t Dresden abgeben. Petry hatte behauptet, die Universit¤t habe ihren Mitarbeitern DisziplinarmaŸnahmen angedroht, falls diese sich an Demonstrationen beteiligten, und dass ihr entsprechende Unterlagen vorliegen w¼rden, die sie aber nicht beibringen konnte.[31]
Politische PositionenBearbeitenMigrationspolitik, Asylrecht, Kriminalit¤tsbek¤mpfung und EUBearbeitenIn einem Interview mit der Th¼ringischen Landeszeitung forderte Petry weniger Macht f¼r die Europ¤ische Union und beklagte eine Entdemokratisierung Europas. F¼r 'žwirklich politisch Verfolgte'' m¼sse das Asylrecht weiter gelten und diesen auch ein Recht auf Arbeit einger¤umt werden, w¤hrend f¼r die 'žMehrheit'', die 'žWirtschaftsfl¼chtlinge'', 'žklare gesetzliche Regelung'' getroffen und die Einwanderung 'žnach unserem Bedarf'' geregelt werden m¼sste. Dabei sollten deutsche Arbeitnehmer bevorzugt werden.[32]
In einem Interview mit dem Mannheimer Morgen sagte Petry Ende Januar 2016 Grenzpolizisten m¼ssten den illegalen Grenz¼bertritt verhindern und notfalls auch von der Schusswaffe Gebrauch machen. So stehe es im Gesetz ¼ber den unmittelbaren Zwang bei Aus¼bung ¶ffentlicher Gewalt durch Vollzugsbeamte des Bundes. Ihrer Interpretation der Gesetzeslage wurde unter anderem von Seiten der Gewerkschaft der Polizei widersprochen.[33][34] Laut dem Staatsrechtler Christoph Sch¶nberger ist der Einsatz von Schusswaffen durch Polizisten an der Grenze 'žallenfalls theoretisch'' vorstellbar. Ein Schusswaffeneinsatz w¤re unverh¤ltnism¤Ÿig, wenn eine unbewaffnete, nicht aggressive Person versuche, in die Bundesrepublik hineinzukommen. Das Gesetz habe die Konstellation vor Augen, dass eine Person sich systematisch der Kontrolle entziehe.[35] Nachdem auch die stellvertretende Bundesvorsitzende Beatrix von Storch Schusswaffengebrauch gegen Fl¼chtlinge bejaht hatte, nannte der Journalist Heinrich Wefing im Februar 2016 in der Zeit ihre und Petrys uŸerungen 'žstrategische Gewaltfantasien der Rechtsextremen''.[36]
Bev¶lkerungspolitik und AbtreibungsrechtBearbeitenBerichten der Neuen Osnabr¼cker Zeitung und der Neuen Westf¤lischen Zeitung zufolge sagte Petry, sie k¶nne sich eine Volksabstimmung ¼ber eine Reform des § 218StGB (Schwangerschaftsabbruch) vorstellen.[37] Eine nderung k¶nne auch ein Mittel gegen die Geburtenarmut in Deutschland sein. Die Politik habe eine Eigenverantwortung, das 'ž'berleben des eigenen Volkes'' sicherzustellen. W¼nschenswert sei, dass eine deutsche Familie drei Kinder habe.[38] Ein Parteisprecher best¤tigte, Petry habe erkl¤rt, ihre Partei bef¼rworte Volksentscheide zu Kernthemen wie Zuwanderung, W¤hrung und einer Reform der Europ¤ischen Union. Petry pers¶nlich k¶nne sich auch ein Referendum ¼ber eine Reform des Abtreibungsrechts vorstellen, dar¼ber gebe es allerdings keinen Parteibeschluss.[37] In einem Interview mit dem Handelsblatt bestritt sie, eine Volksabstimmung in der Abtreibungsfrage pers¶nlich gefordert zu haben, es handele sich vielmehr um eine 'žZeitungsente''. Die Abtreibungsfrage sei als Beispiel f¼r m¶gliche Volksabstimmungen in einem 'žHintergrundgespr¤ch'' genannt worden.[39]
Frauentag, Frauen und M¤nner in der Arbeitswelt, FrauenquoteBearbeitenIm Jahr 2011 wurde die Unternehmerin Petry anl¤sslich des Internationalen Frauentages als 'žVerfechterin einer Frauenquote in der Wirtschaft'' portr¤tiert. Der Frauentag sei gerade f¼r sie als 1975 in Dresden geborene Frau wichtiger als f¼r ihren Ehemann, der aus Nordrhein-Westfalen stamme: 'žMan braucht solch ein Datum, damit das Thema Gleichberechtigung auch gedanklich mal in den Mittelpunkt r¼ckt.'' Petry kritisierte eine 'ždoch weiterhin m¤nnlich gepr¤gt[e]'' Arbeitswelt. Einen m¤nnlichen Unternehmer frage die Bank nie, wie er seine Kinder betreue, sie hingegen schon: 'žMit welcher Begr¼ndung?'' Petry kritisierte, dass Arbeitszeiten noch immer meistens von M¤nnern festgelegt w¼rden. M¤nner seien 'žstolz auf 'berstunden'', wobei aber nicht ber¼cksichtigt werde, ob sie dabei auch effizient arbeiten w¼rden.[40] Im November 2014 hielt Petry eine Frauenquote f¼r Unternehmen nicht mehr f¼r den 'žrichtige[n] Weg zur Erreichung echter Gleichberechtigung''.[41]
Die Soziologen Jasmin Siri[42] und Andreas Kemper[43] bezeichnen Petry aufgrund ihrer Positionierung seit ihrer T¤tigkeit als AfD-Politikerin als Antifeministin.
Der Sozialwissenschaftler Alexander H¤usler erkennt bei Petry bisweilen 'žrechtsradikales Vokabular''. So spreche sie bei Gegendemonstranten von 'žAntifanten'', ein Wort, das in 'žrechtsextremen Kreisen als Schm¤hwort f¼r Antifaschisten'' gelte.[44]
Paultheo von Zezschwitz, Frauke Petry, Armin de Meijere: A One-Pot Sequence of Stille and Heck Couplings: Synthesis of Various 1,3,5-Hexatrienes and Their Subsequent 6Ï-Electrocyclizations. In: Chemistry '' A European Journal, 2001, Vol. 7, Nr. 18, S. 4035''4046, doi:10.1002/1521-3765(20010917)7:183.0.CO;2-P, PMID 11596946.Frauke Petry, Andr(C) Kotthaus, Karen I. Hirsch-Ernst: Cloning of human and rat ABCA5/Abca5 and detection of a human splice variant. In: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 2003, Vol. 300, Nr. 2, S. 343''350. doi:10.1016/s0006-291x(02)02827-9Frauke Petry, Vera Ritz, Cornelia Meineke, Peter Middel, Thomas Kietzmann, Christoph Schmitz-Salue, Karen I. Hirsch-Ernst: Subcellular localization of rat Abca5, a rat ATP-binding-cassette transporter expressed in Leydig cells, and characterization of its splice variant apparently encoding a half-transporter. In: Biochemical Journal, 2006 Vol. 393, Nr. 1, S. 79''87. doi:10.1042/BJ20050808Ines Ecke, Frauke Petry, Albert Rosenberger, Svantje Tauber, Sven M¶nkemeyer, Ina Hess, Christian Dullin, Sarah Kimmina, Judith Pirngruber, Steven A. Johnsen, Anja Uhmann, Frauke Nitzki, Leszek Wojnowski, Walter Schulz-Schaeffer, Olaf Witt et al.: Antitumor effects of a combined 5-aza-2'deoxycytidine and valproic acid treatment on rhabdomyosarcoma and medulloblastoma in Ptch mutant mice. In: Cancer Research, 2009, Vol. 69, Nr. 3, S. 887''895, doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-0946, PMID 19155313.'†‘ abcdeDorit Kowitz: Frauke Petry: Ihre zweite Chance. In: Die Zeit. Nr. 26, 18. Juni 2014'†‘ ab Thomas Lang: Geithain '' Gr¼nderinnenpreis Sachsens geht an Tautenhainerin. In: Leipziger Volkszeitung. LVDG, Leipzig 9. Februar 2011 (Online, abgerufen am 16. M¤rz 2013).'†‘Andreas Wrede: PURInvent-Gr¼nderin Frauke Petry '' Die Ideentreiberin. In: Dreisechsnull.Telekom Deutschland, 1. August 2011, abgerufen am 16. M¤rz 2013. '†‘"Seit Monaten versucht Sven Petry, sich von der Politik seiner Frau zu distanzieren. Und jetzt ist der Moment gekommen, in dem er auch ¶ffentlich dar¼ber spricht."'†‘AfD-Chefin Petry trennt sich von ihrem Ehemann. In: S¤chsische Zeitung vom 7. Oktober 2015, aufgerufen am 8. Oktober 2015'†‘Die Welt: Gef¼hle f¼r Parteifreund '' Petry trennt sich von Mann.8. Oktober 2015, abgerufen am 9. Oktober 2015. '†‘ Frauke Petry, Georg-August-Universit¤t G¶ttingen (Hrsg.): Charakterisierung eines neuen ATP-binding-cassette Transporters aus der ABCA-Subfamilie. G¶ttingen 8. September 2004, S. 129 (Dissertation mit Lebenslauf, petryPDF-Datei; 2,2 MB, abgerufen am 16. M¤rz 2013).'†‘ abc Heino Baues: Bergkamener Paar fand neue Aufgaben '' Pfarrersfrau l¤sst Baumaschinen rollen. In: Westf¤lische Rundschau. WAZ NewMedia, Essen 1. Januar 2010 (Online, abgerufen am 16. M¤rz 2013).'†‘Ehemalige Vorst¤nde, Jungchemikerforum, abgerufen am 31. August 2014.'†‘Frauke Petry: Auf der Suche nach Mitwirkungsm¶glichkeiten. In: Gegenworte. Hefte f¼r den Disput ¼ber Wissen, 3. Heft, Fr¼hjahr 1999, S. 27''29, 85 (PDF).'†‘Philip Plickert: Ein Kunststoff aus Wasser. Frauke Petry hat ein ressourcensparendes Reifenf¼llmittel entwickelt '' und will die Euro-Politik herausfordern. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. 