802: Warehouse of Souls

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 3m
February 25th, 2016
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Executive Producers: Anonymous Baron of Colfax CA, American Liberty, David Prince, John J Horner

Associate Executive Producers: Chris Foster, Sir Cliff Howell, Eliezer Martinez, Sir Scott Thomson, Jacobus Boersma

Cover Artist: BohemianGroove


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DH Unplugged No Agenda Meetup in London
Elections 2016
Trump we have become with the Europeans were 35 years ago. Hating the brashness and arrogance of America.
-QSO With 91 year old ham
FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE-Why Bernie Sanders's campaign makes me worry about how he'll manage the White House - Vox
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 16:42
Of late, Bernie Sanders has been under assault from the technocratic wing of the Democratic Party. The charge? His campaign has circulated economic projections that show stunning '-- and rather implausible '-- benefits from Sanders's agenda.
Sanders's "promises runs against our party's best traditions of evidence-based policy making and undermines our reputation as the party of responsible arithmetic," wrote four Democratic ex-chairs of the White House's Council of Economic Advisers. "These are numbers we would describe as deep voodoo if they came from a tax-cutting Republican," agreed Paul Krugman.
Amidst this onslaught, Steve Randy Waldman has penned what is, I think, the best defense of Sanders. He admits that the campaign's policy proposals are sketchy and the economic projections it's circulating are fantastical. But he argues that none of that really matters.
The president's "role is to define priorities that must later be translated into well-crafted policy details," he says. "In a democratic polity, wonks are the help."
Waldman has a point. If elected president, Sanders could certainly get some top economists to tighten his policies. He would have the vast machinery of the federal government available to sweat the details. The best experts in academia would be honored to advise him. Every think tank in town would produce reams of research on how to implement his ideas.
And, hell, let's just be honest: All this policy talk is just a way to pass the time between now and the election. It doesn't matter how strong Bernie Sanders's single-payer health care plan is '-- it's not going to pass, just like Donald Trump isn't going to get Mexico to pay for a wall and Hillary Clinton isn't going to get universal pre-K past a Republican Congress and Ted Cruz isn't going to set up a value-added tax.
It's obvious that debating the details of campaign proposals is, on some level, fantasy football for wonks. Events will intercede, bureaucracies will weigh in, Congress will balk, promises will be broken. Remember when Barack Obama ran for president opposing an individual mandate and then flip-flopped and supported one? So what's the point of paying attention to any of this at all?
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesAs someone who pays quite a lot of attention to campaign policy processes, here's my answer: Watching a candidate run his campaign's policy processes is one of our best ways of predicting how he would run his White House.
The key word there, by the way, is run. Some of the most important decisions the president makes are about how to run the processes that translate vision into policy. Those decisions include whom to hire, which advisers to listen to, which ideas make sense, which strategies are likely to work. The presidency is one damn decision like that after another. Obama, famously, is so exhausted by the decision fatigue of the job that he wears the same color suit every day so he has one less thing to decide in the morning.
This is one way in which campaigns give us insight into presidencies. Presidential candidates also have to decide whom to hire, which advisers to listen to, which ideas are truly good ones, which strategies are likely to work. To make those decisions well, they need a sound philosophy, yes, but they also need to want to hear good advice, they need to want advisers who will tell them when they're wrong, they need to have good instincts for when something they want to believe is true simply isn't, and they need to be realistic about the strategies that are likely to work and the ones that aren't.
My worry about Sanders, watching him in this campaign, is that he isn't very interested in learning the weak points in his ideas, that he hasn't surrounded himself with people who police the limits between what they wish were true and what the best evidence says is true, that he doesn't seek out counterarguments to his instincts, that he's attracted to strategies that align with his hopes for American politics rather than what we know about American politics. And these tendencies, if they persist, can turn good values into bad policies and an inspiring candidate into a bad president.
The reason I care about the puppies-and-rainbows promises of his single-payer proposal is that I think Sanders believes them '-- I don't think he's a cynical politician simply eliding the weaknesses of his plan. The reason I care about his campaign's circulation of fairly outlandish economic projections is that it makes me worry there's no one around Sanders with the sense to say that those results don't pass the smell test. The reason I'm frustrated by Sanders's promise that a political revolution will overcome all opposition to his plans is I think he believes it, and so I'm not sure he has a real plan B for when the political revolution doesn't happen. The reason Sanders's persistently superficial answers on foreign policy matter to me is that they're a test of his ability to learn on the fly about topics he's not terribly interested in.
In a democratic polity, wonks are the help. But that only underscores the importance of electing someone good at hiring and managing them. A President Sanders could hire excellent technocrats to help him make policy, but would he want to? A President Sanders could surround himself with experts who know the shortcomings of his ideas, but would he listen to them? A President Sanders could become deeply engaged on foreign policy, but would he decide to?
(A similar argument explains why I'm unimpressed by those who dismiss Hillary Clinton's email travails and wave away her decision to accept $675,000 from Goldman Sachs in return for three speeches. These were choices that spoke to Clinton's willingness to bend rules or violate norms in ways she knew would look bad to voters when she deemed it in her self-interest. The presidency is full of moments when there's something the president could do, and maybe even wants to do, but probably shouldn't do. I worry about the choices she'll make in those moments.)
Management isn't the sexiest or most inspiring of topics. But, as Jimmy Carter can tell you, it matters. A good vision can be destroyed by a bad strategy; high ideals can be muddied by weak staffing; a pure heart can be led astray by bad advice.
Being president means running a lot of meetings. (Pete Souza/White House)There are plenty of criticisms to be made of Obama's presidency, but I think the baseline competence of his administration has begun to dim memories of how important presidential management really is.
The Bush administration was, from this perspective, a genuine disaster '-- a festival of tax cuts that didn't make sense and wars that were ill-planned, and all of it run by a man who clearly couldn't separate experts from hacks ("Heckuva job, Brownie!") and good advice from ideological fantasies. I have always thought this story, reported by Megan McArdle, showed the mundane ways in which Bush's deficiencies diminished his presidency:
A senior economic adviser for George W. Bush once told me a rather haunting story about the administration's decision to sign the 2002 farm bill ... Like virtually all sound economists, Bush's advisers disliked the bill, a subsidy-laden monstrosity that was considerably worse than the farm bill that had preceded it in 1996'--but they reluctantly allowed it to go forward, because they thought passing the farm bill would buy legislative support for something they considered even more important: the authority the president needed to advance the next round of treaty negotiations at the World Trade Organization.
As compromises go, this one didn't seem too bad, so Bush's advisers put on their game faces as the president signed it into law on May 13, 2002, with a touching speech about providing a safety net for farmers. All went well until later, when someone cracked a joke about how "we don't need another farm bill." The president, shocked, demanded an explanation. "What's wrong with the farm bill? No one told me to veto the farm bill." The adviser wasn't trying to hide the football, but had just assumed that Bush knew. So had everyone else. It was so obvious to economists, no one thought to tell the president.
On the other hand, George W. Bush's father wasn't the most brilliant policy mind to ever occupy the Oval Office, but he was an excellent manager who chose good staff, made decisions he didn't like but knew were necessary, and ran a competent and mostly scandal-free bureaucracy. There's a reason esteem for his presidency has grown greatly since he left office.
Voters are hiring managers, and the presidential campaign is a long, strangely constructed job interview. Among the qualities people are looking for are inspiration and decency, and Sanders has shown he has both in spades. But the presidency demands more than that, and Sanders's success means he needs to show he's up to the more mundane rigors of the job, too.
VIDEO: Bernie Sanders' accent, explained
FBI agents at Rogers Photo Archive in North Little Rock '-- UPDATE | Arkansas Blog | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 14:33
The buzz this morning is FBI presence at the Rogers Photo Archive in North Little Rock, and at the home of John Rogers near the Old Mill. FBI media spokeswoman Kimberly Brunell said: "The only thing I am able to do is confirm that agents are present at two addresses in North Little Rock on official business."
The Rogers Archive is a cluster of buildings near 2501 North Poplar. An FBI agent in a blue and yellow jacket was standing post there this morning, telling anyone who approached the building that they would have to move across the street.
Rogers and his wife were sitting in front of the Archive in a black Mercedes SUV when we drove up. Rogers stopped to chat briefly with us, but issued an on-the-record no comment before driving away. Ditto for Little Rock attorney Blake Hendrix, who entered the Archive after Rogers drove off, with Hendrix refusing to comment when he left around 10 minutes later (UPDATE: Read Hendrix's comments on the FBI actions below). Meanwhile, at Rogers' mansion overlooking a lake on Avondale in North Little Rock, the driveway was crowded with vehicles, and people could be seen coming and going from a large white cargo van. They carted out boxes at both sites. Fox 16 said one was marked and sounded as if it contained baseball bats. Rogers is a collector of memorabilia, too.We've written extensively about the photo archive, owned by John Rogers and said to be the largest in the world. He's bought up archives of news media around the world to digitize, catalogue and resell copies. In many cases, the copyright remains with the newspaper, but Rogers and the organization share the ability to sell copies.
UPDATE: Just heard back from Rogers' attorney Blake Hendrix. He said that because affidavits filed with the courts to obtain federal search warrants are generally filed under seal, neither he nor his client knows the reason for the visit from the FBI at this point.
"Literally all I can tell you," Hendrix said, "is that the FBI is executing search warrants on Rogers' home and his business. We don't know what the nature of the investigation is. The warrant doesn't tell us that, and of course we don't have access to the affidavit." Hendrix said that the plan for now is to let the FBI do their job, and then to see what develops over the next few days.
Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president - The Washington Post
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 14:11
Mary Brigid McManamon is a constitutional law professor at Widener University's Delaware Law School.
Donald Trump is actually right about something: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is not a natural-born citizen and therefore is not eligible to be president or vice president of the United States.
The Constitution provides that ''No person except a natural born Citizen .'‰.'‰. shall be eligible to the Office of President.'' The concept of ''natural born'' comes from common law, and it is that law the Supreme Court has said we must turn to for the concept's definition. On this subject, common law is clear and unambiguous. The 18th-century English jurist William Blackstone, the preeminent authority on it, declared natural-born citizens are ''such as are born within the dominions of the crown of England,'' while aliens are ''such as are born out of it.'' The key to this division is the assumption of allegiance to one's country of birth. The Americans who drafted the Constitution adopted this principle for the United States. James Madison, known as the ''father of the Constitution,'' stated, ''It is an established maxim that birth is a criterion of allegiance. .'‰.'‰. [And] place is the most certain criterion; it is what applies in the United States.''
Cruz is, of course, a U.S. citizen. As he was born in Canada, he is not natural-born. His mother, however, is an American, and Congress has provided by statute for the naturalization of children born abroad to citizens. Because of the senator's parentage, he did not have to follow the lengthy naturalization process that aliens without American parents must undergo. Instead, Cruz was naturalized at birth. This provision has not always been available. For example, there were several decades in the 19th century when children of Americans born abroad were not given automatic naturalization.
[Opinion: Yes, Ted Cruz is a ''natural-born citizen'']
Some of the Republican presidential candidates are going after Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), saying his birthplace could count against him in a presidential election. Here are the facts. (Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)
Article I of the Constitution grants Congress the power to naturalize an alien '-- that is, Congress may remove an alien's legal disabilities, such as not being allowed to vote. But Article II of the Constitution expressly adopts the legal status of the natural-born citizen and requires that a president possess that status. However we feel about allowing naturalized immigrants to reach for the stars, the Constitution must be amended before one of them can attain the office of president. Congress simply does not have the power to convert someone born outside the United States into a natural-born citizen.
Let me be clear: I am not a so-called birther. I am a legal historian. President Obama is without question eligible for the office he serves. The distinction between the president and Cruz is simple: The president was born within the United States, and the senator was born outside of it. That is a distinction with a difference.
In this election cycle, numerous pundits have declared that Cruz is eligible to be president. They rely on a supposed consensus among legal experts. This notion appears to emanate largely from a recent comment in the Harvard Law Review Forum by former solicitors general Neal Katyal and Paul Clement. In trying to put the question of who is a natural-born citizen to rest, however, the authors misunderstand, misapply and ignore the relevant law.
First, although Katyal and Clement correctly declare that the Supreme Court has recognized that common law is useful to explain constitutional terms, they ignore that law. Instead, they rely on three radical 18th-century British statutes. While it is understandable for a layperson to make such a mistake, it is unforgivable for two lawyers of such experience to equate the common law with statutory law. The common law was unequivocal: Natural-born subjects had to be born in English territory. The then-new statutes were a revolutionary departure from that law.
[Opinion: Trump's bogus birther attack on Ted Cruz]
Second, the authors appropriately ask the question whether the Constitution includes the common-law definition or the statutory approach. But they fail to examine any U.S. sources for the answer. Instead, Katyal and Clement refer to the brand-new British statutes as part of a ''longstanding tradition'' and conclude that the framers followed that law because they ''would have been intimately familiar with these statutes.'' But when one reviews all the relevant American writings of the early period, including congressional debates, well-respected treatises and Supreme Court precedent, it becomes clear that the common-law definition was accepted in the United States, not the newfangled British statutory approach.
Third, Katyal and Clement put much weight on the first U.S. naturalization statute, enacted in 1790. Because it contains the phrase ''natural born,'' they infer that such citizens must include children born abroad to American parents. The first Congress, however, had no such intent. The debates on the matter reveal that the congressmen were aware that such children were not citizens and had to be naturalized; hence, Congress enacted a statute to provide for them. Moreover, that statute did not say the children were natural born, only that they should ''be considered as'' such. Finally, as soon as Madison, then a member of Congress, was assigned to redraft the statute in 1795, he deleted the phrase ''natural born,'' and it has never reappeared in a naturalization statute.
When discussing the meaning of a constitutional term, it is important to go beyond secondary sources and look to the law itself. And on this issue, the law is clear: The framers of the Constitution required the president of the United States to be born in the United States.
14 words 88 precepts - Google Search
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 14:19
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Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders Secret Sex Essays | Radar Online
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 16:37
Upstart Democratic presidential candidateBernie Sanders has been caught in a child-sex probe, a top political source told RadarOnline.com.