22. Juli 2013, S. 24'†‘Europ¤isches Patentregister (EP 2 057 233)'†‘ abcVorlage:Internetquelle/Wartung/Zugriffsdatum nicht im ISO-FormatGehard Hegmann: Warum Frauke Petry nur noch Politik machen will. In: welt.de.16. November 2015, abgerufen am 17. November 2015. '†‘G¼nther Lachmann: Firma in Leipzig: AfD-Co-Vorsitzende Petry muss Insolvenz anmelden. In: Die Welt. 16. Oktober 2013'†‘Gegen die Vormacht der CDU. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 16. August 2014, abgerufen am 16. August 2014'†‘Pressemitteilung: Dr. Frauke Petry: 'žNeue Firma steht auf breiteren F¼Ÿen'', 18. M¤rz 2014'†‘Insolvente AfD-Chefin mit neuer Firma. In: S¤chsische Zeitung. 19. M¤rz 2014, S. 6'†‘Pluta Rechtsanwalts GmbH: Insolvenzverwalter Michael Schoor verkauft PURinvent GmbH. Pressemitteilung vom 21. M¤rz 2014'†‘Landtagswahl 2014: Nach Insolvenz: Staatsanwaltschaft ermittelt gegen Sachsens AfD-Chefin Frauke Petry, Leipziger Volkszeitung, 27. August 2014'†‘Petry vermutet FDP hinter Anzeige, auf n-tv.de, online'†‘Landesbeauftragte Sachsen. In: wa2013.de.Wahlalternative 2013, 2013, abgerufen am 16. M¤rz 2013. '†‘Oskar Niedermayer: Eine neue Konkurrentin im Parteiensystem? Die Alternative f¼r Deutschland. In: Ders. (Hrsg.): Die Parteien nach der Bundestagswahl 2013. Springer, Wiesbaden 2014, ISBN 978-3-658-02852-7. S. 175''207, hier: S. 183.'†‘Lars Geiges, Stine Marg, Franz Walter: Pegida. Die schmutzige Seite der Zivilgesellschaft? Transcript, Bielefeld 2015, ISBN 978-3-8376-3192-0, S. 153.'†‘Gudrun Hentges: Sarrazins Erben: Ressentiments von PEGIDA und AfD finden sich schon beim Ex-Finanzsenator. In: ROSALUX. Journal der Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Ausgabe 1/2015, 20 f.'†‘Kristina zur M¼hlen: 'žMachtkampf mindert die Wahlchancen'' (Interview mit J¼rgen W. Falter). tagesschau24, 22. Januar 2015.'†‘Frank Decker: Alternative f¼r Deutschland und Pegida. Die Ankunft des neuen Rechtspopulismus in der Bundesrepublik. In: Frank Decker, Bernd Henningsen, Kjetil Jakobsen (Hrsg.): Rechtspopulismus und Rechtsextremismus in Europa. Die Herausforderung der Zivilgesellschaft durch alte Ideologien und neue Medien (= International Studies on Populism. Bd. 2). Nomos, Baden-Baden 2015, ISBN 978-3-8487-1206-9, S. 75''90, hier: S. 80.'†‘Landtagswahl in Sachsen: Frauke und die 13 Zwerge, in: Die Zeit online, abgerufen am 17. September 2014'†‘AfD w¤hlt Petry einstimmig zur Fraktionschefin in: Freie Presse, online'†‘ abStaatsministerin Christine ClauŸ vergibt den S¤chsischen Gr¼nderinnenpreis 2011. In: sachsen.de.S¤chsisches Staatsministerium f¼r Soziales und Verbraucherschutz, 21. Januar 2011, abgerufen am 16. M¤rz 2013 (Medieninformationen). '†‘S¤chsischer Gr¼nderinnenpreis 2012, Sachsen.de, abgerufen am 7. August 2015'†‘Unterlassungserkl¤rung: AfD-Chefin darf strittige Behauptung nicht weiter verbreiten. In: spiegel.de.18. Dezember 2015, abgerufen am 18. Dezember 2015. '†‘Vorlage:Internetquelle/Wartung/Zugriffsdatum nicht im ISO-FormatFabian Leber: Tagesspiegel: "Die widerspr¼chliche Asylpolitik der AfD". Abgerufen am 22. Dezember 2014. '†‘Steffen'…Mack, Walter Serif: 'žSie k¶nnen es nicht lassen!'' In: morgenweb.de.Mannheimer Morgen, abgerufen am 3. Februar 2016. '†‘Justus Bender und Alexander Haneke: Schuss vor den Humbug. In: FAZ.net.31. Januar 2016, abgerufen am 31. Januar 2016. '†‘Schusswaffengebrauch an der Grenze? - "Der Fl¼chtling ist in keinem Fall ein Angreifer". In: Deutschlandfunk.2. Februar 2016, abgerufen am 6. Februar 2016. '†‘Heinrich Wefing: Die menschliche Grenze. In: Die Zeit vom 4. Februar 2016, S. 2.'†‘ abFrauke Petry will Volksabstimmung zu Abtreibung, Wirtschaftswoche vom 21. August 2014'†‘Vorlage:Internetquelle/Wartung/Datum nicht im ISO-FormatBurkhart Ewert: 'ž'berleben des eigenen Volkes sicherstellen''. AfD: Petry will Volksentscheid ¼ber Abtreibung. Neue Osnabr¼cker Zeitung, 21. August 2014, abgerufen am 22. August 2014 (deutsch). '†‘'žJe l¤nger uns die CDU ignoriert, umso besser f¼r uns'', handelsblatt.de vom 1. September 2014'†‘Alternative f¼r Deutschland: Frauenquote v¶llig unausgegoren. In: Mitteldeutsche Zeitung vom 27. November 2014'†‘Alternative f¼r Deutschland: Frauenquote v¶llig unausgegoren. In: Mitteldeutsche Zeitung vom 27. November 2014'†‘Jasmin Siri: Geschlechterpolitische Positionen der Partei Alternative f¼r Deutschland. In: Alexander H¤usler (Hrsg.): Die Alternative f¼r Deutschland. Programmatik, Entwicklung und politische Verortung. Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden 2016, ISBN 978-3-658-10638-6, S. 69''80, hier: S. 75.'†‘Andreas Kemper: Antiemanzipatorische Netzwerke und die Geschlechter- und Familienpolitik der Alternative f¼r Deutschland. In: Alexander H¤usler (Hrsg.): Die Alternative f¼r Deutschland. Programmatik, Entwicklung und politische Verortung. Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden 2016, ISBN 978-3-658-10638-6, S. 81''97, hier: S. 86.'†‘Alexander H¤usler: Zerfall oder Etablierung?. Die Alternative f¼r Deutschland (AfD) als Partei des Rechtspopulismus. In: Zeitschrift f¼r Geschichtswissenschaft 63 (2015) 9, S. 741''758, hier: S. 752.'†‘GDCh-Mitglieder gewinnen beim Science4Life Venture Cup. In: Nachrichten aus der Chemie, 2006, Vol. 54, Nr. 5, S. 589. doi:10.1002/nadc.20060540544'†‘Uwe Gerlach: A German Initiative for Start-Ups in the Life Sciences and Chemistry. In: Chemistry International, 2009, Band 29, Heft 1, S. 8''11. doi:10.1515/ci.2007.29.1.8'†‘Georg-August-Universit¤t G¶ttingen: Darboven Idee-F¶rderpreis f¼r Frauen'†‘Darboven IDEE-F¶rderpreis 2009: Portr¤t der Gewinnerin Dr. Frauke Petry'†‘Darboven IDEE-F¶rderpreis: Hintergrund, PDF.'†‘ Thomas Lang: Borna '' Verdienstorden mit 37 Jahren. In: Leipziger Volkszeitung. LVDG, Leipzig 8. Oktober 2012 (Online, abgerufen am 16. M¤rz 2013).'†‘Ordensverleihung zum Tag der Deutschen Einheit. In: bundespraesident.de.Bundespr¤sidialamt, 4. Oktober 2012, abgerufen am 16. M¤rz 2013.
Announcing the Twitter Trust & Safety Council | Twitter Blogs
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 23:36
On Twitter, every voice has the power to shape the world. We see this power every day, from activists who use Twitter to mobilize citizens to content creators who use Twitter to shape opinion.
To ensure people can continue to express themselves freely and safely on Twitter, we must provide more tools and policies. With hundreds of millions of Tweets sent per day, the volume of content on Twitter is massive, which makes it extraordinarily complex to strike the right balance between fighting abuse and speaking truth to power. It requires a multi-layered approach where each of our 320 million users has a part to play, as do the community of experts working for safety and free expression.
That's why we are announcing the formation of the Twitter Trust & Safety Council, a new and foundational part of our strategy to ensure that people feel safe expressing themselves on Twitter.
As we develop products, policies, and programs, our Trust & Safety Council will help us tap into the expertise and input of organizations at the intersection of these issues more efficiently and quickly. In developing the Council, we are taking a global and inclusive approach so that we can hear a diversity of voices from organizations including:
Safety advocates, academics, and researchers focused on minors, media literacy, digital citizenship, and efforts around greater compassion and empathy on the Internet;Grassroots advocacy organizations that rely on Twitter to build movements and momentum;Community groups with an acute need to prevent abuse, harassment, and bullying, as well as mental health and suicide prevention.We have more than 40 organizations and experts from 13 regions joining as inaugural members of the Council. We are thrilled to work with these organizations to ensure that we are enabling everyone, everywhere to express themselves with confidence on Twitter.
Twitter Trust & Safety Council - Inaugural Members:
Gillian Jacobs - Netflix and "Love" - The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Video Clip | Comedy Central
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 21:10
Please welcome Gillian Jacobs!
-'ª -(cheering, applause)
NOAH:Thank you so much.
-'ª -(applause continues)
-Thank you so muchfor being here. -My pleasure.
First of all, I'm gonna beselfish with this interview
and start at the top.
-Huge fan of Community. Huge, huge fan. -Aw.
(cheering, applause)
Thank you.
Like... the mantra of the show
is, uh..."six seasons and a movie."
But, like... but the movie when?
Like, who do we need to pressureto get this to happen?
Uh, one man,whose name is Dan Harmon.
So... we just need to get Danto write the script,
and I think we'd all makethe movie in an instant.
We're calling you out,Dan Harmon.
-This is it.-Calling you out, Dan Harmon.
-Dan Harmon!-Harmon!
-Harmon!-(whooping)
Such a huge fan of yours.
Uh, I told you earlier, you setthe building, like, on fire.
People were like,"Oh, my God, Gillian's coming,
Gillian's coming."Like, all the writers were like,
"Gillian's coming.Can I ask her a question?"
-I was like, "No." Um...-(laughter)
Thank you for being here.Before we talk about Love,
you have sucha diverse portfolio
of what you love.
I mean, you're a big filmerof documentary filmmaking now.
-Yeah. -Is that a passionyou've always had?
No. I kind of fellinto documentary filmmaking.
Uh, a couple of my cast mateson Community,
-uh, Danny Pudi and Ken Jeong,made 30 for 30. -(whooping)
Oh, yeah.They're great as well.
-(cheering, applause)-Uh...
-they made some 30 for 30 docsfor ESPN, -Yes, yes.
and so I met one of theproducers there, and I was like,
if you're giving actorswho've never directed before
a directing job,sign me up, please.
-Uh...-Nicely done.
Yeah. Very unqualifiedand very eager.
So, uh, yeah, I got the chanceto direct a documentary
for FiveThirtyEight.com,Nate Silver's Web site,
-about a computer coder...-(cheering, applause)
Yes!
This woman named Grace Hopper.
So from there, it really sparkedan interest in computer coding,
which I don't really knowanything about,
-and making documentary films.-It's such a...
it's a fascinating story,because you call her that,
"The Queen of Code," uh,but she was an icon--
she didn't wantto be held up as an icon,
but that's really what she was.
She inspired young girlsand women in general
-to get into coding.-Yeah.
So it's a fascinating story.
Um, if you could directany film now,
if you could makeany documentary,
-what would you make it about?-Mmm...
Well, another, I think,remarkable woman in tech
is Hedy Lamarr--do you know anything about her?
-(cheering, applause)-No.
Uh, yeah.She was a movie star,
a very glamorous movie star,but it turned out
that she was actuallyan incredible inventor as well.
And during World War II,she felt compelled
to somehow help the war effort.
So, together witha film composer in Hollywood,
they invented this technology
which the governmentrefused to use--
they kind of dismissed her'cause she was...
a glamorous movie star.
Um, but it laterbecame the basis
for Wi-Fi and Bluetoothtechnology.
-So she basically invented...-That's insane.
-Yeah. The Internet.-Here's something...
I picked up-- it's funny you saythat she was dismissed
as a glamorous-- like, you hada bit of a tumultuous start.
I mean, like,when you were in school,
I read thata lot of your teachers
would say things to you--they'd be like,
"You're very pretty,but you don't act like a woman."
(laughs) Well, they told meI had terrible posture,
uh, that I shuffled my feet,uh, they... they told me
that I did well for someonewith no natural ability.
You don't forget thingslike this.
-Wow.-They say it to you once,
and it's searedin your brain forever.
Do you ever go back? Like, just,like, in a really nice car
and then just be like,"Oh, I was in the neighborhood.
-(laughter)-"Thought I'd come by and...
Oh, did I dropa few million dollars?"
-(laughter)-Do you ever go back?
-Do they ever say anythingto you now? -No.
And actually,the mere sight of the building
actually still makesmy knees shake a little bit,
so I need a little bit moretherapy before I can confront...
You need to go backand terrorize them now.
-Oh, gosh.-You could go back and terrorize
every single one of them.
You've done so great.And this new show
really is... funny.
It's really fantastic.
Judd Apatow is involvedin producing it, right?
Yes. He's oneof the cocreators,
um, producer, along with PaulRust, who you saw in that clip,
-Yes. -and Leslie Arfin.Yeah, they created the show.
So in a nutshell, for peoplewho are gonna get into it,
-what is the show about?-Well, you saw
the two main goofballsin that clip--
myself and Paul Rust--and we are a very unlikely pair.
Both have a lot of issues,but on the surface,
you know,I'm a bit of a wild child,
he seems like an uptight nerd,but, uh, we meet
and stumble towards love,
but, uh, we make a lotof mistakes along the way,
and, uh, cause a lot of havocin Los Angeles.
That's a good wayto put it. Yeah.
It's fun, because I seea lot of people gravitating
towards Netflix now.
Like, stories are being toldin a more authentic way,
people are relaxing...
What would you say you prefer?
I'm not saying choosebetween Community and Love.
I'm saying which formdo you prefer?
Oh, let me think about that.
Um, Netflix gave us two seasonsright off the bat.
Um, we were almost canceledsix years in a row on NBC.
-I think I prefer Netflixright now. -(laughter)
(whooping, applause)
It really is...it's a wonderful story.
It's super funny.
And I guessthe best part about it
is that it's gonna be coming outright around Valentine's Day.
-So people can, uh...can get into the love. -Yeah.
Either you havea great Valentine's Day
and you can be smugabout our misadventures,
or you have a terrible dayand you can commiserate with us.
Misery loves company. Love will be available
on Netflix starting February 19.
Gillian Jacobs, everybody!
(cheering, applause)
>> MK Ultra Mind Control: The Government's Voices Of God Weapon
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 21:02
Kristan T. Harris | The Rundown Live
MK Ultra and LRAD(Long Range Acoustic Device) are two areas of science that work together to make an alchemy of ultimate control. The ability to hypnotize a manchurian candidate or even the masses. This same technology can put voices in the head of a single individual or even a large crowd. Imagine how you could mentally terrorize a person by putting voices in their head constantly and how that could jeopardize their sanity. Who should have such power?
MK Ultra '' Mind Control Experiments
MK Ultra came about by the United States government expanding on the works of the Nazi doctors and scientists recruited from operation paperclip. The experiments gained spotlight in 1975 by the Church Committee of the U.S. Congress, and a Gerald Ford commission toinvestigate the CIA activities within the United States. The investigation had to rely on the sworn testimony of direct participants of the MK Ultra experiments and a small number of documents that survived.
The CIA, 2 years later in 1977, found itself again before the Senate and key men were questioned concerning their role in conducting these and other tortuous and mind killing ''experiments''. In 1975-1976 however George H.W. Bush was appointed director of the CIA, and senate hearings have shown that a massive amount of paperwork concerning Mk ultra projects has been destroyed. It should be noted that the official story claimed that the majority of the paperwork was destroyed in 1972.
In 1971 the April edition of Science Digest located on pages. 44-50. The Science Digest posted an excerpt from Dr. Estabrooks work with Military intelligence during and after WWII explain how Hypnosis can be used to make a real like Manchurian candidate. I recommend you read and understand they did these experiments on people.
The Voice of God weapon '-- a device that projects voices into your head to make you think God is speaking to youDr. Robert Duncan is the architect and mastermind behind the technology used for the voices of God weapon. Dr. Robert Duncan was a brilliant mind who went to Harvard and MIT and straight to the CIA. He admits that he helped put together the technology that makes it possible for the government to put voices inside people's heads.
When Duncan was asked on TV by Jesse Ventura on camera '' whats negative about what you've done''. Dr. Duncan responded ''I have empowered the Dark Side by some of my work'' see ''Technology is neutral it can be used for good or evil. I have worked on projects for the CIA, The Justice Department and department of defense. When asked if this is the technology use to PUT voices in people's head. Duncan responded. ''Yes''.
When Dr Robert Duncan was asked who would want to put voices in their head?'' Duncan responded '' the government is doing this to them''. Duncan didn't even bother to hide who is doing it. They are called voice of god weapons. '' Duncan then went on to say the CIA has a long history of experimenting on our citizens for example LSD.
Duncan no longer works for the CIA and is now a whistle-blower. Watch the interview with Dr Robert Duncan and people who are effected by the abuse of this technology.
LRAD, now used by law enforcement is basically a focused beam of sound. Originally, it was designed to emit a very loud sound. Anyone whose head was touched by this beam, heard a painfully loud sound. Anyone standing next to them heard nothing. But now they can send voices in your head. LRAD can also broadcast speech for up to 300 meters. LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device) was quietly deployed to Iraq in 2007. Shortly after, rumors in Iraq spread of a ''devilish'' American weapon that makes people believe they are hearing GOD and or voices in their heads.