''Republican operatives and even HillaryClinton's own dirt-diggers are furiously probing his perverted past writings, and it could blow up his campaign,'' the snitch told Radar.
The 74-year-old Vermont senator, twice-married and the father of a ''love child,'' penned smutty essays that were published in the early 1970s during a stint as a freelance journalist.
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In a 1972 writing that he has called a piece of fiction, Bernie described sick sexual fantasies of men and women.
''A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy,'' he wrote. ''A woman on her knees. A woman tied up. A woman abused. A woman enjoys intercourse with her man '-- as she fantasizes being raped by three men simultaneously.''
He also wrote that 6-month-old babies should be allowed to romp naked on beaches where they can ''see each other's sexual organs, and maybe even touch them.''
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He also confessed a fascination with articles about sexual assaults on kids.
''Do you know why [porn magazines] with the articles like 'Girl 12 raped by 14 men' sell so well?'' he asked. ''To what in us are they appealing?''
And as an outspoken Vermont congressman, he opposed 2003 measures that cracked down on pedophiles who travel overseas to prey on kids, and voted against outlawing some Internet child porn.
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''He's a real sicko,'' said the source.
With GOP nomination looming, Trump is slated to take witness stand in fraud trial
Wed, 24 Feb 2016 14:40
The audience cheers for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Las Vegas on Monday. (Photo: Jim Young/Reuters)
Here's a part of the political calendar that nobody in the Republican Party seems to have noticed: This spring, just as the GOP nomination battle enters its final phase, frontrunner Donald Trump could be forced to take time out for some unwanted personal business: He's due to take the witness stand in a federal courtroom in San Diego, where he is being accused of running a financial fraud.
In court filings last Friday, lawyers for both sides in a long-running civil lawsuit over the now defunct Trump University named Trump on their witness lists. That makes it all but certain that the reality-show star and international businessman will be forced to be grilled under oath over allegations in the lawsuit that he engaged in deceptive trade practices and scammed thousands of students who enrolled in his ''university'' courses in response to promises he would make them rich in the real estate market.
Although the case has been winding its way through the courts for the past five years '-- and Trump has denied all wrongdoing '-- the final pretrial conference is now slated for May 6, according to the latest pleadings in the case. No trial date has been set, but the judge has indicated his interest in moving the case forward, the pleadings show.
''This is pretty amazing,'' said Scott Reed, a veteran Republican Party consultant, about Trump's upcoming due date in federal court. ''Usually, you clean this stuff up before you run for president.''
Trump's new lead lawyer in the case, Daniel Petrocelli, best known for representing one of the slain murder victims in a civil suit against O.J. Simpson, did not respond to emailed questions about Trump's upcoming testimony, including how long he expects his client to be on the witness stand.
As noted by Yahoo News last week, the Trump University case has already intruded on Trump's political schedule. On Dec. 10, 2015, during a day he was making international headlines over his pledge to ban Muslim immigrants from the United States, Trump managed to escape any press attention and give a closed-door pretrial deposition in the case, according to court filings reviewed by Yahoo News. Exactly what he said in the deposition remains under seal, but lawyers for Tarla Makaeff, a California yoga instructor who is the lead plaintiff in the case, cited portions of his testimony (blacked out in her pleadings) to support their contention that Trump has threatened to ruin her financially for bringing the lawsuit and that she needs protection from his ''retaliation.''
But the upcoming civil trial could be a much bigger burden on Trump's time. If it takes place in May, that would put it in the middle of the final phase of the GOP primary schedule: Nebraska and West Virginia vote on May 10, Oregon on May 17, and Washington state on May 24. Then on June 7, the biggest prize of all: the California primary (with 172 delegates at stake). New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota vote the same day.
While it is unclear how long the trial over Trump University will take, both sides have submitted lengthy witness lists: 72 individuals have been identified as prospective witnesses by the two sides. The case shows little sign of being settled. Trump just last December hired Petrocelli, a master litigator, and he recently identified 965 trial exhibits he expects to use at trial, including PowerPoint presentations, course curriculums, emails, letters, videos and other material. Picking jurors who have neutral views on Trump could present another time-consuming hurdle.
The core case revolves around the operations of a school Trump launched in 2005 with a promotional You Tube video, as well as ads that proclaimed, ''I can turn anyone into a successful real estate investor, including you,'' ''Are YOU My Next Apprentice?'' and ''Learn from my handpicked experts how you can profit from the largest real estate liquidation in history.'' The plaintiffs, former students at Trump University, allege they were misled into maxing out their credit cards and paying up to $60,000 in fees for seminars in hotel ballrooms and ''mentoring'' by Trump's ''hand-picked'' real estate experts. The lawsuit against the school, which is no longer in business, alleges the seminars turned into little more than an ''infomercial'' and the Trump mentors offered ''no practical advice'' and ''mostly disappeared.'' New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a separate suit in 2013 alleging fraud on the part of the ''university,'' which was never an accredited institution and awarded no degrees.
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Trump's lawyers have adamantly denied the charges. ''None of it is true. No one was defrauded,'' said Alan Garten, the Trump Organization's general counsel, in an interview about the allegations last year. ''The people that take these classes go into it with their eyes open. A lot of people did very well [with Trump University]. A lot of people enjoyed it. But like everything else, if people don't put the effort into it, they don't succeed.''
Political misquotes: The 10 most famous things never actually said - "I can see Russia from my house!" '' Sarah Palin - CSMonitor.com
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 13:56
Captain Kirk never said "Beam me up, Scotty!" Ilsa Laszlow never said, "Play it again, Sam," and Sherlock Holmes never said, "Elementary, my dear Watson." But these misquotes remain firmly lodged in the public consciousness, even though they appear nowhere in the original works.
The same is true for things "said" '' that is, widely attributed to, but not actually said '' by political figures. Sometimes a misquote is cooked up by opponents or parodists as a way of discrediting or mocking the figure. Sometimes a line is attributed to a widely admired person as a way of making it sound more authoritative, like when someone co-signs a loan. And sometimes it's just a mistake.
Here are 10 of the most widely believed '' but completely bogus '' things ever "said" by political figures.
By Eoin O'Carroll, CSMonitor.com
1 of 10
It was actually comedian Tina Fey, who was impersonating Ms. Palin on Saturday Night Live, who uttered the line that is now widely attributed to the former Alaska governor.
The basis for this line comes from a September 2008 interview with ABC News's Charles Gibson, who asked Palin what insights she had from her state being so close to Russia. She responded: "They're our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska."
This is true. As Slate has pointed out, on a clear day, those on the Alaskan island of Little Diomede can see the Russian island of Big Diomede, located across the International Date Line some two and a half miles away. Given that Big Diomede has no permanent population, the amount of foreign policy experience one can gain from staring at it is debatable. But you can see Russian soil while standing in Alaska.
Women forced to run gauntlet of migrants at Austrian station dubbed 'the terminus of fear' | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 24 Feb 2016 23:28
Hordes of drunk, predatory migrants have turned an Austrian train station into a 'no-go zone' for local women, who dub the station 'The Terminus of Fear'.
Linz Station has become a gathering point for migrants rejected by Germany at the border a few miles away - drawn to its free internet, cheap drink, fast-food joints and heated passenger halls as they calculate their next move.
But pack mentality has set in, creating a 'Cologne-light' mentality, which sees women subjected to having their breasts and buttocks grabbed and the alcohol-fuelled men try to steal kisses, all the while slurring lewd sexual insults in pidgin German.
The men fight, they fall down, the vomit, they defecate in the bushes on the greensward outside the station entrance, women told MailOnline.
No-go: Hordes of drunk, predatory migrants have turned an Austrian train station into a 'no-go zone' for local women, who dub the station 'The Terminus of Fear'
Threat: Linz station is a gathering point for migrants rejected by Germany at the border a few miles away - drawn to its free internet, cheap drink, fast-food joints as they calculate their next move
Defiant: Young mother Vanessa Zellner, 22, hugs her daughter Caitlyn, four, outside the station as she waited to collect a friend. She said she would not risk going to Linz at night but has not had a bad experience herself
One woman interviewed by MailOnline outside was too frightened to give her name. But in terse sentences, delivered in the staccato of a firing machine gun, she said: 'Come here at night? I would rather order a taxi straight to hell.
'What's it like? It is terrible. Fearful. I would say shameful. They are predators, they are drunk and they are all over the place.
Come here at night? I would rather order a taxi straight to hell. They are predators, they are drunk and they are all over the place.
'I hate what they have turned this into. I am a decent person, I am not a Nazi, not a hater of people. But they have no right to behave the way they do in my city. Or anywhere. How dare they make my station a place of fear.'
Police or any other local authority have refused to identify the troublesome migrants. They are collectively referred to as North Africans, citizens of countries like Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco that are now no longer considered danger zones by Germany.
But one senior lawman told MailOnline that the majority of the troublemakers turning the concourse into a no-go zone for females at night are from one country; Morocco.
The Linz problem was highlighted in an embarrassing - for the bureaucrats at least - letter by a father of a 16-year-old girl to the local governor Josef Puehringer. Identified only as Franz H., he said: 'My daughter is 16 and is terrified when she has to come through Linz train station in the evening.
Letter: The Linz problem was highlighted in a letter by a father girl, 16, to local governor Josef Puehringer. 'My daughter is 16 and is terrified when she has to come through Linz train station in the evening,' he wrote
Lockdown: As a result of the letter and reports of oncreases in the number of migrants at the station, police patrols have been stepped up to prevent crime
Trouble: One senior policeman told MailOnline that the majority of the troublemakers turning the concourse into a no-go zone for females at night are from one country- Morocco
Scared: Linz train station has become a gathering point for migrants rejected by Germany because they come from a 'safe' country
'As a result, we have now arranged a travel group with other parents. My wife and I went to see it for ourselves. We travelled the same route that our daughter did and we found out that it was even worse than she described.
'There was not a policeman in sight and in a country like Austria it cannot be the case that our children are scared going to and from work.'
Two 16-year-old students, probably just like his daughter, named Damaris and Joanna, had a profound mistrust of the new arrivals which seemed out of step with their youth and innocence.
'Come down here at night? You must be joking!' said Joanna. 'We have read too much in the papers and seen too much on the TV for that.
'We have heard how women have to be escorted on to trains, how migrants are raping people. I don't want that to happen to me.'
Damaris just nodded in agreement before both moved off before dusk began to fall.
But Franz H.'s protest was not in vain. Teams of police from the 'Lentos' unit - hardened officers deployed at violent demonstrations and to quell brutal fans at football matches - are now to be seen marching confidently, overtly, through the station, the body language telegraphing to potential troublemakers that they will come off on the losing end of any confrontation.
Reported: A woman outside too frightened to give her name told MailOnline: 'Come here at night? I would rather order a taxi straight to hell'
Crackdown: The father's letter led to police from the 'Lentos' unit - hardened officers deployed at violent demonstrations and to quell brutal fans at football matches - to be guarding the station
'I think we can say that the situation is quiet now thanks the massive police prescence in the station.' Police Oberrat David Furtner, an engaging senior officer, gave Mail Online the lowdown on what has gone on in recent weeks, and how law and order is responding to it.
'It is true that in the past few weeks there have been problems with a group of, largely, North African men,' he said, not referring to their race. 'There have been between 40 and 50 of them at any one time, aged between 18 and 30.
'They have been up to all sorts of things - from sexual harassment to public drunkeness, drug taking, even causing actual bodily harm.
'Most of the suspects, we have to say, are severely drunken. Three Red Cross workers were attacked by some of them at their nearby post in January and needed hospital treatment. They will not operate now without a permanent police presence.
'Cologne was the thing that changed everything for Germany and for us. We have not experienced such things before January 1 and suddenly we are: women complaining of sitting alone on station benches and suddenly being approached. One on one side, one on the other and one right up close in her face saying the most terrible things.
'It is too early to give an accurate number because we are so early into the new year - but, yes, there has been an increase in the number of complaints from women complaining of sexual harassment and we can link that directly to what happened at Cologne. Women are more willing to come forward as a result of that.'
Intimidating: Pack mentality has taken over, and women describe running a gauntlet of sexual assault - with their breast being grabbed as men attempt to kiss them and then insult them in pigeon French
Attacks: Last month a Moroccan slashed the neck of an Afghan refugee at the station. Police officer David Furtner said: 'We can say that the situation is quiet now thanks the massive police presence in the station'
But the volatile mix of booze, drugs and a growing mood of impotency and anger that many testosterone-fuelled young asylum seekers feel, is not only a threat to women hurrying to catch the train home from work.
On January 13, a Moroccan slashed the neck of an Afghan refugee in the bicycle park area of the station, wounding him gravely. For whatever reason, he was not arrested for that crime but, nine days later, was caught shoplifting a bottle of scotch and several tins of beer and ended up in a brawl with the security personnel of Austrian Railways, whose patrols are now also highly visible inside the railway station.
The man is now incarcerated in a mental hospital. The hope is that there are not many others like him, but logic dictates that the next incident can only be just over the horizon or around the corner.
At the local Caritas charity centre Ahmed Al-Ghalibi, one of the leaders of the effort to help refugees, said; 'We have to call the police three, four times a day because of the problems.' He meant the problems caused by Moroccan youths.
Police and politicians believe that only massive pressure on the countries that the troublemakers come from will lead to a permanent solution: until then the police are a Band Aid applying pressure to staunch a wound that threatens to bleed at any moment.
Young mother Vanessa Zellner, 22, hugging her young daughter Caitlyn, four, outside the station as she waited to collect a friend, said: 'I personally cannot say anything bad about refugees because I have personally not had a bad experience with them.
Assaults: Most of the asylum seekers are said to be from Morocco - where many of the men behind New Year's Eve sex assaults in Cologne. Germany is no longer taking refugees from the north African state
Cologne-'light': Police are currently investigating 73 people in connection to sexual assaults, theft and other crimes committed on New Year's Eve in Cologne - but Linz is turning into a Cologne-light, say some
'But I know people who have and I have read so much about the trouble here at night. God, I can't imagine it. I wouldn't want to be here.'
The troubles at Linz come in a week when there was mixed news about crime in Austria.
Latest statistics show that crime carried out by asylum seekers in Austria increased from 'around' 10,000 incidents in 2014 to 14,000 offences last year, even though in 2015 there were 500,000 criminal charges, whereas in 2014, there were around 528,000.
This kind of number crunching has no meaning for people forced to run a gauntlet of fear and suspicion every day.
The atmosphere was poisoned by Cologne and its toxic aftermath has drifted hundreds of miles to the Alpine state where the scare factor has seen a corresponding rise in the purchase of pepper sprays and other personal defence items.
Disturbance: Those helping migrants admit they have to call the police 'three or four times a day' to deal with problems. Pictured: Refugees wait to cross into Austria from Slovenia, as most hope to reach Germany
Border: Austrian police protect the border between with Slovenia in Strass near Spielfeld. Interior minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said the country plans to extend border controls to Italy
Anke and Kristina, both 18-year-old students at the fashion school in Linz, made it clear that they appreciated the new heavy presence of the police in the station - but also that they would, like so many, avoid it during the hours of darkness.
'I heard a woman got raped and was rolled on to the tracks,' said Anke. 'I don't what that to happen to me.'
It didn't happen. But truth is as much a casualty of the immigration crisis along with the age-old securities that most took for granted.
'For good or bad,' said one officer on patrol in Linz station on Thursday night, 'nothing will ever be the same for any of us.'
Greece will not be turned into migrant warehouse: PM Tsipras | Reuters
Wed, 24 Feb 2016 20:58
Stranded Afghan migrants make their way towards the Greek-Macedonian border near the Greek village of Idomeni, February 24, 2016.
Reuters/Yannis Behrakis
ATHENS Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged European Union countries to honor the bloc's decisions on sharing the burden of the migrant crisis, saying that if they did not, Athens would block future agreements.
Austria, defying criticism from Greek and U.N. refugee officials, took further steps on Wednesday to coordinate border restrictions spanning the Balkans that are intensifying a logjam of migrants in Greece.
"We will not accept turning the country into a permanent warehouse of souls with Europe continuing to function as if nothing is happening," Tsipras told parliament on Wednesday.
"Greece will not agree to deals (in the EU) if a mandatory allocation of burdens and responsibilities among member countries is not secured," he said.
Athens has protested against restrictions imposed by countries further north along the main land corridor into Europe, including along Austria's frontier with Slovenia and Macedonia's border with Greece.
Defying criticism from Greek and U.N. refugee officials, Austria on Wednesday took further steps to coordinate a slew of border restrictions spanning the Balkans that have caused a worsening logjam of migrants in Greece.
"We will not tolerate that a number of countries will be building fences and walls at the borders without accepting even a single refugee," Tsipras said. "Greece will demand the mandatory participation of EU countries in the relocation of refugees."
He said it was unacceptable for EU partners to dump the burden of the crisis on Greece, forcing it to shoulder a weight way disproportionate to its size.
"We did and will continue to do everything we can to provide warmth, essential help and security to uprooted, hounded people," he said. "We will either be in a union of common rules for all or everyone will do they please: we will not accept the latter."
Addressing worries that flow restrictions at the northern border could swell the number of migrants stranded in Greece, Tsipras said he would meet political party leaders to form a common stance before an early March summit of EU leaders on the migration crisis.
Earlier on Wednesday, he told German Chancellor Angela Merkel he was deeply displeased about the failure of some EU leaders to stick to bloc decisions on tackling the refugee crisis.
The two leaders agreed to intensify efforts to implement EU decisions and start NATO operations in the Aegean Sea immediately to counter smuggling networks to reduce migrant inflows.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)
Greece: The Scapegoat of a Migrant Crisis | Stratfor
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 01:25
SummaryEurope's immigration crisis shows no signs of abating, and the European Union is struggling to figure out how to address it. The bloc's original strategies of cooperating with Turkey to limit the number of asylum seekers and redistributing migrants across the Continent have clearly failed. Now, EU member states are looking for alternative approaches as they try to stem the tide of asylum seekers flowing into Europe, and they appear to have reached an agreement on who is to blame: Greece.
AnalysisIn recent weeks, several EU members have threatened to expel Greece from the Schengen Agreement, which eliminated border controls among its signatories. According to countries like Austria, Greece has failed to patrol its borders and should be punished for it. On Jan. 27, the European Commission issued a report saying that Greece "is seriously neglecting its obligations" and that there are "serious deficiencies in the carrying out of external border controls." Brussels gave Athens three months to improve its border controls, or risk being ousted from the passport-free area. But kicking Greece out of the Schengen zone will not have much impact on the influx of migrants to Europe since Greece does not share land borders with any other Schengen members.
Still, it would punish Greece in an indirect way; though asylum seekers would not be affected by the move, Greek citizens traveling to Western Europe would. Should Greece's Schengen membership be suspended, its citizens would be treated as third-country nationals when flying elsewhere in the European Union. This suggests that the threat of expulsion is purely a political move aimed at pressuring Greek authorities (through angry Greek voters) to improve the country's border controls with Turkey. However, the strategy has its risks: If Greece is suspended from the Schengen Agreement, there is no guarantee that voters' ire would be directed solely toward the ruling Syriza party.
In fact, removing Greece from the Continent's passport-free zone could inflame anti-EU sentiments in Greece, reducing popular support for the eurozone and the economic reforms linked to it. The Syriza government controls only a small majority in Parliament and is facing protests over its controversial plan to reform the country's pension system. If the Schengen group ousts Greece, the current administration could collapse if lawmakers refuse to move forward with planned reforms as a form of protest against the European Union. This would derail Athens' bailout program and add to the uncertainty surrounding Greece's future.
In the next few months, two major issues will consume most of the Greek government's attention: An uptick in asylum seekers, and international creditors' review of Greece's bailout program. As the weather improves around March or April, Greece will likely see migration flows increase '-- a development that will coincide with Athens' negotiations over the next tranche of financial aid, and potentially, some sort of debt relief down the road. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will have to find a way to handle these issues while keeping social unrest within tolerable limits.
Tsipras is hoping to connect the immigration crisis with his country's bailout program, asking for flexibility in the implementation of economic reform amid Athens' additional efforts to cope with massive waves of migrants. But his strategy is not working, mostly because the governments in Northern Europe are linking the two issues in a much different way. Many conservative politicians in Northern Europe refuse to yield to the requests of a country that, from their perspective, is not doing enough to mitigate the immigration crisis. Though Greece will eventually succeed in securing some form of debt relief, it will come in spite of the immigration crisis '-- not because of it.
Finding Other Ways to Isolate GreeceAnd so, EU members are looking for alternative ways to isolate Greece from the rest of the Continent. One option on the table would be to strengthen border controls between Macedonia and Greece, with EU countries contributing additional border guards and equipment. The goal of this proposal is to sever the Balkan route, a common path for migrants that connects Greece with Austria and Germany. The Macedonian government has welcomed the idea, adding that Skopje is open to EU assistance in easing the pressure migration patterns have put on the country.
But the plan is a complicated one, at least politically, because it would mean that the European Union would be helping a non-member country (Macedonia) while harming one of its own (Greece). Additionally, the EU border control force, Frontex, is not allowed to operate in non-member states. These issues make it unlikely that the European Union and Macedonia will ultimately reach a deal.
That said, Macedonia will probably still receive personnel and material aid through bilateral agreements with individual countries. According to Politico, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker informed Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar that because Macedonia is not an EU member, other member states would have to reach bilateral deals with Skopje if they wished to send their police forces to the Balkan state. If confirmed, this information would suggest that the commission supports the bilateral approach to blocking the Balkan migration route. In fact, some bilateral arrangements have already been made: In early January, for example, the Hungarian government sent 31 police officers to help their Macedonian counterparts patrol the Greece-Macedonia border for a month.
If Macedonia does strengthen its border security, Greece would bear the brunt of the burden because asylum seekers would not stop arriving from Turkey; they would simply have a harder time moving farther north, beyond Greece. This would likely worsen Greece's unrest, at least in the short term, as immigrants become bottled up within Greece's borders. However, the situation would probably resolve itself given time, since most asylum seekers do not want to stay in Greece.
In the event that traveling through Macedonia is no longer an option, many migrants would look for alternative routes to get deeper into the Continent, including Albania to the west and Bulgaria to the east. The Black Sea could eventually replace the Aegean Sea as a migration path, and some asylum seekers might even return to the original migration route through the central Mediterranean. If they did, Italy would once again find itself at the center of Europe's immigration crisis, and countries like Austria, France, Switzerland and Slovenia would turn their attention to closing their borders with Italy.
A Solution Remains ElusiveIn the end, Europe probably will not be able to find a single, comprehensive solution to its current migration crisis. Instead, as Stratfor has predicted, the Continent's response has been a combination of poorly enforced EU decisions and unilateral measures by individual member states. Though negotiations at the Continental level will continue, countries will try to become progressively less attractive to those seeking asylum within Europe's borders, whether by tightening their security measures or reducing social benefits for foreigners.
Meanwhile, regardless of whether Greece is suspended from the Schengen area, EU members will likely use Greece's failure to control its borders to justify stronger border control measures of their own, for longer periods of time. This would be one way to keep the Schengen Agreement in place, at least nominally, while re-establishing border controls in Europe.
Such measures could deter economic migrants, who travel to Europe in search of a better life rather than to escape war or persecution. Consequently, nationals from the Western Balkans or North Africa will find it more difficult to make their way to Northern Europe. However, Syrians, who still make up the largest group of asylum seekers, are still protected by international law.
Even with tougher migration rules in place, enforcement will continue to be problematic. Countries such as Germany have increased deportations in recent weeks, but only a small fraction of people whose asylum applications have been rejected are actually being ejected from these states. The head of Germany's police union recently admitted that migrants who are expelled to Austria often return to Germany a few hours later. So while border controls, fences and tougher legislation will probably reduce the number of immigrants coming into Europe, they will by no means solve the Continent's ongoing crisis completely.
'Sissyfication of Millennials': Ivy League Students Complain of Mental Stress and Failing Grades Due to Their Campus Diversity Activism | TheBlaze.com
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 14:34
Social justice activists at Brown University have complained their activism is taking an emotional toll on them and that their extracurricular activities have at times caused them to fail classes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, their claims won them some derision on social media.
This ''mental, emotional and physical stress'' was featured in an article Thursday in the Providence, Rhode Island campus newspaper, the Brown Daily Herald which reported:
''There are people breaking down, dropping out of classes and failing classes because of the activism work they are taking on,'' David, an undergraduate whose name has been changed to preserve anonymity, said. Throughout the year, he has worked to confront issues of racism and diversity on campus.
His role as a student activist has taken a toll on his mental, physical and emotional health. ''My grades dropped dramatically. My health completely changed. I lost weight. I'm on antidepressants and anti-anxiety pills right now. (Counseling and Psychological Services) counselors called me. I had deans calling me to make sure I was okay,'' he said. ['...]
Justice Gaines '16, who uses the [gender neutral] pronouns xe, xem and xyr, said student activism efforts on campus are necessary. ''I don't feel okay with seeing students go through hardships without helping and organizing to make things better.''
At one point, the Daily Herald reported, Gaines ''had a panic attack and couldn't go to class for several days,'' a predicament that was alleviated by notes from campus deans to professors allowing more time to complete academic assignments.
Brown University, an Ivy League institution, is located in Providence, Rhone Island. Student activists have complained that their extracurricular commitments are impacting their studies. (Photo credit: Shutterstock/aastock)
A student activist for Latino issues told the paper, ''Homework was the least of my worries.''
The campus paper joined in on the use of the gender neutral words, writing, ''Students were called out of class into organizing meetings, and xe felt pressure to help xyr peers cope with what was going on, xe said. Gaines 'had a panic attack and couldn't go to class for several days.'''
No, those are not typos.
The leftist activists' complaints unleashed a torrent of contempt and ridicule on Twitter:
Conservative columnist Ben Shapiro wrote, ''The parents of these dolts should be ashamed they're spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to turn their teenagers into useless members of society more focused on feeling microaggressed than learning life skills.''
Others pointed to the irony that one such activist group, the anti-Israel group Students for Justice in Palestine, recently protested an event featuring actor Michael Douglas and famed former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky '-- one who knows a thing or two about suffering '-- on Brown University's campus.
The Ivy League school's administrators expressed support for the activism.
Assistant dean of student support services Ashley Ferranti told the Daily Herald that despite the hardships, the activism is an ''important part of the academic learning experience.''
Front page photo courtesy of Shuttershock.
Schoolwork, advocacy place strain on student activists
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 14:35
Two weeks ago, the University released the final version of its diversity and inclusion action plan, which could not have been compiled without the exhaustive efforts of students throughout last semester.
''There are people breaking down, dropping out of classes and failing classes because of the activism work they are taking on,'' said David, an undergraduate whose name has been changed to preserve anonymity. Throughout the year, he has worked to confront issues of racism and diversity on campus.
His role as a student activist has taken a toll on his mental, physical and emotional health. ''My grades dropped dramatically. My health completely changed. I lost weight. I'm on antidepressants and anti-anxiety pills right now. (Counseling and Psychological Services) counselors called me. I had deans calling me to make sure I was okay,'' he said.
As students rallied to protest two racist columns published by The Herald and the alleged assault of a Latinx student from Dartmouth by a Department of Public Safety officer, David spent numerous hours organizing demonstrations with fellow activists. Meanwhile, he struggled to balance his classes, job and social life with the activism to which he feels so dedicated. Stressors and triggers flooded his life constantly, he said.
David turned to CAPS and reached out to deans for notes that extended his deadlines for assignments. These were helpful, he said, but acted only as ''bandages'' for the underlying causes of stress.
Justice Gaines '16, who uses the pronouns xe, xem and xyr, said student activism efforts on campus are necessary. ''I don't feel okay with seeing students go through hardships without helping and organizing to make things better.''