Here's the patent.
http://www.raven1.net/4877027.htm
http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=4,877,027.PN.&OS=PN/4,877,027&RS=PN/4,877,027
Freedom of Information Act report.
http://www.freedomfchs.com/usarmyrptonmicrowavefx.pdf
What it is
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_auditory_effect
''The existence of non-lethal weaponry that exploits the microwave auditory effect appears to have been classified ''Secret NOFORN'' in the USA from (at the latest) 1998, until the declassification on 6 December 2006 of ''Bioeffects of Selected Non-Lethal Weaponry'' in response to a FOIA request. Application of the microwave hearing technology could facilitate a private message transmission. Quoting from the above source, ''Microwave hearing may be useful to provide a disruptive condition to a person not aware of the technology. Not only might it be disruptive to the sense of hearing, it could be psychologically devastating if one suddenly heard ''voices within one's head''.
The technology gained further public attention when a company announced in early 2008 that they were close to fielding a device called MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio) based on the principle.[4]''
Literally voices or a voice in your head can be used to deprive you of sleep, or the microwave can be used to heat your body. The volume of the voice can be attenuated depending on power level.
Continuous auditory microwave signals can drive you to extremes if the operator wishes to do that.
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Commentscomments
alex jonesben swannciaDr. EstabrooksDr. Robert Duncan\electro magnetic pulsegwen towersinfowarsjesse venturakristan harriskristan t harrismike paczesnymilwaukee newsmilwaukee talk radioMind Controlmk ultranatural newssean stonethe rundown livetyrel venturavoices of godvoices of god weaponswe are change
Smart car algorithm sees pedestrians as well as you can
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 20:57
It's one thing for computers to spot people in relatively tame academic situations, but it's another when they're on the road '' you need your car to spot that jaywalker in time to avoid a collision. Thankfully, UC San Diego researchers have made that more realistic than ever. They've crafted a pedestrian detection algorithm that's much quicker and more accurate than existing systems. It can spot people at a rate of 2-4 frames per second, or roughly as well as humans can, while making half as many mistakes as existing systems. That could make the difference between a graceful stop and sudden, scary braking.The key is to quickly and gradually cut out the areas that don't contain people (such as the sky or empty road) and lean on deep learning at the last stages, when you want complex image recognition to confirm what you're looking at. It saves a lot of the computing power normally needed for pedestrian recognition, since you're limiting the focus to just a handful of areas instead of large chunks of the screen.
UCSD's current system can only recognize one object type at a time, so you couldn't just drop it into a car by itself. However, the team plans to have it detecting multiple object types and become far more practical. And it's not limited to vehicles, either. This could be useful in robots, security cameras and other devices that need to spot humans in a heartbeat.
This article by Jon Fingas originally ran on Engadget, the definitive guide to this connected life.
Related Video:
No evidence to support rumors tying Zika to genetically modified mosquitoes | PolitiFact Global News Service
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 20:47
The World Health Organization has declared Zika a public health emergency.
Global health emergencies understandably stoke fear, panic and wild claims. Exaggerations about Ebola were PolitiFact's 2014 Lie of the Year. And now rumors about Zika, a virus linked to birth defects, are taking the Internet by storm.
One of the claims goes something like this: Zika is caused by genetically modified mosquitoes, a testament to what happens when man tampers with nature or a purposefully manufactured weapon for population control.
As Snopes and Discover have noted, this idea appears to have originated from a post published Jan. 25 to the subreddit r/conspiracy '-- our first red flag. But since then, the claim has been circulated by media outlets ranging from Infowars and Natural News to the Daily Mail, the Mirror, Russia Today and Fox News.
One version can be found in a popular YouTube video entitled: "Bioweapon! Zika virus is being spread by GMO mosquitos (sic) funded by Gates."
The video explains that British biotechnology company Oxitec engineered genetically modified mosquitoes to fight the spread of dengue fever and other diseases with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Oxitec recently released these mosquitoes in Brazil, "where we have this explosion of Zika," the video says. "Writing's on the wall, folks."
We wondered if there is any truth to the notion that Zika is being spread by transgenic mosquitoes.
In a word, no. Epidemiologists told us the rumor is baseless. The mosquitoes in question wouldn't have been capable of starting the outbreak in 2015, and the geographic correlation offered doesn't hold up.
A spokesperson for the World Health Organization said the organization has seen no evidence suggesting that Zika is linked to genetically modified mosquitoes.
"I don't know of any scientific evidence for this rumor, or any obvious way to do this that would be more efficient than natural transmission," said Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University.
"I cannot state more emphatically that I believe this theory to be absolutely untrue," said Anna Durbin, a professor of international health at Johns Hopkins University.
Let's dissect this claim bit by bit.
Not a new disease
The claim's first problem is history. Zika didn't suddenly appear after genetically modified mosquitoes were released. The virus was first documented nearly seven decades ago in Uganda and has cropped many times over the years.
On April 18, 1947, researchers studying jungle yellow fever isolated the virus from mosquitoes and named it after the Zika Forest where it was found. Though Zika had never been seen before, "it had probably lurked chronically in African monkeys, or some other native reservoir, for millennia," reports National Geographic.
In the next half century, evidence of Zika was found in human fluids in a number of African and Asian countries, but only 14 cases of the human disease were documented.
Zika was detected outside of the two continents for the first time in 2007. The small island nation of Yap saw 108 confirmed or probable cases of the disease.
The second outbreak of Zika hit French Polynesia, another small island in the Pacific, in 2013. About 11 percent of the population (28,000 cases) were infected.
In May 2015, Brazil reported the first cases of Zika infection along a surge in infants born with microcephaly, a birth defect in which baby's head is abnormally small. There are now an estimated 440,000 to 1.3 million cases in the country and the disease has spread across Latin America.
Incapable mosquitoes
The claim's second problem is that genetically modified bugs couldn't have been responsible for the 2015 Zika outbreak.
Many mosquito species in the Aedes genus (africanus, apicoargenteus, luteocephalus, vitattus, furcifer, albopictus, hensilli and polynesiensis) can transmit the Zika virus, but the main vector is Aedes aegypti. This particular mosquito, common in tropical areas around the world, also spreads yellow fever, dengue fever and chikungunya.
To combat dengue fever, Oxitec engineeredAedes aegypti mosquitoes to produce a lethal protein and self-destruct. Females, which bite, are destroyed in the lab while males, which don't bite and thus can't transmit diseases, are released into the wild. They mate with local, non-GM females and the self-destruct gene is passed onto offspring.
Oxitec spokesman told Matthew Warren told PolitiFact that the mosquitoes typically self-destruct within one to four days, and the gene disappears from the population about 12 weeks after the initial release.
"This means that offspring of the mosquito do not survive," said Durbin of Johns Hopkins. "Therefore, the progeny of these mosquitoes, even if infected with Zika, would not survive to transmit Zika."
Wrong location
The claim's third problem is the geographic correlation, which besides not being the same thing as causation doesn't actually match up.
The first Brazilian cases of Zika reported in May 2015 were in Cama§ari, a district in the northeastern state of Bahia that's hundreds of kilometers away from the Oxitec trial sites. The biotech firm released the genetically modified mosquitoes in Juazeiro, which is roughly 490 kilometers from Cama§ari, and in Jacobina, about 340 kilometers away.
It's also very unlikely, if not impossible, that Zika-carrying Oxitec mosquitoes made their way to Cama§ari. For one, the typical Aedes aegypti mosquito can fly a maximum of 200 meters to 440 meters.
For another, the trials took place months and years before the Cama§ari outbreak (between May 2011 and September 2012 in Juazeiro and in Jacobina between June 2013 and December 2014). So "even if an Oxitec mosquito 'hitched a lift,' " it would have died long before, Warren said.
Beginning in April 2015, Oxitec did release mosquitoes in Piracicaba, in the southeastern state of S£o Paulo '-- about 2,000 kilometers from Cama§ari and 1,900 kilometers from the epicenter of the disease in Recife.
According to the state's department of health, S£o Paulo has reported only 20 cases of microcephaly as of Jan. 20, 2016 (though there is some suspicion over the official tally) while Piracicaba itself has two confirmed and 12 suspected cases of Zika.
Oxitec's true role in Zika's rapid spread
Rather than spreading Zika, Oxitec mosquitoes could actually help fight the disease, as NPR, CNN, and New York Times have noted. The self-destructing bugs have reduced virus-carrying mosquito populations in Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands by 80 to 90 percent, according to studies commissioned by the company. (Critics say these results are exaggerated.)
Experts said the current explosion of Zika in Brazil is more likely due to the lack of barriers, higher population density, increased mobility and novelty of the disease rather than mutant mosquitos.
Whereas the disease was confined by the ocean and small populations in Yap and French Polynesia, Durbin pointed out, Zika could spread through a huge amount of territory and infect way more humans in Brazil.
Immunity and resistance to the disease has been documented in Nigeria and Indonesia. But in the Americas, Zika is basically a "virgin soil epidemic," said Morse of Columbia. (So were smallpox to Native American populations in the United States and yellow fever to European colonialists in West Africa.)
"I think it's extremely likely these introductions are inadvertent and not intentional because historically we've seen this kind of thing happen many times," Morse said.
One final note. The viral image focuses part of its criticism on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation helped fund the genetically modified mosquito program. The foundation also is helping support PolitiFact's efforts to fact-check claims about global health and development. Gates has no input over what we fact-check or the rulings we issue.
Our ruling
An Internet rumor propagated in a YouTube video claims that the "Zika virus is being spread by GMO mosquitos (sic)."
There's no evidence that this is true. The argument offered '-- where the Zika outbreak occurred matches up with where the transformed mosquitoes were released '-- doesn't hold up. What's more, the mosquitoes in question were specifically engineered to self-destruct before they can spread viruses.
This claim is both inaccurate and ridiculous. We rate it Pants on Fire.
What Hillary Clinton said in her paid speeches - POLITICO
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 20:39
NEW YORK '-- When Hillary Clinton spoke to Goldman Sachs executives and technology titans at a summit in Arizona in October of 2013, she spoke glowingly of the work the bank was doing raising capital and helping create jobs, according to people who saw her remarks.