In the wake of The Herald's opinion pieces, Gaines felt overwhelmed by emotions flooding across campus. Students were called out of class into organizing meetings, and xe felt pressure to help xyr peers cope with what was going on, xe said. Gaines ''had a panic attack and couldn't go to class for several days.''
Deans' notes helped Gaines to complete academic work while staying involved in student activism.
In writing such notes, deans acknowledge the difficulties faced by a student on campus and demonstrate their support for the student's requests, said Ashley Ferranti, assistant dean of student support services.
Though it is ultimately up to a faculty member to accept a dean's note, Ferranti estimated that notes are accepted over 90 percent of the time. Students who take issue with the rejection of a note can discuss the incident with a dean, Ferranti added.
While notes are helpful, they should be ''more accessible'' and ''more serious, so that professors will be more inclined to follow them,'' Gaines said.
Some students very active in organizing and protesting end up in academic trouble, Ferranti said.
When faced with the decision of completing activist work or studying for an exam, students sometimes feel obligated to choose the former, said Liliana Sampedro '18. This choice, often made by students advocating for increased diversity on campus, ''has systemic effects on students of color,'' she added.
Sampedro worked alongside the group that presented the demands for the diversity and inclusion action plan's revision. It was a Thursday, she recalled, and she had a research presentation that needed to be completed that week. ''I remember emailing the professor and begging her to put things off another week,'' she said. The professor denied her request.
''I hadn't eaten. I hadn't slept. I was exhausted, physically and emotionally,'' she said. After hours of work to compile and present the demands, she forced herself to stay up to complete the project anyway.
Other students have also seen their academic work impacted by their efforts to advance social justice causes. This past semester, David spent class time on his activist work in order to address a time-sensitive issue. As a result, one of David's professors lowered his grade because he was distracted in class, he said.
Sampedro was also on the committee that planned workshops for the Latinx Ivy League Conference, including Paxson's presentation to students following the assault by a DPS officer on a student earlier that weekend. ''I remember seeing all the tears in the room '-- that was traumatizing '-- and then not being able to focus on my homework,'' she said. ''Homework was the least of my worries.''
Despite the hardships that students take on in their activism, the University does not want to discourage them from contributing to change on campus.
This work is an ''important part of the academic learning experience,'' Ferranti said. She was present at the Brown/RISD Hillel-sponsored lecture that was protested by Students for Justice in Palestine earlier this semester, offering academic and emotional support for the protestors.
The University sends deans to activism events not only to monitor students but also to offer support for those involved. ''For example, if a student is at a sexual assault event, and the student is a victim him or herself, that student might talk to me about it,'' Ferranti said.
Students ''might be impacted, something might be triggered or they might suddenly remember more at that event they were protesting,'' she added.
Ferranti said she is ''proud to work in a place where students come together over important social issues.'' As administrators, ''we are not just looking at protocols, we're also thinking about what this means to the students who are there,'' she added.
Big Pharma
Top Neuroscientist Explains How Big Pharma's Adderall Is Essentially Crystal Meth | The Free Thought Project
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 22:25
Anyone who's ever been given one of their friend's Adderall knows the powerful effects brought on by this tiny unintimidating pink pill. Increased energy, enhanced ability to focus and concentrate, and a euphoric sense of being are the most common effects of this drug.
Coincidentally, increased energy, enhanced ability to focus and concentrate, and a euphoric sense of being '-- are also the most common effects of crystal meth.
So, why are these effects so similar? Because the drugs are nearly identical in their chemical structure.
Dr. Carl Hart is a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University. Hart is known for his research into drug abuse and drug addiction. Hart was also the first tenured African American professor of sciences at Columbia University. He received a bachelor of science and a master of science from the University of Maryland and he received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Wyoming. By all accounts, he is the expert in the field of drug use.
In a recent article on his website theinfluence.org, Hart explains that the only major difference between crystal meth and Adderall is public perception.
Hart explains that this perception of illicit meth is largely due to misinformation put out by public service messages.
Perhaps it has something to do with public ''educational'' campaigns aimed at discouraging methamphetamine use. These campaigns usually show, in graphically horrifying detail, some poor young person who uses the drug for the first time and then ends up engaging in uncharacteristic acts such as prostitution, stealing from parents, or assaulting strangers for money to buy the drug. At the end of advertisement, emblazoned on the screen, is: ''Meth'--not even once.'' We've also seen those infamous ''meth mouth'' images (extreme tooth decay), wrongly presented as a direct consequence of methamphetamine use.
These types of media campaigns neither prevent nor decrease the use of the drug; nor do they provide any real facts about the effects of meth. They succeed only in perpetuating false assumptions.
Swayed by this messaging, the public remains almost entirely ignorant of the fact that methamphetamine produces nearly identical effects to those produced by the popular ADHD medication d-amphetamine (dextroamphetamine). You probably know it as Adderall®: a combination of amphetamine and d-amphetamine mixed salts.
Hart admitted that he too believed that methamphetamine was far more dangerous than d-amphetamine, despite the fact that the chemical structure of the two drugs is nearly identical. However, after thoroughly researching the evidence, Hart shattered this belief.
To back up his claims, Hart and his team conducted a study of 13 men who regularly use methamphetamine. During the double-blind study, the men were given a hit of methamphetamine, of d-amphetamine, or of placebo. According to the study:
Like d-amphetamine, methamphetamine increased our subjects' energy and enhanced their ability to focus and concentrate; it also reduced subjective feelings of tiredness and the cognitive disruptions typically brought about by fatigue and/or sleep deprivation. Both drugs increased blood pressure and the rate at which the heart beat. No doubt these are the effects that justify the continued use of d-amphetamine by several nations' militaries, including our own.
And when offered an opportunity to choose either the drugs or varying amounts of money, our subjects chose to take d-amphetamine on a similar number of occasions as they chose to take methamphetamine. These regular methamphetamine users could not distinguish between the two. (It is possible that the methyl group enhances methamphetamine's lipid-solubility, but this effect appears to be imperceptible to human consumers.)
It is also true that the effects of smoking methamphetamine are more intense than those of swallowing a pill containing d-amphetamine. But that increased intensity is due to the route of administration, not the drug itself. Smoking d-amphetamine produces nearly identical intense effects as smoking methamphetamine. The same would be true if the drugs were snorted intranasally.
The significance of Hart's study has a paradigm-shattering effect. On one hand, it shows that a drug, which is legally taken by millions of children in the US, is identical to an illegal substance associated with a slew of negative traits. On the other hand, it shows that meth users are not much different from the millions of Americans who take its legal form.
The use of methamphetamine in the United States is actually on the decline according to U.S. National Drug Control Policy Director R. Gil Kerlikowske. However, there are over 3.5 million American children currently take an ADHD drug, a nearly 500% increase since 1990.
It seems that the pharmaceutical industry has figured out a way to market ADHD to the masses in an attempt to sell them their legal version of meth.
As Dr. Hart so eloquently says,
It took me nearly 20 years and dozens of scientific publications in the area of drug use to recognize my own biases around methamphetamine. I can only hope that you don't require as much time and scientific activity in order to understand that the Adderall that you or your loved one takes each day is essentially the same drug as meth.
And I hope that this knowledge engenders less judgment of people who use meth, and greater empathy.
Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world.
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Shut Up Slave!
-Zenergy Chime - Goldie Hawn charity
*Ok everybody, it;s time for a brain break!
*Let our bodies know that we're calm...and we can think
clearly...and we're ready to calm down...
*What if you're angry at your friends, should you just
hit them? nooooo...that's why we
*PAUSE......take some deep breaths and
hit them in the mouth!
Mind Up!
Hello Adam,
I was listening to the last show in which you mentioned the Mind Up program and played a clip. While I understand your concern about the "mind control" aspect of the techniques of the program, as a teacher what I heard was wonderful. If I can keep my students from hitting each other, kicking each other, or bashing each other's heads into a wall it has been a good day. Inner city kids need programs like this to teach them how to act towards each other because they aren't learning those skills at home.
I personally use a gong in my classroom (I teach music and theater grades 1-5). Yelling at students or waiting for them to pay attention simply does not work and wears out my voice, so I use a gong.
Anyhow, glad to answer questions about being a public school teacher working with inner city kids.
Sorghum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sun, 21 Feb 2016 19:23
"Sorgo" redirects here. For the Italo-Croatian noble family, see Sorkočević.Sorghum is a genus of plants in the grass family. Most species are native to Australia, with some extending to Africa, Asia, Mesoamerica, and certain islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.[2][3][4][5][6][7]
One species is grown for grain, while many others are used as fodder plants, either intentionally cultivated or allowed to grow naturally, in pasture lands. The plants are cultivated in warm climates worldwide and naturalized in many places.[8]Sorghum is in the subfamily Panicoideae and the tribe Andropogoneae (the tribe of big bluestem and sugarcane).
Cultivation and uses[edit]One species, Sorghum bicolor,[9] native to Africa with many cultivated forms now,[10] is an important crop worldwide, used for food (as grain and in sorghum syrup or "sorghum molasses"), animal fodder, the production of alcoholic beverages, and biofuels. Most varieties are drought- and heat-tolerant, and are especially important in arid regions, where the grain is one of the staples for poor and rural people. These varieties form important components of pastures in many tropical regions. S. bicolor is an important food crop in Africa, Central America, and South Asia, and is the "fifth-most important cereal crop grown in the world".[11]
Some species of sorghum can contain levels of hydrogen cyanide, hordenine, and nitrates lethal to grazing animals in the early stages of the plants' growth. When stressed by drought or heat, plants can also contain toxic levels of cyanide and/or nitrates at later stages in growth.[12]
Another Sorghum species, Johnson grass (S. halapense), is classified as an invasive species in the US by the Department of Agriculture.[13]
Nutrition[edit]In a 100 gram amount, raw sorghum provides 329 calories, 72% carbohydrates, 4% fat and 11% protein (table). Sorghum supplies numerous essential nutrients in rich content (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV), including protein, the B vitamins, niacin, thiamin and vitamin B6, and several dietary minerals, including iron (26% DV) and manganese (76% DV) (table). Sorghum nutrient contents generally are similar to those of raw oats (see nutrition table).
Diversity[edit]Accepted species[1][not in citation given]Sorghum amplum '' northwestern AustraliaSorghum angustum '' QueenslandSorghum arundinaceum '' Africa, Indian Subcontinent, Madagascar, islands of western Indian OceanSorghum bicolor '' cultivated sorghum, often individually called sorghum, also known as durra, jowari, or milo. - native to Sahel region of Africa; naturalized in many placesSorghum brachypodum '' Northern Territory of AustraliaSorghum bulbosum '' Northern Territory, Western AustraliaSorghum burmahicum '' Thailand, MyanmarSorghum controversum '' IndiaSorghum — drummondii '' Sahel and West AfricaSorghum ecarinatum '' Northern Territory, Western AustraliaSorghum exstans '' Northern Territory of AustraliaSorghum grande '' Northern Territory, QueenslandSorghum halepense '' Johnson grass '' North Africa, islands of eastern Atlantic, southern Asia from Lebanon to Vietnam; naturalized in East Asia, Australia, the AmericasSorghum interjectum '' Northern Territory, Western AustraliaSorghum intrans '' Northern Territory, Western AustraliaSorghum laxiflorum '' Philippines, Lesser Sunda Islands, Sulawesi, New Guinea, northern AustraliaSorghum leiocladum '' Queensland, New South Wales, VictoriaSorghum macrospermum '' Northern Territory of AustraliaSorghum matarankense '' Northern Territory, Western AustraliaSorghum nitidum '' East Asia, Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, MicronesiaSorghum plumosum '' Australia, New Guinea, IndonesiaSorghum propinquum '' China , Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Christmas Island, Micronesia, Cook IslandsSorghum purpureosericeum '' Sahel from Mali to Tanzania; Yemen, Oman, IndiaSorghum stipoideum '' Northern Territory, Western AustraliaSorghum timorense '' Lesser Sunda Islands, Maluku, New Guinea, northern AustraliaSorghum trichocladum '' Mexico, Guatemala, HondurasSorghum versicolor '' eastern + southern Africa from Ethiopia to Namibia; OmanSorghum virgatum '' dry regions from Senegal to PalestineFormerly included[1][not in citation given]Many species once considered part of Sorghum, but now considered better suited to other genera include: Andropogon, Arthraxon, Bothriochloa, Chrysopogon, Cymbopogon, Danthoniopsis, Dichanthium, Diectomis, Diheteropogon, Exotheca, Hyparrhenia, Hyperthelia, Monocymbium, Parahyparrhenia, Pentameris, Pseudosorghum, Schizachyrium, and Sorghastrum.
See also[edit]References[edit]^ abcKew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families^Moench, Conrad. 1794. Methodus Plantas Horti Botanici et Agri Marburgensis : a staminum situ describendi page 207 in Latin^Tropicos, Sorghum Moench^Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 600 é粱属 gao liang shu Sorghum Moench, Methodus. 207. 1794^Flora of Pakistan, Sorghum Moench., Meth. Bot. 207. 1794^Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Sorghum^Atlas of Living Australia^Biota of North America Program 2013 county distribution maps^Mutegi, Evans; Fabrice Sagnard, Moses Muraya, Ben Kanyenji, Bernard Rono, Caroline Mwongera, Charles Marangu, Joseph Kamau, Heiko Parzies, Santie de Villiers, Kassa Semagn, Pierre Traor(C), Maryke Labuschagne (2010-02-01). "Ecogeographical distribution of wild, weedy and cultivated Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench in Kenya: implications for conservation and crop-to-wild gene flow". Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution57 (2): 243''253. doi:10.1007/s10722-009-9466-7. ^http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200026333^Sorghum, U.S. Grains Council.^Cyanide (prussic acid) and nitrate in sorghum crops - managing the risks. Primary industries and fisheries. Queensland Government. http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/4790_20318.htm. 21 April 2011.^Johnson Grass, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Accessed 2257 UDT, 12 March 2009.External links[edit]
Facebook rolls out improved suicide prevention tools · PinkNews
Wed, 24 Feb 2016 16:46
Social media giant Facebook is rolling out a feature which aims to reduce suicides by offering support.
The Suicide Prevention tool has already been tested in the US and Australia and was developed in conjunction with the Samaritans.
Facebook says it has ''significantly expanded the support available'' to those who post worrying messages on the platform.
It attempts to provide support for people struggling, as well as family and friends who may be able to help.
Rather than the usual route of 'reporting' a post which may contain red flags, the Suicide Prevention tool allows users to anonymously allow Facebook to send a message directly.
Julie de Bailliencourt, EMEA Safety Policy Manager at Facebook said to Newsbeat: ''We have a really strong sense of responsibility towards the safety of people who are on our platform.
''We felt that while we've been working with the Samaritans for a number of years, we wanted to take this partnership to a whole new level.''
While Facebook maintains that explicit threats of suicide should be reported to emergency services, it says other worrying posts can be flagged to Facebook.
A 24h team will work to review posts, prioritising them ahead of other types of flag.
Newsbeat reports that, when asked whether she thinks the tool may be exploited in order to bully people who are not suicidal, she said she thinks not.
''I think people using reporting tools are responsible, they know this is a serious case and not to over abuse these areas. We haven't noticed this. The language we're using is quite empathetic '' it's saying hey someone's worried about you and here are things we think may be useful,'' she went on.
Users are offered the chance to connect with a person at the Samaritans, as well as reaching out to a friend.
The previous system for reporting red flag posts
Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said: ''If people can start to talk about the unbearable pain that they're facing, we can interrupt that journey towards suicide. Suicide is not inevitable, it is preventable. This tools plays a really vital role in achieving that. ''
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article and need to talk to someone, visit samaritans.org or call 08457 90 90 90.
Apple Crack
And so it begins -- DOJ seeking 'help' with 12 other iPhones
Wed, 24 Feb 2016 06:05
A newly unsealed court brief filed yesterday by Apple attorney Marc Zwillinger showed that 'just this one phone' obviously has a different definition to law enforcement.
The brief detailed at least 12 government requests for Apple to help extract data, such as calls, photos, iMessages and contacts from several iPhones.
Our best speaker lineup, ever.This year's edition of TNW Conference in Amsterdam includes some of the biggest names in tech.
Learn moreThe models ranged from an iPhone 3 to an iPhone 6 Plus, as well as an iPad 2 and an iPhone whose model has yet to be identified. These devices ran anything from iOS 4.2 to iOS 9.2 '-- with iOS 7 being the last operating system Apple could access without attempting to circumvent stronger encryption protocols.
Apple has objected to each request, except two '-- one in which it hasn't received the government's motion and another in which a new warrant is being sought.
In addition to the nine listed requests, at least three more 'All Writs Act' requests were filed and mentioned in a footnote of the brief '-- two in the Southern District of Ohio and one in the Northern District of Illinois.
The All Writs Act, which was the basis for the most recent DOJ order that Apple cooperate with the FBI, is simply a catchall from 1789 that requires company's to cooperate with legal requests so long as it doesn't cause 'undue burden.'
In a previous case, Apple has taken issue with the All Writs Act and claimed: ''We're being forced to become an agent of law enforcement.''
While it's not clear at this point what's going to become of this standoff between Apple and the FBI, one thing is certain, it's not just one phone and it isn't just one time. But unfortunately, this is something we saw coming.
'ž¤ Justice Department Seeks to Force Apple to Extract Data From About 12 Other iPhones [Wall Street Journal]
The Dangerous All Writs Act Precedent in the Apple Encryption Case - The New Yorker
Wed, 24 Feb 2016 17:50
Tim Cook, the C.E.O. of Apple, has strongly objected to a court's order that the company must help the F.B.I. access the phone of one of the San Bernardino shooters.Credit Photograph by David Paul Morris / Bloomberg via GettyTim Cook, the C.E.O. of Apple, which has been ordered to help the F.B.I. get into the cell phone of the San Bernardino shooters, wrote in an angry open letter this week that ''the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create.'' The second part of that formulation has rightly received a great deal of attention: Should a back door be built into devices that are used for encrypted communications? Would that keep us safe from terrorists, or merely make everyone more vulnerable to hackers, as well as to mass government surveillance? But the first part is also potentially insidious, for reasons that go well beyond privacy rights.
The simple but strange question here is exactly the one that Cook formulates. What happens when the government goes to court to demand that you give it something that you do not have? No one has it, in fact, because it doesn't exist. What if the government then proceeds to order you to construct, design, invent, or somehow conjure up the thing it wants? Must you?
The F.B.I.'s problem is that it has in its possession the iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the San Bernardino shooters, but the phone is locked with a passcode that he chose. (The phone, which investigators found while executing a search warrant for Farook's car, is actually the property of the San Bernardino County Health Department, Farook's employer, which has consented to its search'--and so, as Orin Kerr points out, on the Washington Post blog the Volokh Conspiracy, there is no Fourth Amendment issue there.) If the F.B.I. enters the wrong passcode ten times, the data may be turned to gibberish. And if the F.B.I. disables that feature, allowing it to enter every possible passcode until it hits the right one, it may still come up against another barrier: a built-in delay between wrong entries, so that typing in five thousand possibilities, for example, might take thousands of hours. Both sides agree that Apple has given significant technical assistance with the San Bernardino case already; in response to a separate warrant, it gave the F.B.I. the iCloud back-ups for Farook's phone (the most recent was from some weeks before the shooting). In the past, in response to court orders, Apple has helped the government extract certain specific information from older iPhones'--perhaps seventy times, according to press reports. But there is apparently no way for the company to do so on the newer operating system, iOS 9, which the shooter was using and which was built without a ''back door.'' In other words, there is no set of instructions or a skeleton key in a drawer somewhere in Cupertino that Apple could give the F.B.I. to allow it to get in.
And so Sheri Pym, a California district-court magistrate judge, has ordered Apple to come up with a new software bundle that can be loaded onto the phone and, in effect, take over the operating system and tell it to let the F.B.I. in. (Apple will have a chance to object to the order in court.) As an added point of convenience, this bundle is also supposed to let the agents enter passcodes electronically, rather than tapping them in, which is one of the many points on which the government seems to have moved from asking for compliance with a subpoena to demanding full-scale customer service. In its request for the order, the government says that ''Apple has the exclusive technical means which would assist the government in completing its search,'' for a number of reasons. One is that iPhones look for a cryptographic signature before accepting operating-system software as legitimate. But the government, again, is not asking for a signature or even for the equivalent of a handwriting guide (which would be problematic, too) but for an entire ready-to-run bundle. It has said that it wants Apple to put in a code that makes the bundle usable only on Farook's phone'--but that is a desire, not a description of an existing, tested, software protection. (The government also says that it will pay Apple for its work.) The other reasons that the government says that Apple should be compelled to do this work come down to Apple being Apple'--being a smart company that designs this kind of thing. What is the government's claim on that talent, though? Would it extend to a former engineer who has left the company? The government's petition notes that the operating system is ''licensed, not sold,'' which is true enough, but conveys the darkly humorous suggestion that Apple's terms of service are holding the F.B.I. back.
It is essential to this story that the order to Apple is not a subpoena: it is issued under the All Writs Act of 1789, which says that federal courts can issue ''all writs necessary or appropriate in aid of their respective jurisdictions and agreeable to the usages and principles of law.'' Read as a whole, this simply means that judges can tell people to follow the law, but they have to do so in a way that, in itself, respects the law. The Act was written at a time when a lot of the mechanics of the law still had to be worked out. But there are qualifications there: warnings about the writs having to be ''appropriate'' and ''agreeable,'' not just to the law but to the law's ''principles.'' The government, in its use of the writ now, seems to be treating those caveats as background noise. If it can tell Apple, which has been accused of no wrongdoing, to sit down and write a custom operating system for it, what else could it do?
In the motion filed on Friday, the government dismissed Apple's objection by saying that it ''appears to be based on its concern for its business model and public brand marketing strategy,'' and that writing new code shouldn't be an ''undue burden'''--one of the standards for applying the All Writs Act'--since Apple writes a lot of code. This particular use of the All Writs Act is fairly novel, however. The precedent the government's supporters cite is the use of All Writs in a 1977 Supreme Court decision involving telephone taps, called pen registers. In that case, the F.B.I. wanted New York Telephone, which was already helping it to set up a tap in an illegal-gambling sting, to let it use some spare cables that were, physically, in the same terminal box as those hooked up to the suspect's phone. The telephone company told the F.B.I. to get its own wires and string them into the apartment of one of the alleged gamblers some other way. When the F.B.I. objected that the suspects might spot the rigged cables, the Court agreed that it could legitimately ask the telephone company for its technical help and ''facilities.'' But the F.B.I. wasn't asking New York Telephone to design a new kind of cable.
If a case involving a non-digital phone network could be applied to smartphones, what technologies might an Apple precedent be applied to, three or four decades from now? (The N.S.A. used, or rather promiscuously misused, another pen-register case from the same era to justify its bulk data collection.) It no longer becomes fanciful to wonder about what the F.B.I. might, for example, ask coders adept in whatever genetic-editing language emerges from the recent developments in CRISPR technology to do. But some of the alarming potential applications are low-tech, too. What if the government was trying to get information not out of a phone but out of a community? Could it require someone with distinct cultural or linguistic knowledge not only to give it information but to use that expertise to devise ways for it to infiltrate that community? Could an imam, for example, be asked not only to tell what he knows but to manufacture an informant?
This is the situation that Apple is in, and that all sorts of other companies and individuals could be in eventually. There are problems enough with the insistence on a back door for devices that will be sold not only in America but in countries with governments that feel less constrained by privacy concerns than ours does. And there are reasons to be cynical about technology companies that abuse private information in their own way, or that jump in to protect not a principle but their brands. But the legal precedent that may be set here matters. By using All Writs, the government is attempting to circumvent the constitutionally serious character of the many questions about encryption and privacy. It is demanding, in effect, that the courts build a back door to the back-door debate.
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Theodore Olson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 02:31
Theodore Bevry Olson (born September 11, 1940) is an Americanlawyer, practicing at the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Olson served as United States Solicitor General from June 2001 to July 2004 under President George W. Bush.
Early life[edit]Theodore Olson was born in Chicago and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in Mountain View, California. He graduated from Los Altos High in 1958. In 1962, Olson completed his undergraduate degrees in communications and history at the University of the Pacific. He attended law school, earning his law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley[1] in 1965.[2] At Boalt, Olson served as a contributor to the California Law Review.
Legal career[edit]Olson joined the Los Angeles, California office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher as an associate in 1965. In 1972, he was named Partner.[3]
From 1981 to 1984, Olson served as an Assistant Attorney General (Office of Legal Counsel) in the Reagan administration.[4] While serving in the Reagan administration, Olson was legal counsel to President Reagan during the Iran-Contra affair's investigation phase.[4] Olson was also the assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel when then President Ronald Reagan ordered the Administrator of the EPA to withhold the documents on the ground that they contained "enforcement sensitive information." This led to an investigation by the House Judiciary Committee that later produced a report suggesting Olson had given false and misleading testimony before a House subcommittee during the investigation. The Judiciary Committee forwarded a copy of the report to the Attorney General requesting the appointment of an independent counsel investigation.
Olson argued that the independent counsel took executive powers away from the office of the President of the United States and created a hybrid "fourth branch" of government that was ultimately answerable to no one. He argued that the broad powers of the independent counsel could be easily abused, or corrupted by partisanship. In the Supreme Court Case Morrison v. Olson, the Court disagreed with Olson and found in favor of the Plaintiff and independent counsel Alexia Morrison.[1]
He returned to private law practice as a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of his firm, Gibson Dunn.
A high-profile client in the 1980s was Jonathan Pollard, who had been convicted of selling government secrets to Israel. Olson handled the appeal to United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Olson argued the life sentence Pollard received was in violation of the plea bargain agreement, which had specifically excluded a life sentence. Olson also argued that the violation of the plea bargain was grounds for a mistrial. The Court of Appeals ruled (2'‘1) that no grounds for mistrial existed.
Olson argued a dozen cases before the Supreme Court prior to becoming Solicitor General;[5] In one case, he argued against federal sentencing guidelines, and in a case in New York state, he defended a member of the press who had first leaked the Anita Hill story.[4] Olson successfully represented presidential candidate George W. Bush in the Supreme Court case Bush v. Gore, which effectively ended the recount of the contested 2000 Presidential election.
Olson was nominated for the office of Solicitor General by President Bush on February 14, 2001, was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 24, 2001, and took office on June 11, 2001. In July 2004, Olson retired as Solicitor General and returned to private practice at the Washington office of Gibson Dunn.
In 2006 Olson represented a defendant journalist in the civil case filed by Wen Ho Lee and pursued the appeal to the Supreme Court.[6] Lee sued the federal government to discover which public officials had named him as a suspect to journalists before he had been charged.[6] Olson wrote a brief on behalf of one of the journalists involved in the case, saying that journalists should not have to identify confidential sources, even if subpoenaed by a court.[6] In 2011, Olson represented the National Football League Players Association in the 2011 NFL lockout.[7][8]
Olson, over time, came to believe that there is a constitutional right for same-sex marriage.[9] In 2009 he joined with David Boies, his opposing counsel in Bush v. Gore, to bring a federal lawsuit, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, challenging Proposition 8, a California state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.[10] His work on the lawsuit earned him a place among the Time 100's greatest thinkers.[11] In 2011 Olson and David Boies were awarded the ABA Medal, the highest award of the American Bar Association.[12]
Bibliography[edit]Olson, Theodore B. (2006). The Senate Confirmation Process: Advise and Consent, or Search and Destroy?. Washington, D.C.: National Legal Center for the Public Interest. OCLC 70790172. Boies, David & Olson, Theodore B. (2014). Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality. New York: Viking. ISBN 9780670015962. Personal life[edit]Olson has been married four times. Olson's third wife,[13]Barbara Olson, was a passenger on the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 that was crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Her original plan had been to fly to California on September 10, but she delayed until the next morning so that she could wake up with her husband on his birthday, September 11.[14][15] On October 21, 2006, Olson married Lady Booth, a tax attorney from Kentucky and a lifelong Democrat.[13][16]
Politics[edit]Olson was a founding member of the Federalist Society.[17] He has served on the board of directors of American Spectator magazine.[18] Olson was a prominent critic of Bill Clinton's presidency, and he helped prepare the attorneys of Paula Jones prior to their Supreme Court appearance.[4] Olson served Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign as judicial committee chairman.[17] In 2012 he participated in Paul Ryan's preparation for the Vice Presidential debate, portraying Joe Biden.[19] He is one of the outspoken advocates for gay marriage in the Republican party.[20]
Executive appointment speculation[edit]Prior to President Bush's nomination of D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John G. Roberts, Olson was considered a potential nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's post. Following the withdrawal of Harriet Miers' nomination for that post, and prior to the nomination of Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Samuel Alito, Olson's name was again mentioned as a possible nominee.