Clinton, who received $225,000 for her appearance, praised the diversity of Goldman's workforce and the prominent roles played by women at the blue-chip investment bank and the tech firms present at the event. She spent no time criticizing Goldman or Wall Street more broadly for its role in the 2008 financial crisis.
''It was pretty glowing about us,'' one person who watched the event said. ''It's so far from what she sounds like as a candidate now. It was like a rah-rah speech. She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director.''
At another speech to Goldman and its big asset management clients in New York in 2013, Clinton spoke about how it wasn't just the banks that caused the financial crisis and that it was worth looking at the landmark 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law to see what was working and what wasn't.
''It was mostly basic stuff, small talk, chit-chat,'' one person who attended that speech said. ''But in this environment, it could be made to look really bad.''
Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon dismissed the recollections as ''pure trolling,'' while the Clinton campaign declined to comment further on calls that she release the transcripts of the three paid speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs, for which she earned a total of $675,000.
But the descriptions of Clinton's remarks highlight the trap in which the Democratic presidential front-runner now finds herself. In a previous election cycle, no one would much care about the former secretary of state's comments to Goldman. They represent the kind of boilerplate, happy talk that highly paid speakers generally offer to their hosts. Nobody pays nearly a quarter of a million dollars to have someone criticize their alleged misdeeds. But 2016 is different.
Clinton is under relentless attack from Vermont democratic socialist Bernie Sanders for her ties to Wall Street, including paid speeches and campaign fundraising events. And she is now under intense pressure from the media and some on the left to release transcripts of her remarks to Goldman and other banks.
The problem is, if Clinton releases the transcripts, Sanders and other progressive candidates could take even seemingly innocuous comments and make them sound as though Clinton is in the tank for Wall Street. And if she doesn't, it makes her look like she has something very damaging to hide.
''On the one hand, if Clinton discloses these speech transcripts that's not going to be the end of it,'' said Dennis Kelleher, chief executive of financial reform group Better Markets. ''I think you are damned if you do and damned if you don't in this never ending game of gotcha. But as a political matter, she should probably just disclose it all and disclose it quickly.''
That kind of conflicted view '-- she should release the transcripts but will get hammered if she does '-- is rampant in Democratic circles. Some people close to the campaign both want Clinton to release the remarks, because they don't think there is anything bad about them, but worry about what will happen if she does.
''If it were up to me I'd just say go ahead and release them and deal with it,'' said one senior Democrat close to the Clinton campaign. ''But I can understand why they don't want to because anything can be taken out of context and blown up.''
So far, the Clinton campaign has shown no inclination to release the texts of her remarks to Goldman or anyone else. At a debate in New Hampshire last week, Clinton said she would ''look into'' the matter. A day after the debate, Clinton pollster Joel Benenson told reporters, ''I don't think voters are interested in the transcripts of her speeches.'' On ABC's ''This Week'' on Sunday, Clinton pushed back even harder on calls to release the speech transcripts.
''Let everybody who's ever given a speech to any private group under any circumstances release them. We'll all release them at the same time,'' she said. ''I have never, ever been influenced in a view or a vote by anyone who has given me any kind of funding.''
Clinton tried to turn the tables on Sanders in New Hampshire on Monday, saying he, too, has taken cash from Wall Street.
''Sen. Sanders took about $200,000 from Wall Street firms. Not directly, but through the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee,'' she said. ''There was nothing wrong with that. It hasn't changed his view! Well, it didn't change my view or my vote either!''
People close to the Clinton campaign say the hope is that calls for release of the transcripts will fade after New Hampshire, assuming the former first lady can defeat Sanders in South Carolina and the mass of mostly Southern states that vote on March 1 in the Super Tuesday primaries.
Potential general election opponents could conceivably hit Clinton on her Wall Street ties but it would be much harder for them to do so than Sanders. Many of the GOP candidates '-- including Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Chris Christie and Ted Cruz '-- have ties to Wall Street. Kasich worked at Lehman Brothers and Cruz's wife works for Goldman Sachs. Bush, Rubio and Christie have all competed hard for donations from the financial industry.
But until Clinton gets clear of Sanders, her speeches to Goldman and other banks will likely continue to pose problems. Some progressive groups say beyond the speeches themselves, the fear is that, as president, Clinton would be too chummy with bankers and rely on Wall Street executives for senior positions like Treasury secretary. The highly paid speaking gigs just make these fears more intense.
''The big-picture question voters care about is: Who does a politician surround themselves with and will they hold accountable people they have a close relationship with?'' said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. ''Hillary Clinton would reassure voters if she said she would appoint a Treasury secretary not from Wall Street, an attorney general and SEC chair with a proven record of holding Wall Street accountable, and generally work with Elizabeth Warren to stop the revolving door between industry and government.''
Kelleher echoed that sentiment, saying Clinton could blow the speech question off the radar if she could more clearly articulate an approach to Wall Street that would ease anxiety on the left. Previous comments, including that she took the $675,000 from Goldman because ''that's what they offered,'' have not done the trick.
''I don't know how she does it, but she has got to get to the fundamental issue and address it in a way that convinces voters that, no matter what money she has gotten from Wall Street, when she is president she will represent the American people and do what's right,'' Kelleher said. ''Until she does that in a convincing way, stories like this will still be a problem for her.''
One thing that is clear is that Clinton could release the Goldman transcripts unilaterally if she chose to do so.
BuzzFeed reported over the weekend that contracts for two paid speeches '-- not to Goldman '-- made clear that Clinton owned exclusive rights to the content and any reproductions of her remarks.
A person familiar with the matter said that even if Goldman did have the ability to block Clinton from releasing her remarks, the bank would never exercise that right and would allow the speeches to be released.
But many Clinton supporters remain steadfast that she should not be pressured into releasing the text of private remarks.
''If we are going to hold one candidate to the standard of releasing their transcripts whether for speeches or fundraisers, then why don't we hold all of them to the same standard?'' said Jimmy Williams, host of the DecodeDC podcast and a former MSNBC contributor. ''I would wholeheartedly welcome that if we applied it to both Democrats and Republicans as well as socialists.''
The person who saw Clinton's Arizona remarks to Goldman said they thought there was no chance the campaign would ever release them. ''It would bury her against Sanders,'' this person said. ''It really makes her look like an ally of the firm.''
Twitter API data show the number of tweets is in serious decline - Business Insider
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 20:37
The number of tweets per day created by Twitter's users has fallen by more than half since a peak in August 2014, according to a sampling of data from Twitter's API. (An API '-- application programming interface '-- is the portal through which other apps access Twitter so their software can function together.) The data was given to Business Insider by an app developer who has tracked Twitter users since 2013.
Tweets per day reached a peak in August 2014 of 661 million, our source says. That 30-day sampling period included the World Cup final. In January 2016, there were only 303 million tweets per day, on average, during the 30-day period.
Business Insider
"This data is not correct," a spokesperson for Twitter told Business Insider. The company, which has a policy of not commenting on third-party data, declined to elaborate.
Whether it is accurate or not, the numbers could be a problem for Twitter. This is the data that app developers see when they take samples from Twitter's datasets to gauge activity on the platform. If it is accurate, it suggests that people are using the platform less frequently. If it is not accurate, it suggests that the activity developers see on the platform is a misleading guide as to what is actually happening, which isn't helpful for developers.
The app already suffers from a growing population of "users" who don't actually do anything on it. And growth in "monthly active users" has all but stalled, at 320 million, according to Twitter.
Data samples taken by app developers have proved to be misleading in the past. In July 2014, a sample of API data leaked to Business Insider suggested Twitter may have seen a brief decline in MAUs, but that didn't happen. MAU growth did become very soft that year, and on Twitter's own metrics the population of users who are logged-in to the platform but who don't actually do anything increased.
The disconnect between the numbers Twitter discloses to the SEC and the numbers developers see via the API occurs because developers cannot see the data Twitter uses to calculate its MAUs. Developers can only see active users and accounts.
In addition, Twitter stopped reporting its estimate of users who consisted of "third-party applications that may have automatically contacted our servers for regular updates without any discernable additional user-initiated action." Twitter has not updated that estimate since December 2014, making it more difficult to estimate what portion of Twitter's user-base isn't being operated by a human.
Our source suspects that what while Twitter has retained a core of older professional users, like media professionals and politicians, it has lost a lot of younger users who tweeted a lot at their friends. Younger users create two or three times the number of tweets that older users do, our source believes. Those young people went to rival apps like Snapchat and Instagram, our source thinks. Both those apps have overtaken Twitter in monthly active users in the last couple of years.
Another possible explanation is that Twitter has become better at rooting out spam accounts that tweet on autopilot. (But that would imply that a huge volume of activity on Twitter a year ago was merely spam.)
Broadly, the data shows the number of active users on Twitter has been flat for two years. Twitter has publicly reported similar trends in its statistics, but the company's definition of "monthly active users" counts users whose only activity on the app is performed by another app that happens to ping Twitter for an update, without any human intervention.
Also, the data shows that Twitter's longtime problem of users who sign up for the service and then abandon it has not gone away. The total universe of Twitter accounts is up to 1.6 billion, our source's data show. Of that total, the vast majority fall silent, don't tweet, operate in "listen only" mode, or are spam bots, our source believes.
Our source took a sample of 100,000 Twitter accounts to create each data point. The data describes the total number of accounts in existence, the number of accounts that are active, the number of new accounts created, and the number of accounts that actually tweet.
While Twitter claims it has up to 320 million monthly active users, our source's data shows that active users '-- people actually tweeting or creating new accounts in a 30-day period '-- hover around the 130 million mark. That discrepancy is likely explained in part by the fact that Twitter counts as "active" any user who is logged in during the period, whereas our source counts only users who are logged in and perform an action.
Here is the same data as above, including the total universe of existing accounts:
Business Insider
Our source believes the majority of abandoned accounts are probably spambots. There is a still a thriving ecosystem of companies that let you buy followers. Twitter takes actions to stamp those accounts out, but it does not catch them all.
Disclosure: The author owns Twitter stock.
Moscow shared MH17 radar images, Dutch probe ignored evidence, Russia tells victims' relatives - Veterans Today
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:58
Moscow provided the Netherlands with radar and other data on the MH17 crash but it has all been ignored, a Russian aviation official said, responding to the relatives of Dutch victims who recently wrote to President Vladimir Putin.
Oleg Storchevoy, the deputy head of Rosaviatsia, the agency representing Russia in the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash investigation, has personally addressed the relatives of the victims in a lengthy letter.
READ IN FULL: Official letter on MH17 investigation by top Russian aviation official Oleg Storchevoy
''I would like to emphasize that Russia is strongly committed to establishing the actual cause of the crash, and has consistently done everything in its power to help find out the truth, both throughout the course of the technical investigation and following its official completion,'' he said.
Desperate for answers that would shed the light on who fired the BUK missile that allegedly hit the passenger plane on July 17, 2014, and dissatisfied with the slow-moving Dutch probe, the relatives have turned to the heads of several states, including Russia's. On January 22, they sent a letter to Putin, asking about the primary data from radars and satellites, which they think is crucial.
''We did not impose any conditions or restrictions regarding further use and disclosure of radar data, records of phone conversations and other data we submitted to the Dutch Safety Board (DSB) at its request. Moreover, Russia has stored all that data to this day, and is willing to provide it once again to the relevant authorities,'' said Storchevoy.
In mid-January, the relatives wrote to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, demanding a global campaign to obtain radar images that could help identify those responsible for the death of their loved ones.
''We can't accept that people have refused to provide crucial information,'' they wrote.
'Only radar data available is Russia's'While the Russian authorities were not involved in controlling the fatal flight, they still soon became de-facto participants of the investigation due to the unique information obtained from radars in Rostov-on-Don, a Russian city not far from the Ukrainian border.
''I would like to stress that Russia disclosed all of its available satellite data in the days immediately following the crash,''said Storchevoy.
Rosaviatsia's deputy head stressed that the Russian radar data was the only such data available to the Dutch investigators, as it appeared that Ukraine's radar stations ''for unknown reasons'' were not functioning on July 17. Neither did Ukrainian authorities have any backup system to maintain flight safety in the military zone.
Dutch report ignored Russia's dataHaving provided the radar data and phone records requested by the Dutch, Russia has never prohibited the Netherlands from either sharing with other states or publishing the information generally, Storchevoy said.
However, this evidence appears not to have been reflected in the Dutch Safety Board's (DSB) final report, released in October.
Russia is still ready to provide the same data, which it collects in video files in accordance with domestic regulations, to any authorized parties.
Moscow has also published the satellite images from July 2014 that showed Ukrainian BUK missile systems maneuvering in the conflict zone close to the site of the crash. It had handed the same images over to the DSB. However, this evidence has been ignored as well.
''This data confirms, among other things, that there was movement and increased activity by Ukrainian Buk surface-to-air missile systems observed within the conflict area in Eastern Ukraine one day ahead of the tragedy,'' Storchevoy mentioned.
''Russia shared that information with the Dutch Safety Board, but once its final report was released, it turned out the DSB had chosen not to consider Russian satellite data or even include them in the report,'' he added.
Netherlands drags out probe, delays final reportSpeaking of Russia's efforts, the Rosaviatsia officials accused the DSB of leaving a number of important questions unanswered, of distorting the facts and of deliberately carrying out the probe at a sluggish pace.
Storchevoy has called on Ukraine and the US to provide the information they have. He said Washington ''must'' share satellite images that it claims it has, while Kiev should either share its radar data or prove that it doesn't have it.
''As far as the quality of the technical inquiry is concerned, I must point out that, in a totally inexplicable fashion, its final report leaves the most important question unanswered: How far is Ukraine responsible for failing to close its airspace? The report is extremely vague regarding the responsibility of the government in Kiev,'' Storchevoy said.
Russia extremely interested in truthIn his address to the relatives of Dutch victims, Storchevoy has stressed Russia's commitment to uncover the truth. Even after the end of the official probe, he said, Moscow is still going out of its way to find answers to major questions.
Moscow provided data from all of its radars that recorded the MH17 flight to the Dutch Safety Board in August 2014, shortly after the catastrophe, Storchevoy said.
(Editor's note: though the CIA run Moscow Times reported the opposite)
Aside from that, Almaz-Antey, the manufacturers of the 9N314M BUK missile that the investigation said downed the plane, have staged two real-life tests. They involved decommissioned aircraft and BUK anti-aircraft missiles to verify whether missile systems currently deployed by Russian troops could have been involved in the downing of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft.
However, the results of these tests have also been ignored, as has Russia's invitation to the Dutch investigators to participate.
Storchevoy has urged the relatives of the MH17 victims to not give up on their efforts to dig out the truth and to demand maximum transparency from both Dutch authorities and their partners in the probe.
''Russia has repeatedly pointed out that the Dutch technical investigation was performed in an extremely nontransparent and biased manner. We support you in your efforts to get answers to the numerous questions that remain unanswered,'' he said.
The Netherlands is finalizing its second, criminal investigation into the MH17 incident, which is likely to point fingers at specific suspects. The crash killed nearly 300 passengers and crew members on July 17, 2014 in the Donetsk Region of Eastern Ukraine. A majority of those killed in the crash were Dutch citizens.
READ MORE: 4 questions for Dutch probe into MH17 crash
Rather than pointing fingers, Storchevoy says it would be better for the DSB to answer questions regarding why the investigation took so long and why they hid certain pieces of information.
''The Dutch authorities should explain why they distorted facts and concealed data, and why they ignored important data provided by Russia. The DSB should explain why its final report distorted data about missile fragments and places where they were found, why it failed to thoroughly examine penetration holes on the aircraft, why it mismanaged the aircraft debris, why it misrepresented the probable location from which the missile was launched, and many other discrepancies in the final report,'' Storchevoy concluded.
U.S. Blows $5.7 Bil on Cyber Defense System That Doesn't Work
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:51
Reckless government spending is at full throttle with the example du jour a $5.7 billion cyber defense system created to protect computers at federal agencies against hackers. Despite its mind-boggling price tag the system is seriously flawed and uses features already available in much cheaper commercial-grade products, according to a federal probe made public recently.
The problem, besides sticking it to taxpayers for the exorbitant cost, is that the multibillion-dollar system simply doesn't work. Nevertheless, the bloated agency handling this particular boondoggle, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), insists the program, National Cybersecurity Protection System (NCPS), is effective despite its documented failures. This is par for the course at the monstrous agency created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep the nation safe. DHS has been involved in a number of transgressions that have left the country incredibly vulnerable, especially on the southern border where Islamic terrorists have teamed up with Mexican drug cartels to enter the U.S.
Now it's leaving sensitive computer systems throughout government vulnerable to web threats, even after spending an astounding amount of money. It gets better, or rather, more enraging. Most of the features used by the government's specially created NCPS are available in commercial security network appliances that are already used by federal agencies. In fact, DHS admits that some commercial products, which cost a lot cheaper than $5.7 billion, likely contain more features than the agency's fancy NCPS. You can't make this stuff up! It's all documented in a federal audit made public with lots of redactions, presumably to protect national security.
A secret version of the probe, conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, with more details was issued to federal agencies a few months ago. The public version is undoubtedly toned down, but still outrageous. Congressional investigators determined that the NCPS's capabilities are ''limited'' in all areas and that the system can't detect anomalies that may indicate attempts to attack a network. ''By employing only signature-based intrusion detection, NCPS is unable to detect intrusions for which it does not have a valid or active signature deployed,'' the GAO report states. ''This limits the overall effectiveness of the program.''
Why, then, is the government continuing to use this dysfunctional, multibillion-dollar system if it can't detect threats'--old and new'--adequately? The answer, straight from DHS officials, helps illustrate what's wrong with government. In response to the scathing GAO report, officials from the agency's Network Security Deployment (NSD) say that they are only tasked with providing a baseline set of protections and ''government-wide situational awareness.'' In other words, the officials tasked with protecting national security seem to be claiming that it really isn't their job. There appears to be an epidemic of this throughout government.
This is hardly the first time we see this sort of egregious waste at DHS. The agency blew $878 million on an ineffective behavior program, Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT), that promised to single out terrorists at airports but never did. DHS also wasted $360 million on drones that were supposed to guard the Mexican border and increase apprehensions of illegal immigrants. That failed miserably as well. Just a few months ago Judicial Watch reported on yet another flawed DHS experiment that cost the government a billion dollars. Known as BioWatch, the billion-dollar swindle is promoted by the agency as a system that detects biological attacks and can therefore counter bioterrorism. The reality is that it's useless.
Loanbase hacked via WordPress hole, funds stolen
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:49
Posted on 08 February 2016.
Popular international Bitcoin crowd-lending platform Loanbase has suffered a security breach, and is currently offline.The breach was discovered on Saturday and made public on Sunday. So far four user accounts have been confirmed to have been compromised, and none of them had two-factor authentication enabled.
The attackers made off with around 8 BTC, but Loanbase will reimburse users who had their funds stolen.
The attackers did not gain access to the Bitcoin wallets, but did access the company's SQL database, which contains user information such as e-mail addresses, phone numbers, names, etc.