In September 2007 Olson was considered by the Bush administration for the post of Attorney General to succeed Alberto Gonzales. The Democrats, however, were so vehemently opposed that Bush nominated Michael Mukasey instead.[21]
References[edit]^"Mr Theodore Olson, Attorney". Lawyer.com. Retrieved November 17, 2015. ^Lewis, Neil A. (February 15, 2001). "Man in the News: Prize Job for a Bush Rescuer, Theodore Bevry Olson". The New York Times. ^"Ted Olson". Biography. A&E Television Networks. Retrieved October 11, 2012. ^ abcdTapper, Jake (November 19, 2000). "Boies vs. Olson: A Look at the Two Legal Titans Behind the Gore and Bush Teams". Salon. Retrieved April 27, 2009. ^Conason, Bill (February 6, 2001). "Ted Olson? You've Got to Be Kidding: How Does Bush Expect to 'Raise the Tone' in Washington by Nominating a Right-Wing Celebrity and Kenneth Starr Pal as Solicitor General?". Salon. Retrieved April 27, 2009. ^ abcMears, Bill (May 22, 2006). "Deal in Wen Ho Lee Case May Be Imminent". CNN. Retrieved November 7, 2008. ^Kuriloff, Aaron (May 6, 2011). "Players' Lawyer Ted Olson Calls NFL Lockout Abuse of Monopoly". Bloomberg News. Retrieved June 24, 2015. ^Breer, Albert (June 3, 2011). "NFL, players state lockout cases; court to rule in 'due course'". NFL.com. Retrieved June 24, 2015. ^Olson, Theodore B. (January 9, 2010). "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage". Newsweek. Retrieved August 5, 2010. ^Williams, Carol J. (May 26, 2009). "Bush vs. Gore Rivals Challenge Prop. 8 in Federal Court". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 26, 2009. ^Klein, Joe (April 29, 2010). "David Boies and Theodore Olson". The 2010 Time 100. Time. Retrieved May 1, 2010. ^Gaul, Patricia. "David Boies, Theodore B. Olson to Receive American Bar Association Medal for 2011" (Press release). American Bar Association. Archived from the original on March 20, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2011. ^ abArgetsinger, Amy & Roberts, Roxanne (October 22, 2006). "Napa Nuptials for Olson and His Lady". The Reliable Source. The Washington Post. Retrieved August 19, 2009. ^Larry King Live interview, re Barbara Olson (Sept 11, 2001)^Ted Olson on Larry King Live (please ignore text overlay)^Parker, Ashley (August 18, 2010). "When Opposites Influence". The New York Times. Retrieved August 20, 2010. ^ abOliphant, James (September 6, 2007). "Giuliani Hitches Star to Conservative Legal Group". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 27, 2008. ^Broder, Jonathan (April 24, 1998). "American Spectator Audit: Is the Fox Guarding the Henhouse?". Salon. Archived from the original on October 20, 2007. Retrieved April 27, 2009. ^Sonmez, Felicia (September 15, 2012). "Paul Ryan Taps Ted Olson to Play Biden in Debate Prep". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 6, 2012. ^Totenberg, Nina (December 6, 2010). "Ted Olson, Gay Marriage's Unlikely Legal Warrior". NPR. ^"Behind the Slander: Olson Played Hardball '' But So Did the Dems". U-T San Diego. September 18, 2007. Retrieved September 18, 2007. External links[edit]
Apple Enlists Ted Olson, Who Will Hire David Boies? - Fortune
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 02:30
February 22, 2016, 6:11 AM ESTE-mailTweetFacebookLinkedinShare iconsReading the news that Ted Olson will join the Apple legal team fighting the Justice Department made me wonder whether Apple aapl or Justice should seek help from David Boies.
Olson and Boies, two of America's most prominent lawyers, are well-known for having joined forces to overturn Proposition 8, a California voter initiative designed to ban same-sex marriage. The story of that effort was captured in an HBO documentary and in a book they wrote, The Case for Marriage Equality.
Before that, however, they were fierce rivals in 2000, when Olson bested Boies in Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court case that gave the presidency to George W. Bush.
In the late 1990s Boies successfully represented the Justice Department in its antitrust suit against Microsoft msft .
The Justice Department's effort to compel Apple to help the FBI unlock an iPhone that belonged to one of San Bernardino killers is likely to set important precedents and the case could easily end up before the Supreme Court.
I have followed both lawyers' careers and have known each of them for more than a decade, signed up Olson to represent Time Inc. time in 2005 in a case involving anonymous sources, and spend a week biking with them and their spouses every summer.
As much as it is fun to see them enjoying each other's company, it is even more interesting to see them when they disagree. So I am rooting for Justice to reach out to Boies before Olson thinks to do so.
Norman Pearlstine is chief content officer of Time Inc.
Probable cause legal definition of probable cause
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 05:02
Probable CauseApparent facts discovered through logical inquiry that would lead a reasonably intelligent and prudent person to believe that an accused person has committed a crime, thereby warranting his or her prosecution, or that aCause of Actionhas accrued, justifying a civil lawsuit.
Probable cause is a level of reasonable belief, based on facts that can be articulated, that is required to sue a person in civil court or to arrest and prosecute a person in criminal court. Before a person can be sued or arrested and prosecuted, the civil plaintiff or police and prosecutor must possess enough facts that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the claim or charge is true.
The probable cause standard is more important in Criminal Law than it is in Civil Law because it is used in criminal law as a basis for searching and arresting persons and depriving them of their liberty. Civil cases can deprive a person of property, but they cannot deprive a person of liberty. In civil court a plaintiff must possess probable cause to levy a claim against a defendant. If the plaintiff does not have probable cause for the claim, she may later face a Malicious Prosecution suit brought by the defendant. Furthermore, lack of probable cause to support a claim means that the plaintiff does not have sufficient evidence to support the claim, and the court will likely dismiss it.
In the criminal arena probable cause is important in two respects. First, police must possess probable cause before they may search a person or a person's property, and they must possess it before they may arrest a person. Second, in most criminal cases the court must find that probable cause exists to believe that the defendant committed the crime before the defendant may be prosecuted.
There are some exceptions to these general rules. Police may briefly detain and conduct a limited search of a person in a public place if they have a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed a crime. Reasonable suspicion is a level of belief that is less than probable cause. A police officer possesses reasonable suspicion if he has enough knowledge to lead a reasonably cautious person to believe that criminal activity is occurring and that the individual played some part in it. In practice this requirement means that an officer need not possess the measure of knowledge that constitutes probable cause to Stop and Frisk a person in a public place. In any case, an officer may not arrest a person until the officer possesses probable cause to believe that the person has committed a crime.
The requirement of probable cause for a Search and Seizure can be found in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states,
the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be searched.
All states have similar constitutional prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The requirement of probable cause works in tandem with the warrant requirement. A warrant is a document that allows police to search a person, search a person's property, or arrest a person. A judicial magistrate or judge must approve and sign a warrant before officers may act on it. To obtain a search or arrest warrant, officers must present to the magistrate or judge enough facts to constitute probable cause. A warrant is not required for all searches and all arrests. Courts have carved out exceptions that allow police to search and arrest persons without a warrant when obtaining a warrant would be impractical.
The precise amount of evidence that constitutes probable cause depends on the circumstances in the case. To illustrate, assume that a police officer has stopped a motor vehicle driver for a traffic violation. In the absence of any other facts indicating criminal activity by the driver, it would be a violation of the Fourth Amendment if the officer conducted a full-blown search of the driver and the vehicle. The mere commission of a traffic violation is not, in and of itself, a fact that supports probable cause to believe that the driver has committed a crime. However, if the officer notices that the driver's eyes are bloodshot or that the driver smells of alcohol, the officer may detain and question the defendant, search him, and place him under arrest. Most courts hold that a driver's commission of a traffic violation combined with the appearance that the driver has used drugs or alcohol constitute sufficient evidence to lead a reasonable person to believe that the person is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Probable cause is not equal to absolute certainty. That is, a police officer does not have to be absolutely certain that criminal activity is taking place to perform a search or make an arrest. Probable cause can exist even when there is some doubt as to the person's guilt. Courts take care to review the actions of police in the context of everyday life, Balancing the interests of law enforcement against the interests of personal liberty in determining whether probable cause existed for a search or arrest.
Legislatures may maintain statutes relating to probable cause. Many such statutes declare that a certain thing constitutes probable cause to believe that a person has committed a particular offense. For example, under federal law, a Forfeiture judgment of a foreign court automatically constitutes probable cause to believe that the forfeited property also is subject to forfeiture under the federal Racketeering law (18 U.S.C.A. § 981 (i)(3) [1986]).
Further readingsBurkoff, John M. 2000. "When is Probable Cause Information in a Search Warrant 'Stale'?" Search and Seizure Law Report 27 (December): 81''8.
Lerner, Craig S. 2003. "The Reasonableness of Probable Cause." Texas Law Review 81 (March): 951''1029.
Cross-referencesAutomobile Searches; Criminal Procedure.
probable causen. sufficient reason based upon known facts to believe a crime has been committed or that certain property is connected with a crime. Probable cause must exist for a law enforcement officer to make an arrest without a warrant, search without a warrant, or seize property in the belief the items were evidence of a crime. While some cases are easy (pistols and illicit drugs in plain sight, gunshots, a suspect running from a liquor store with a clerk screaming "help"), actions typical of drug dealers, burglars, prostitutes, thieves, or people with guilt "written across their faces," are more difficult to categorize. "Probable cause" is often subjective, but if the police officer's belief or even hunch was correct, finding stolen goods, the hidden weapon, or drugs may be claimed as self-fulfilling proof of probable cause. Technically, probable cause has to exist prior to arrest, search or seizure. (See: search, search and seizure, Bill of Rights)
probable causenoun adequate legal basis, ample legal basis to pursue, just and adequate basis, just eviience, just meritorious evidence, just qualified evidence, legally adequate basis to proceed, legally compelling basis, legally competent evidence, legally sufficient cause, satisfactory legal basis, sufficient evidence, sufficient legal basisAssociated concepts: plain-view doctrine, reasonable sussicionPROBABLE CAUSE. When there are grounds for suspicion that a person has committed a crime or misdemeanor, and public justice and the good of the community require that the matter should be examined, there is said to be a probable cause for, making a charge against the accused, however malicious the intention of the accuser may have been. Cro. Eliz. 70; 2 T. R. 231; 1 Wend. 140, 345; 5 Humph. 357; 3 B. Munr. 4. See 1 P. S. R. 234; 6 W. & S. 236; 1 Meigs, 84; 3 Brev. 94. And probable cause will be presumed till the contrary appears. 2. In an action, then, for a malicious prosecution, the plaintiff is bound to show total absence of probable cause, whether the original proceedings were civil or criminal. 5 Taunt. 580; 1 Camp. N. P. C. 199; 2 Wils. 307; 1 Chit. Pr. 48; Hamm. N. P. 273. Vide Malicious prosecution, and 7 Cranch, 339; 1 Mason's R. 24; Stewart's Adm. R. 115; 11 Ad. & El. 483; 39 E. C. L. R. 150; 24 Pick. 81; 8 Watts, 240; 3 Wash. C. C. R. 31: 6 Watts & Serg. 336; 2 Wend. 424 1 Hill, S. C. 82; 3 Gill & John. 377; 1 Pick. 524; 8 Mass. 122; 9 Conn. 309; 3 Blackf. 445; Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.
Link to this page: probable cause
Pink Shirt Day in Candanavia
DHS cyber official: Einstein key to the future of big data at agencies
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 16:42
DHS cyber official: Einstein key to the future of big data at agenciesBy Sean LyngaasFeb 22, 2016Phyllis Schneck is DHS' deputy under secretary for cybersecurity and communications in the National Protection and Programs Directorate.
Even if the Office of Personnel Management had the latest version of the Department of Homeland Security's multibillion-dollar firewall in place last year, it still would not have prevented the massive hack of OPM that compromised the data of some 22 million Americans. Phyllis Schneck, DHS' top cybersecurity official, readily admits this.
Nonetheless, Schneck sees Einstein, an intrusion detection and prevention system for civilian agencies that is administered by DHS, as a foundational platform for a more sophisticated, data-driven cyber defense.
In the coming months, the deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity and communications said, officials will pair Einstein 3A, the latest version of the firewall, with cyber intelligence to more quickly detect and thwart hackers like the OPM intruders. In other words, Schneck wants to use a signature-based system to do more than block threat signatures.
DHS is currently piloting a "reputation scoring" system that works with Einstein to add more analytical color to adversaries' trademark cyber signatures. The pilot uses cyberthreat information from both the intelligence community and the private sector to flesh out a "credit score" of a cyber adversary, said Schneck, once an executive at cybersecurity vendor McAfee.
The reputation scoring system is "a subset of a larger direction we're going in data analytics," Schneck told FCW in a recent interview in her Arlington, Va., office.