"We've identified several more unauthorized withdrawals from several other accounts, but we had terminated the withdrawal process as soon as we found out about the first 4 transactions. Given that the withdrawal process was stopped, we estimate that the maximum loss is about 20 BTC," the company explained.
"However, since the hackers were able to access the database, we assume that everybody was exposed. We've taken steps to block any intrusions and not allow anymore funds to be lost, but that doesn't make this intrusion any less damaging."
According to the notification posted on the organization's Facebook account, the breach occurred via a security hole in the WordPress blog, but more details about it will be provided at a later date.
The company's site is still down and is expected to be online again today, after security updates are implemented. All users' passwords have already been reset, so once the site comes back online users will have to change their password and update their 2FA setup.
"We're going to implement additional security procedures, which will help with an earlier detection of such breaches," the company added.
Withdrawals that were approved in the meantime but not processed will be rejected and users will have to initiate them again once the site is back online.
This breach comes less that a month after the Cryptsy Bitcoin exchange announced they have been hacked by attackers who exploited an IRC backdoor inserted into the code of a wallet, and made off with some 13,000 Bitcoin and 300,000 Litecoin.
What's At Stake In New Hampshire's Republican Primary | FiveThirtyEight
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:43
MANCHESTER, N.H. '-- Before the Iowa Republican caucuses last week, we warned you that the uncertainty in the race was high and that the polls might be way off. That's even more true here in New Hampshire.
At least we know that Donald Trump will finish first on the Republican side? Well, probably. Trump has led all but one poll here since July; his numbers have slumped by a couple of percentage points since his second-place finish in Iowa, but nobody has come especially close to him. And yet, because the uncertainty is so great in New Hampshire, Trump's victory is not quite assured: Our polls-plus forecast still gives Trump a 31 percent chance of somehow losing here.
The reason for this is that, historically, the more viable candidates there are in a state, the more error-prone the polling has tended to be. Multi-candidate races open up the possibility of last-minute tactical voting and otherwise give voters plenty of options, making them more likely to change their minds at the last minute. Our forecast models account for this dynamic, which is why Trump's lead is much less safe than Bernie Sanders's in the two-way race on the Democratic side, even though both candidates lead their nearest competitor by about the same 15-percentage-point margin in the polling average. (I think the model might be a little bit too confident about Sanders '-- I'd personally put his odds at more like 95 percent rather than 99 percent '-- but we'll save that discussion for later.)
So let's look at New Hampshire from the standpoint of the six leading Republican candidates. For each one, I've listed their 90th percentile and 10th percentile forecasts from our polls-plus model to show the most likely range of possible outcomes.
Donald Trump90th percentile forecast: 39 percent
10th percentile forecast: 17 percent
We've somehow reverted back to the pattern before Iowa, where the other Republicans weren't spending much time attacking Trump despite his lead in the polls. In Iowa, voters took matters into their own hands and turned away from Trump at the last minute. Could the same thing happen here?
It's entirely possible; the polls-plus model projects Trump to finish with 27 percent of the vote '-- a little less than the 30 percent he has in the polling average. But there's a huge amount of uncertainty around that estimate. Suppose, for instance, that Trump finishes with a vote share in the mid-to-high 30s. Such a performance would erase many of our doubts about Trump's ceiling and make him look formidable in South Carolina and beyond.
Conversely, if Trump won but with more like the 26 percent of the vote that Pat Buchanan got in New Hampshire in 1996, he'd look more like a factional candidate who was benefiting from the divided field. And if Trump's vote share falls into the low 20s or even the high teens, meanwhile, he would be vulnerable to losing New Hampshire outright. It would also raise a lot of questions about whether the polls were oversampling Trump voters.
Marco Rubio90th percentile forecast: 25 percent
10th percentile forecast: 9 percent
The polls-plus forecast still has Rubio in second place, but that's deceptive. He's only a fraction of a percentage point ahead of John Kasich, with Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz lurking almost as close. In fact, the polls-plus forecast has Rubio with a 64 percent chance of finishing third or worse and he could easily enough slip to fifth or sixth. Here's our final matrix of probabilities for Rubio and the other candidates:
CANDIDATEFIRSTSECONDTHIRDFOURTHFIFTHSIXTH+Donald Trump69%19%7%3%1%
Zika virus: Why we shouldn't panic (Opinion) - CNN.com
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:42
But while it is true that the virus is here, and there will be more cases in future, there is no need to panic. Zika is manageable, and just one of the many other risks we face as a nation. So while it is important that we be prepared, it is also important that we remain clear-eyed and not fall victim to the fear and myth surrounding the virus.
I'll defer to the doctors on the detailed science of this, but from a homeland security perspective, Zika is not on the list of most pressing worries. It is of course a genuine concern. But it is not a crisis. And to ensure it doesn't become one, it is worth spending some time setting expectations. Indeed, expectations may be our biggest enemy here.
There is something about a public health disease or outbreak -- maybe because it can't be seen, it transmits without notice, and in this case involves those pesky mosquitos -- that makes it easy to get things out of perspective. However, unlike Ebola, the Zika virus is not transmitted through passive contact. It's worth remembering that Zika has been around a long time, the vast majority of those infected suffer mild to no symptoms, and its detrimental consequences appear (though the science is not conclusive) to mostly impact a small subset of the population, mainly pregnant women.
This is not to say it is benign -- the potential consequences are indeed horrifying. While no direct link has been found, the rise of cases of congenital microcephaly, a rare neurological condition in which an infant's head is significantly smaller than the heads of other children, has surged during the Zika virus outbreak.
But it's important to put the numbers in some perspective -- last year, for example, the WHO notes there were more than 200 million malaria cases and about 438,000 malaria deaths. Such statistics are a reminder that in any calculation of risk, a country must draw up a plan appropriate based on the nature of the risk, while focusing efforts on keeping the probability of an outbreak as low as possible. In the case of Zika, that means thinking about pregnant women.
In homeland security, we do this all the time -- focusing efforts on prevention rather than panicking about the possible consequences. In the case of Zika, that means ensuring that pregnant women take seriously the recommendations from the WHO and CDC to not travel to one of the 20 countries in the Americas experiencing the virus. My personal advice would be that if you are pregnant, just don't travel there. And if you are pregnant and with someone who has just traveled there, the CDC has recommended that the partner use condom or that the couple refrain from sex throughout remainder of pregnancy.
As for other preventative measures, the United States is in a much better position than most other countries. For one, despite its flaws, our public health apparatus is sophisticated and capable of monitoring potential outbreaks and delivering medical services should the need arise. Our urban neighborhoods aren't as dense as those in the countries where the outbreak is happening, so mosquito control is easier. We widely use air-conditioning, and we tend to screen our windows. If the need arises, efforts to eradicate mosquitos can begin, as well as education efforts to limit large-scale breeding grounds, like water or puddles, can be initiated.
And, should there be limited outbreaks, our commitment to reproductive rights and access to contraception will assist. In America, we have that right. For many countries that do not provide access to birth control or abortion rights, it is fanciful to tell women not to get pregnant for up to two years as some countries have recommended. That's not a strategy -- that's wishful thinking.
Here at home, we have to focus on a practical strategy: Support efforts abroad; minimize the risk to citizens here; and keep our heads on straight. What we should not do at this stage is follow the Florida example and declare a state of emergency in certain counties based on three cases brought in from travelers.
The reality is that our world is too interconnected, travel is too easy, and mosquitos too airborne to think that we can keep this completely at bay. There is no wall to build; there isn't even a beautiful net. Put simply, there will be more cases of Zika in the United States. But that is no reason to panic.
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Gmail now warns you when sending or receiving emails over non-encrypted connections
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:23
In celebration of Safer Internet Day, Google today added two new security features to Gmail, which earlier this month passed 1 billion users. While Gmail supports encryption in transit using TLS and automatically encrypts incoming and outgoing emails when it can, that goes out the window if the sender's or receiver's email provider doesn't.
''Of course, it takes at least two people to send and receive an email, so it's really important that other services take similar measures to protect your messages '-- not just Gmail,'' Google wisely explained. As such, you will now see the following Gmail warning before sending a message to a source that doesn't support TLS encryption:
You'll also see the broken lock icon if you receive an email from a non-encrypted source. Furthermore, if you receive an email that can't be authenticated with either Sender Policy Framework (SPF) or DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), Gmail will show you a question mark in place of the sender's profile photo, corporate logo, or avatar.
''Not all affected email will necessarily be dangerous,'' Google noted. ''But we encourage you to be extra careful about replying to, or clicking on links in messages that you're not sure about. And with these updates, you'll have the tools to make these kinds of decisions.''
Also today, Google is offering its Google Drive users a 2GB bump in storage if they complete the company's Security Checkup between February 9 and 11. This is the same deal the company offered for Safer Internet Day last year, though even if you took advantage then, you can still get another 2GB this time around.
The only exception is if you have a Google Apps for Work or Google Apps for Education accounts. That storage costs money, and anyway it's not like people in enterprises or schools need to be reminded about security (*ahem*).
DoJ fiddles while FBI & DHS burn (after trivial hack of U.S. employee data) | Computerworld
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:16
A daily digest of IT blogs. Richi and Stephen curate the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites'... so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning.
''The department is looking into the unauthorized access of a system operated by one of its components containing employee contact information. This unauthorized access is still under investigation; however, there is no indication at this time that there is any breach of sensitive personally identifiable information.''
U.S. DHS and FBI staff see their directory info stolen by pro-Palestine hacktivists. The self-styled DotGovs group says it broke into DoJ networks to leech the data, via spear-phishing plus social engineering.
The hackers also say they still have a load more info that remains unpublished. At least, for now.
Is it worrying that none of the three three-letter agencies are perturbed? Their official statements seem soothing and full of calm. Yet the hack sounds really simple.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers point and laugh at yet another gov-opsec fail. Not to mention: Polygon Shredder...
Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.[Developing story: Updated 6:56 am PT with more comment]
What's the craic? Steve Ragan investigates'--Hackers leak DHS staff directory, claim DOJ is next:
The staff directory is exactly what you think it isAn account on Twitter posted a [DHS] staff directory with 9,355 names. [It then] went on to claim that...20,000 FBI employees was next. '... The...staff directory is exactly what you think it is...name, title, email address, and phone number [of] engineers...security specialists, program analysts, InfoSec...IT, all the way up to director level. '... The FBI staff directory...contains 22,175 names, email addresses, and titles.
We first heard about the claim before the leak happened. Joseph Cox has his source'--Hacker Plans to Dump Alleged Details of 20,000 FBI, 9,000 DHS Employees:
Hackers claiming a pro-Palestine political stanceThe hacker also claims to have downloaded hundreds of gigabytes of data from a...DOJ computer, although that data has not been published. '... The job titles...cover all sorts of different departments [including] contractors, biologists, special agents, task force officers, technicians, intelligence analysts, [and] language specialists. '... The data was obtained, the hacker [said], by first compromising the email account of a DoJ employee. ... The hacker used the DoJ email account to contact [me]. ''So I called up, told them I was new and I didn't understand how to get [in]. ... They asked if I had a token code, I said no, they said that's fine'--just use our one.'' '... Back in October, hackers claiming a pro-Palestine political stance broke into the email account of...John Brennan. This was followed by a prank, in which calls to...James Clapper would be forwarded to the Free Palestine Movement. '... The DHS emailed...the following comment from spokesperson S.Y. Lee: "We take these reports very seriously, however there is no indication...that there is any breach of sensitive or personally identifiable information."
An anti-Israel motive again? Greg Otto cycles in to add heat and pressure, with Feds investigating hacktivists' info dump:
This is for Palestine, Ramallah, West Bank, GazaThe information was taken from a Justice Department computer...after pro-Palestinian hackers broke [in] using social engineering. '... At the beginning of the first [dump] the hackers claim, ''This is for Palestine, Ramallah, West Bank, Gaza. This is for the child that is searching for an answer.''
As it became clear how easy it was to break in, foreigners are laughing. Foreigners like tikabass:
I'm sure Americans feel safer nowThat's tight security!
I'm sure americans feel safer now, knowing the professionalism of the guys protecting their lives, property and borders.
But wait. Shaun Nichols sheepishly wonders if it's as bad as all that'--Did a hacker really pwn the FBI, US Homeland Security and the DoJ?:
By itself, it's not a hugely damaging collectionAs we've seen in recent incidents, not all hacked info is worthy of mass hysteria. '... [It] just sounds like directory information. ... It seems these records, at least, are not something terribly sensitive and, in some cases, that contact info could already be available for people to look up online. '... By itself, it's not a hugely damaging collection, though the hacker claims to have a lot more data. [But] it has not been released yet. We don't know what...clearance this account may have had to view sensitive information. '... There's also the fact that the DoJ doesn't think anything is amiss. ... [But] should the hacker produce 200GB of internal documents, the DoJ will have a huge mess on its hands.
The claimed hacker group has plenty to say for themselves. Tweeting as @DotGovs, they say:
We won't stop until they cut relations with Israelwell folks, it looks like @TheJusticeDept has finally realized their computer has been breached after 1 week. '... stay mad @TheJusticeDept @FBI @DHSgov 8) '... how you like that huh @TheJusticeDept #FreePalestine '... Be sure to tweet #FreePalestine to bring awareness to all the kids dying by Israeli bombs that the US government funds! '... its boring in the deserts of dubai '... top security by @TheJusticeDept here!!! '... When will the US government realize we won't stop until they cut relations with Israel. '... i think the government can hear #FreePalestine now hahhaha '... that's all we came to do, so now its time to go, bye folks! #FreePalestine
Update: Another day, another report of spear-phishing plus social engineering. Paul Ducklin explains-Hacker says he's breached DHS and FBI, leaks claimed staff data:
Personal information about your employees is a gold minePhishing is where you send out links or attachments in believable-looking emails in the hope that someone will...end up sucked into giving away secret information such as usernames and passwords. Spear-phishing is...with the emails made yet more believable by targeting, or tailoring...for each recipient. [It] can be as simple as getting your name right. '... If you're a nuclear scientist, for instance, an email about...attending a conference...is likely to attract your attention. If the crook has sufficiently many other details right...he might get to you [to] open up the dodgy website or document. '... This breach will be more embarrassing for the DHS and FBI that it would be for most businesses. ... Not looking after employee data seems to be something of a theme at present. '... Personal information about your employees is a gold mine for just the sort of spear-phishing attack we [just] spoke about. ... An organisational chart and an internal phone directory stolen today could be the basis of a...serious attack tomorrow. '... The more that crooks...learn about your organisation, the more believable their attempts to talk their way in will appear.
And Finally...Amazing, mesmerizing ''Polygon Shredder''[Does Insane mode crash WebGL for you? Hat tip: Andy Baio]
Zika Cases Appearing Coast to Coast, Nearly All Travel-Related
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:11
On Thursday, KMTV reported two cases of Zika had been identified in Nebraska. Both cases involved women in their 20s who had recently traveled to countries where the virus is spreading.
On Wednesday, the governor of Florida declared a state of emergency in four counties where the virus has been identified. So far, nine cases of Zika have been identified in the state, all of them connected to recent travel abroad.
Earlier this week, Texas health authorities confirmed the first case of Zika in someone who had not traveled abroad to an affected country. The virus is believed to have spread through sexual contact with a person who had recently traveled abroad and become infected. This was only the second reported case of sexual transmission of the disease, and some experts are expressing caution that the scientific link for such transmission is not yet proven. The total number of Zika cases in Texas currently stands at ten.
Zika is a virus transmitted to humans through mosquito bites. The disease causes relatively mild symptoms, including joint pain and red eyes, in about 20% of individuals who are infected. However, the disease has been linked to a serious birth defect called microcephaly, which causes children to be born with smaller than normal heads and damaged brains.
The disease is currently spreading throughout Brazil since an outbreak began in May of 2015. More than 4,000 cases of microcephaly in Brazil are suspected to have been caused by the virus, which is also spreading in Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the spread of the virus an international public health emergency because of the suspected link to microcephaly; however, WHO did not advise pregnant women to avoid affected areas. Some have seen this as politically motivated since Brazil is hosting the Olympics this summer.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that pregnant women consider postponing travel to areas where the virus is spreading. Women who must travel to these areas are advised to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
There is currently no vaccine available to prevent Zika infection.
This Absurd FBI Site Teaches Teens to Spot Violent Extremists
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:10
I'm not saying the FBI's heart isn't in the right place. Making sure children know the difference between healthy political discourse and attempts to sway them into extremism is a laudable goal. But the agency's execution in a new website is just embarrassing.
The FBI just announced the launch of its ''Don't Be a Puppet'' program. The too-interactive website is designed to create awareness of the problem of extremism among teens. ''Don't Be a Puppet'' includes five stages where teens can get answers to questions like ''What is violent extremism?'' and ''How do violent extremists make contact?''
It's just all done in that ''Yo kids, what's up? I'm a cool adult'' tone that government committee adopt too often. There's a sense that the who.e thing was made in 1996:
You know how teens today love their first generation Game Boys in the year 2016? That's actually a game called the ''Slippery Slope to Extremism,'' in which you guide a fast moving animal out of the way of obstacles that are'--I think'--meant to represent extremists. I tried to play and died a lot. And I think the animal is a sheep because, you know, sheeple.
Oh, and here's a quiz about how violent extremists try to recruit you. It's also a chance for the FBI to tell teens both that they know what they're doing on the internet and that this great nation's federal law enforcement agency doesn't understand the internet one bit.
Or how about this game about the language violent extremists use? In this level, you're supposed to match the statement to the rhetorical technique. I am still baffled, because some of them match more than one answer.
Because we live in America, there's also a lot of time devoted to the First Amendment. Before you can enter the game, there's a line of text that reminds you:
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees free speech and religious liberty. People living in America are free to disagree with each other and with the government, but no one has the right to resort to violence as a means of expressing disagreement.
Inside the site, is this:
I guess I'm glad they're not pretending free speech doesn't exist? I just wish they weren't so bad at making me take this thing seriously.
Everything about this site screams awful, out-of-touch 90s educational game'--down to the hulkingly giant PCs, complete with blue screens of death. I think I played a bunch of point-and-click games just like this in elementary school, actually. Only they were trying to teach me math and not how to spot a terrorist.
Try again, FBI.
[6:24] I am now in a torture bunker with a projector and slides. What is this website?
[Thanks @pbump]

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BLM / SuperBowl

Department Of Justice Brings Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit Against City Of Ferguson Missouri.mp3
letter_to_ferguson_city_council_1-26-16_1.pdf
Negotiated-Ferguson-Draft-Consent-Decree.pdf
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The View-CNN Legal Analyst-Sunny Hostin - Beyonce's Superbowl Performance 'Extremely Brave'.mp3

CYBER!

clappertestimony-as submitted.pdf
Global Threats - Clapper on IoT As Delivered.mp3
Global Threats - Feinsteing-internet connecttion and smart phone encrypted app goes boom.mp3
Global Threats - Richard Burr - Comey-Encryption lets bad guys go free-local LEAs .mp3

Elections 2016

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Clinton supporter Jennifer Granholm goes full birther on Ted Cruz.mp3
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MRC-Donald Trump Video Montage (NSFW).mp3
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Time-Joe Klein-1-Trump Supporters ‘Are a Real Threat’ to America.mp3