Einstein, whose projected lifecycle cost is $5.7 billion through fiscal 2018, according to the Government Accountability Office, came under fire in the aftermath of the OPM breach last summer. Hackers were in OPM networks for 10 months before their malware signatures were plugged into Einstein, according to a DHS timeline of the hack obtained by FCW.
At the time of the breach, OPM had the first and second versions of Einstein deployed, according to DHS. These systems provide only threat detection and not blocking. OPM has since deployed Einstein 3A.
A public-private emissary
A recently published GAO study offered further fodder for Einstein's critics.
The report found that Einstein provides a "limited ability to detect potentially malicious activity entering and exiting computer networks at federal agencies." Moreover, the program "does not monitor several types of network traffic, and its 'signatures' do not address threats that exploit many common security vulnerabilities and thus may be less effective."
Schneck was eager to respond to the GAO report, which she described as well intentioned but based on dated information. Any suggestion that Einstein wouldn't pass muster in the private sector is misguided, she added.
"Einstein should never be compared to a commercial [intrusion detection and prevention] system," Schneck said. "It's like taking an apple and saying, 'Are you an orange? Did I peel you right?' It's not applicable."
Einstein picks up some threats a commercial firewall might miss and vice versa, she added. "One system, one set of eyes watching the entire set of civilian agencies is invaluable," Schneck said in defending Einstein.
Schneck left her post as McAfee's CTO for global public sector to join DHS in 2013. Since then, she said, she has used her private-sector experience to remind DHS colleagues about what works and what doesn't when liaising with industry.
"I inject myself a lot and say, 'No company would ever want to hear that,'" she said of her conversations with government colleagues.
DHS' work with the private sector is manifold -- from exchanging cyberthreat information to scouting emerging technologies.
One thing Schneck said hangs over her when she thinks about improving DHS' work with companies is "how hard it is'...for a global American company to do business overseas if it's perceived that they're too tight with the U.S. government. So that hurts you in the information sharing at a time when it's most urgent to do the information sharing."
About the Author
Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.
Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.
Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.
Evidence Suggests the Sony Hackers Are Alive and Well and Still Hacking | WIRED
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 03:31
Researchers Juan Andr(C)s Guerrero-Saade (L) of Kaspersky Lab and Jaime Blasco of AlienVault Labs, speaking at the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit in Spain.
TENERIFE, Spain'--The massive hack against Sony in late 2014 was sudden and loud. The perpetrators made themselves known four days before Thanksgiving with a red skull emblazoned on computer screens company-wide and an ominous warning that they were about to spill Sony secrets.
A few days later they began to leak what they claimed was more than 100 terabytes of stolen data, including damaging emails and sensitive employee data. The scorched earth attack left Sony crippled for months after the attackers also destroyed data and systems on their way out the digital door, rendering some Sony servers inoperable in a move that cost the company an estimated $35 million in IT infrastructure repairs.
But a month later, after the US government blamed North Korea for the hack and some observers began calling the breach an act of terrorism, the attackers suddenly went silent. Or did they?
According to new data released this week by Juan Andr(C)s Guerrero-Saade, senior security researcher with Kaspersky Lab's Global Research and Analysis Team, and Jaime Blasco who heads the Lab Intelligence and Research team at AlienVault Labs, the hackers behind the Sony breach are alive and well'...and still hacking. Or at least evidence uncovered from hacks of various entities after the Sony breach, including South Korea's nuclear power plant operator and Samsung in South Korea, suggests this later activity has ties to the Sony case.
''[T]hey didn't disappear'...not at all,'' Guerrero-Saade said during a presentation with Blasco this week at the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit in Spain.
If true, it would mean the hackers who demonstrated an ''extremely high'' level of sophistication in the Sony attack have been dropping digital breadcrumbs for at least the last year, crumbs that researchers can now use to map their activity and see where they've been. The clues include'--to name a few'--re-used code, passwords, and obfuscation methods, as well as a hardcoded user agent list that showed up repeatedly in attacks, always with Mozilla consistently misspelled as ''Mozillar.''
They're thinking about publishing a paper describing their work, but likely won't reveal all the tricks they used to tie the hacks and malware families together, since they don't want to tip off the attackers to all the ways they can now be tracked.
How They Tracked the HackersThey began their investigation with samples of the Destover malware'--the destructive component that was responsible for overwriting the master boot record and other critical data on hacked Sony computers'--and used them and other data to produce a ''taxonomy'' of related attacks.
They wrote a series of so-called YARA rules based on tiny similarities and quirks that stood out in the Sony samples and the attackers' techniques, which made them think that if they ever saw those quirks again, it would likely be in a breach conducted by the same guys. YARA is a tool for uncovering malicious files or patterns of suspicious activity on systems or networks that share similarities. YARA rules'--essentially search strings'--help analysts find, group, and categorize related malware samples and draw connections between them in order to build malware families and uncover groups of attacks that might otherwise go unnoticed.
Over the course of more than a year, they collected 400 to 500 malware samples used in attacks now believed to be related, as well as other digital footprints left behind by the group or groups of hackers behind the attacks. The method even allowed them to find related malware that had never been publicly reported by other security researchers before. ''I think we've gotten quite accurate and good at finding the work of these guys,'' Guerrero-Saade said about the attackers.
The YARA rules showed that the attackers were repeatedly using a lot of the same code, techniques and practices. But the tipping point came when they found a dropper used repeatedly in a number of attacks. Droppers are exploits that, when triggered, drop or install malware onto a victim's system. Often the dropper comes in the form of a phishing email with a malicious attachment; when the user clicks on the attachment, the dropper kicks into action and installs some malware.
In this case, they found several versions of the same dropper that was responsible for depositing several different families of malware that they initially believed were related, but couldn't verify until now. What tied them together was the fact that in each case the resource where the dropper's payload was hidden was protected with a unique password that was the same across all droppers used with different families of malware. The attackers were using the embedded password as an anti-analysis technique to prevent antivirus scanners and other automated security tools from executing the malicious file in order to examine it. Although the malware could use the password to launch the executable, automated tools could not see it and use it to launch the file.
Another clue that ended up being a Rosetta stone for the researchers involved a technique the attackers repeatedly used to automatically delete traces of their activity on victim machines. Although the attackers erased a lot of their tracks to thwart forensic investigators, they used a .BAT file'--which got created on hacked systems on the fly'--to do this. The file itself didn't remain on systems, but evidence of its creation and use did, so the researchers were able to look for these.
Other telling evidence that linked malware families and attacks was a custom list of sandboxes the malware was looking for. Sandboxes are virtual environments that are boxed off on a system so that any malware that tries to execute on them won't harm the system or network. Antivirus and other security products set up sandbox environments to automatically execute malware and study its behavior. The host names identifying some of these sandboxes can be found online. The attackers apparently drew up part of their list from this publicly available information, and if their malware encountered a system with a host name on their sandbox list, the malware avoided infecting that system. But their list also included names of sandboxes that are not publicly known.
''[T]hat's where it gets interesting,'' Guerrero-Saade told WIRED. ''So it looks like they're paying attention to where their malware might be automatically executed '... and when they see something that's consistent with a sandbox [that's not previously known], they're adding [the host name for that sandbox] to their list of names to watch out for.'' Their use of this changing list is relatively new. ''It's something that's popped up in the last few weeks, and it's starting to pop up with increasing frequency as they integrate it into their code,'' he said.
Examining these and other similarities, the researchers were able to more definitively tie multiple malware families and attacks together that had previously been believed to be related to each other and link them to the Sony hack, and they could also do this for attacks and malware that they newly uncovered that had never been reported before. They were able, for example, to tie malware samples and attacks discovered in 2013 and known variously by different security firms as Operation Troy/DarkSeoul/Silent Chollima with malware and attacks discovered in 2014 and known as Hangman/Volgmer/TEMP.Hermit and with newer malware discovered in 2015 known as WildPositron and Duuzer.
They also were able to uncover and link recent attacks conducted in 2015 and 2016. These include malware and campaigns known as New Troy.dll/AIMRAT and Sconlog/SSPPMID, both of which were discovered in 2015, and SpaSPE and Hangman_Samsung/mySingleMessenger, discovered in 2016. Guerrero-Saade says the MySingleMessenger malware campaign represented a particular coup for them, because it showed just how on-point some of their detection methods and YARA rules were. The MySingleMessanger campaign got widely reported this year as a campaign against Samsung in South Korea. After reading stories about it in the news, they decided to use their YARA rules to see if they could uncover samples but before they could they realized their system had already picked up samples before the campaign was publicly reported.
''For us the interesting thing was just seeing it as an indication of how well we've honed in on the [hackers'] toolkit,'' Guerrero-Saade says. ''We opened the news and saw this [hack] and then went looking [for samples]'.... [W]e had actually caught those samples the week before.''
All of this indicates that even though the attackers are changing their malware and methods to avoid detection, they're also keeping some things the same, which the researchers are using to catch up to them.
So Just Who Are These Attackers?The researchers shied away from directly attributing them to North Korea, but in their presentation they called the attackers they were tracking ''The Interviewers,'' a clear reference to the Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy The Interview, which the US government says was the motive for North Korea to hack Sony.
In all of the campaigns Guerrero-Saade and Blasco tracked for this research, they say the adversaries appear to have focused exclusively on targets in South Korea, and they've made the mistake several times of leaving Korean language in their files when they compiled their code. In a campaign exposed last September, the attackers explicitly targeted vulnerabilities in Hangul, a word processing program made by a South Korean company and used extensively by the South Korean government. The so-called Hangman exploit the attackers created to exploit the Hangul software was used in a spear-phishing campaign to target someone working in South Korea's nuclear industry. The attacks targeting the Hangul software have been attributed to North Korean actors by FireEye, the computer security firm that investigated the Sony hack in 2014.
The seeming focus on South Korea, and the connection to the Sony hack which has been attributed to North Korea, would seem to suggest that North Korea'--South Korea's greatest enemy'--is behind all of these related attacks. But Guerrero-Saade says they didn't focus on victims in this stage of their research; instead they focused on understanding the practices of the attackers first. He noted that further investigation could turn up non-South Korean targets hacked by the same group.
Could the malware samples and attacks be coming from different groups who are simply sharing code? Guerrero-Saade said, ''It could be seven different crews, it could be seven guys.'' He said if it is a couple of groups conducting all these attacks, this could explain some disparities in operational security they find in the attacks, where some are better than others at hiding and erasing their tracks. ''[I]t might explain why in some cases you see certain developments and certain awareness of security research, in other cases kind of sloppy basic anti-analysis things,'' he said.
But Blasco says despite these differences the attacks share too many similarities to be conducted by completely different groups. In addition to code being reused among the hacks, the attacks all use the same so-called TTPs'--tools, techniques and procedures. ''We thought about it,'' Blasco told WIRED. ''What if [these guys] are just sharing the code with different actors? But when you mix both things [code and TTPs] it's [all] highly related.''
Regardless of whether it's one group behind the attacks or many related groups, the two researchers refused to enter the attribution fray.
''At [Kaspersky] we do not do attribution,'' Guerrero-Saade said during their talk. ''[A] lot of people were very opinionated about what happened with Sony '....[but] rather than go through any discussions [here] about attribution, we're [just] talking about a cluster of activity that is directly related to what has already been attributed by other people. Interpret that as you will.''
Asked later if he does think North Korea was behind the Sony hack'--and by extension is also behind the other attacks they've connected to it'--he would say only, ''If people that are uniquely positioned to do attribution say that it's a certain thing, then it all comes down to the trust you have in that claim.''
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Former ISIS Fighter In Yemen Reveals How ISIS Fakes Videos And Uses Fighters As Actors
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 14:31
Former ISIS Fighter In Yemen Reveals How ISIS Fakes Videos And Uses Fighters As Actors February 22, 2016
The following report is a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
On February 19, 2016, the Al-Hidaya media group, which is associated with Al-Qaeda, published a 12-minute video titled "The Hollywood Reality Of Al-Baghdadi Group." The video, which was posted on the group's official Twitter account (@Hedayh_701), features the testimony of Abu 'Ataa' Al-Sanaa'ni, a former member of ISIS in Yemen who recently defected from its ranks and wished to expose the truth behind the organization's conduct. He discusses ISIS's policy of indiscriminately targeting mosques and spilling the blood of innocent Sunnis, as well as the "forgeries" published by its media department.
Abu 'Atta' first says that he had first decided to join Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) some 18 months ago, but that one of his ISIS commanders convinced him to join their ranks instead. However, he eventually decided to abandon ISIS and to expose the two main factors that led him to make this decision:
The first factor was ISIS's indiscriminate bombing of mosques in Yemen with no regard to the Sunni worshippers present at the time. Abu 'Ataa' states that he was a member of ISIS's suicide bomber cadre, but decided to avoid carrying out a suicide mission after being instructed to blow himself up in a mosque that was mostly frequented by Sunni worshippers.
The second issue addressed by Abu 'Ataa' is the "information lies" by ISIS in Yemen. Abu 'Ataa' is seen in the video standing in front of a projector playing the video "Those Refuting Injustice", published by ISIS Yemen in late September 2015.[1] Abu 'Ataa' says that he was staying in a safe house in Hadhramaut with other fighters, when an ISIS Yemen information activist came by and asked them to participate in the filming of a video. They were taken to a location and served as actors, playing both ISIS fighters and their Houthi captives. Abu 'Ataa' points to a scene in the video showing him supposedly shooting Houthis with his comrade Frauq Al-Dahrami. He says that he and his friends were also supposed to play Houthis fleeing for their lives in another scene, but that it was not filmed due to curious onlookers gathering on the set. Another scene in the video, which shows ISIS fighters storming a house where Houthi soldiers were staying actually features the ISIS safe house where Abu 'Ataa' was staying. He is seen in the actual house explaining how the scenes were originally shot and says that the ISIS information activist, Abu 'Othman Al-Hijazi, actually plays a dead Houthi soldier inside the house. Abu 'Ataa' says that the blood on Al-Hijazi's face was simply red paint. The video later shows scenes from the original ISIS Yemen video with the red caption "Lies."
At the end of the video, Abu 'Ataa' addresses all those who remained in the ranks of ISIS and says: "Listen to the advice of a brother who desires the best for you. Leave this group, which has ruined more than it has built, and has divided more than it has united."
Abu 'Ataa' discussing scene in the ISIS video that shows himself (right) and Faruq Al-Hadhrami (left) firing on "Houthis"
Abu 'Ataa' (top) in the safe house, demonstrating how Abu 'Othman Al-Hijazi played a dead Houthi soldier in the video (bottom)
NA-Tech News
MWC: Google, Yahoo clash with 'blunt' ad-blocking firm
Wed, 24 Feb 2016 23:29
In a tense exchange between the executives, Carthy stepped up the rhetoric, claiming tech companies were using "military grade" tracking targeting and profiling of users and his solution is sending "a very clear signal" that this was not right. He said shine wanted "new rules of engagement" between consumers and advertisers.
Carthy did not stop there, likening Shine to a "nuclear weapon" facing the advertising industry,a remark Yahoo's Hugh dismissed as "a bit dramatic."
The trio did not resolve their differences but Google and Yahoo both talked about what they are doing to combat the rise of ad-blocking. Google said that its "Accelerated Mobile Pages" feature - which allows people to create stripped down web pages to load faster - will help advertisers get their ads seen more.
"That challenges the ad to be as quick as the content, that's the type of thing that really resets the contract we have between publishers and users," Faes said.
The ad-blocking debate is not likely to end soon but not all advertisers are gloomy about it.
"A whole golden age of advertising can evolve if we got it right...this is a good opportunity...we've got this inflection point where new formats are evolving, how do we seize the moment and get it right?," Pete Blackshaw, vice-president of digital and social media at Nestle, said during the panel.
European Mobile Carrier Threatens To Ad-Block Google | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 00:16
Europe is starting to get feisty in striking back at U.S. tech titans. On top of the European commission suing Google for antitrust practices and a 25,000-person class-action suit against Facebook, an unnamed European wireless carrier is considering blocking Google's ads until Google gives it a cut of its ad revenue, says the Financial Times.
Blocking Google ads is still just a possibility, but that unnamed European carrier has already installed ad blockers in its data centers and plans to block ads by the end of 2015'--and so will some of its peers, an executive from the European carrier told the Financial Times. The ad-blocking software, by Israeli startup Shine, blocks ads loading in web pages and apps, though not "in-feed" ads like those in Facebook. Those plans do not sound set in stone, but if the European carriers end up using the ad blockers, tens of millions of mobile subscribers around the world could opt in to ad blocking by the end of the year'--which could have serious impact on the online advertising world, Shine's chief marketing officer Roi Carthy told the Financial Times.
The plan to block Google ads specifically, apparently called "the bomb," may violate net neutrality rules wherein all data must be treated the same, concedes the European carrier executive. But blocking ads for an hour or two a day might bring Google to the negotiating table, the executive told the Financial Times. Even if "the bomb" is not used, the audacity to blackmail Google shows European businesses are growing bolder.
Google's ads are the subject of another EU inquiry: how paid-for links and advertisements affect search results. The investigation is part of a larger EU-wide effort to combat Silicon Valley's influence by forming a "unified digital marketplace" between 28 European countries. By streamlining copyright barriers and lowering shipping costs, the EU hopes that its unified marketplace will be able compete with U.S. tech giants'--and bring more effective legal challenges against the tech firms, if necessary.
Facebook has also seen bolder European scrutiny. Today the Belgian privacy commission has told the social media giant to stop tracking activities of people who have not registered with the site or who have logged out, reports The Guardian. Weeks ago, a report commissioned by the Belgian data protection agency showed that Facebook tracks people on non-Facebook sites via cookies. The Belgian privacy commission noted that if Facebook did not mend its ways by following the commission's recommendations, it would take legal action.
[via The Verge]
Will mobile firms really block ads? - BBC News
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 00:15
How much do you enjoy seeing adverts pop up as you browse the web on a computer, or increasingly on a mobile phone?
Not much, I bet, but advertising is all that keeps many online businesses afloat and on mobile phones it is turning into a multi-billion dollar industry.
So news from the Financial Times that an Israeli firm Shine has developed ad-blocking software and is claiming that it's about to be installed by a number of mobile network operators is bound to cause controversy. If phone users can opt out of adverts, how will any firm, from the tiniest start-up to mighty Google, make any money from mobile?
Shine's Chief Marketing Officer Roi Carthy tells me the whole point of the software is to give consumers choice: "Mobile advertising is abusive to the consumer, it abuses their privacy, their data use and their battery life."
But for network operators that have watched helplessly as the likes of Google and Apple move to dominate the mobile advertising industry, there's another reason to install Shine's black box in their data centres. It would potentially allow them far more control over the user experience, and make them, not Google, the gatekeepers for advertisers.
There's just one problem - blocking ads would mean discriminating between different sets of data flowing across their networks. That is an offence against the principle of net neutrality, now enshrined in law in the United States and becoming a hot topic for European regulators.
When I contact one major operator to ask about the idea of installing Shine's software an executive tells me it would be "utterly insane." He says that at a time when the industry is treading carefully over net neutrality and other regulatory issues, acting to control traffic in this way would be "beyond suicidal."
There is no doubt that getting rid of adverts is a popular idea among many consumersRoi Carthy at Shine brushes that aside: "There isn't a carrier anywhere in the world that isn't considering rolling out ad-blocking," he says, and while he will not name any of Shine's potential customers, he says several of them will go public in the next couple of months.
When I ask whether the software poses a threat to the economics of the web, he insists that it will just improve standards and force companies to be more innovative. Shine's system will not block "native" advertising - what used to be called advertorial - and many of the ads that appear in Facebook and Twitter feeds will also be allowed through.
There is no doubt that getting rid of adverts is a popular idea among many consumers, with recent research showing that 5% of global internet users had installed ad-blocking software on the desktop. But, attractive as it might seem to mobile phone networks to give Google a bloody nose, it looks unlikely that many will risk the regulatory wrath that interfering with the traffic would incur.
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 00:13
We messed up. As technologists, tasked with delivering content and services to users, we lost track of the user experience.
Twenty years ago we saw an explosion of websites, built by developers around the world, providing all forms of content. This was the beginning of an age of enlightenment, the intersection of content and technology. Many of us in the technical field felt compelled, and even empowered, to produce information as the distribution means for mass communication were no longer restricted by a high barrier to entry.
In 2000, the dark ages came when the dot-com bubble burst. We were told that our startups were gone or that our divisions sustained by corporate parent companies needed to be in the black. It was a wakeup call that led to a renaissance age. Digital advertising became the foundation of an economic engine that, still now, sustains the free and democratic World Wide Web. In digital publishing, we strived to balance content, commerce, and technology. The content management systems and communication gateways we built to inform and entertain populations around the world disrupted markets and in some cases governments, informed communities of imminent danger, and liberated new forms of art and entertainment'--all while creating a digital middle class of small businesses.
We engineered not just the technical, but also the social and economic foundation that users around the world came to lean on for access to real time information. And users came to expect this information whenever and wherever they needed it. And more often than not, for anybody with a connected device, it was free.
This was choice'--powered by digital advertising'--and premised on user experience.
But we messed up.
Through our pursuit of further automation and maximization of margins during the industrial age of media technology, we built advertising technology to optimize publishers' yield of marketing budgets that had eroded after the last recession. Looking back now, our scraping of dimes may have cost us dollars in consumer loyalty. The fast, scalable systems of targeting users with ever-heftier advertisements have slowed down the public internet and drained more than a few batteries. We were so clever and so good at it that we over-engineered the capabilities of the plumbing laid down by, well, ourselves. This steamrolled the users, depleted their devices, and tried their patience.
The rise of ad blocking poses a threat to the internet and could potentially drive users to an enclosed platform world dominated by a few companies. We have let the fine equilibrium of content, commerce, and technology get out of balance in the open web. We had, and still do have, a responsibility to educate the business side, and in some cases to push back. We lost sight of our social and ethical responsibility to provide a safe, usable experience for anyone and everyone wanting to consume the content of their choice.
We need to bring that back into alignment, starting right now.
Today, the IAB Tech Lab is launching the LEAN Ads program. Supported by the Executive Committee of the IAB Tech Lab Board, IABs around the world, and hundreds of member companies, LEAN stands for Light, Encrypted, Ad choice supported, Non-invasive ads. These are principles that will help guide the next phases of advertising technical standards for the global digital advertising supply chain.
As with any other industry, standards should be created by non-profit standards-setting bodies, with many diverse voices providing input. We will invite all parties for public comment, and make sure consumer interest groups have the opportunity to provide input.
LEAN Ads do not replace the current advertising standards many consumers still enjoy and engage with while consuming content on our sites across all IP enabled devices. Rather, these principles will guide an alternative set of standards that provide choice for marketers, content providers, and consumers.
Among the many areas of concentration, we must also address frequency capping on retargeting in Ad Tech and make sure a user is targeted appropriately before, but never AFTER they make a purchase. If we are so good at reach and scale, we can be just as good, if not better, at moderation. Additionally, we must address volume of ads per page as well as continue on the path to viewability. The dependencies here are critical to an optimized user experience.
The consumer is demanding these actions, challenging us to do better, and we must respond.
The IAB Tech Lab will continue to provide the tools for publishers in the digital supply chain to have a dialogue with users about their choices so that content providers can generate revenue while creating value. Publishers should have the opportunity to provide rich advertising experiences, LEAN advertising experiences, and subscription services. Or publishers can simply deny their service to users who choose to keep on blocking ads. That is all part of elasticity of consumer tolerance and choice.
Finally, we must do this in an increasingly fragmented market, across screens. We must do this in environments where entire sites are blocked, purposefully or not. Yes, it is disappointing that our development efforts will have to manage with multiple frameworks while we work to supply the economic engine to sustain an open internet. However, our goal is still to provide diverse content and voices to as many connected users as possible around the world.
That is user experience.
IAB Tech Lab Members can join the IAB Tech Lab Ad Blocking Working Group, please email [email protected] for more information.Read more about ad blocking here.
Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Taboola pay Adblock Plus to stop blocking their ads - Business Insider
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 02:15
Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Taboola are paying the owner of Adblock Plus to unblock ads on their websites at a fee of "30% of the additional ad revenues" they would have made were ads unblocked, the Financial Times reports.
Adblock Plus is the most popular browser extension to block advertising and has been downloaded more than 300 million times. The free service says on its website that it blocks ''annoying'' banners, pop-ups, and video ads. Eyeo, the German company that owns Adblock Plus, says the add-on has more than 50 million monthly active users.
Ad blocking is an existential threat to internet services who rely on advertising for most of their revenues. As the Financial Times points out, German media groups including RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 are seeking damages from Eyeo.
To block all ads, Adblock users must go into the software settings and configure them to the strictest options possible.
Eyeo's business model operates around its "whitelist" service, which allows some ads to appear to Adblock Plus users. That whitelist consists of only "acceptable ads" that meet criteria such as being transparent about the fact they are advertising and not disrupting or distorting page content.
The whitelist is free for smaller sites, but a media-company source told the Financial Times that bigger internet companies and publishers were being asked to pay a fee "equivalent to 30% of the additional revenues it would make from being unblocked." The "acceptable ads" program has been running since 2011, and Business Insider has reported about it before, but this is the first time we have gotten an insight into how much companies are paying to be included in it.
The larger companies paying a fee to be whitelisted include Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Taboola (a company that offers "sponsored content" links on sites including Business Insider, The Atlantic, TMZ, and MailOnline.)
Those deals could run the risk of irritating Adblock Plus users who may have been under the impression that the service blocked all online advertising but will notice ads appearing across some of the world's most popular websites. Those users can, however, choose to opt out of Adblock Plus' acceptable-ads program by unchecking an "Allow non-intrusive advertising" option on their browser extensions. They can also report ads they deem unacceptable.
Business Insider contacted Eyeo for comment about the Financial Times report.
Eyeo spokesman Ben Williams told us: "In general, I'm just a little surprised that our Acceptable Ads initiative is being treated as something new. To be as transparent as possible, we've been talking about it since it began in 2011. In addition, it's been widely reported; we wrote a manifesto about it and got others to join; we published blog posts explaining it in great detail; we've debated it; spoken about it on stages in Europe and America; and we put every applicant to the program completely out in the open on our forum."
He added: "It's also important to point out that we whitelist 90% of the entities in Acceptable Ads for free, that the same criteria are in place for payers and non-payers alike and that users can turn it off and block all ads any time they want. So in the absolutist world of ads-versus-ad-blockers, we're proud to offer a compromise that can encourage better ads and keep the free internet alive."
We asked Williams to clarify the amount companies like Google were paying to get their ads unblocked with Adblock Plus, but he responded: "We are not disclosing that information."
NOW WATCH: Here's why brands are paying this 17-year-old $100,000 to make a 6-second videoPlease enable Javascript to watch this video
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
Obama Nation
High-level management failures doomed HealthCare.gov -- FCW
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 22:36
High-level management failures doomed HealthCare.govBy Adam MazmanianFeb 23, 2016After HealthCare.gov failed to work as advertised at launch, government officials pointed the finger at contractors, and at the lack of a unified management structure to oversee the development of the disparate systems involved in building the public-facing website to sell insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
A new watchdog report, however, suggests that contractor and technical management were only part of the problem. Political mismanagement and a lack of a clear leadership structure on the part of senior non-technical officials set in motion a series of miscues that led to the Oct. 2013 failure, according to a the inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services.
The top political appointees at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services failed in two key ways, according to the report. They did not "assign clear and dedicated leadership for the marketplace program," and they neglected to "fully assess project needs to determine how to best establish the marketplace program in CMS."
Key responsibilities were split at CMS between the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO), the new organization set up to run the insurance marketplace and implement the Affordable Care Act, and the Office of Information Services, which handled the details of contracting and IT.
According to the report, "this lack of unity and dispersion of responsibility had serious consequences, resulting in difficulty tracking progress and enforcing accountability."
While the report doesn't quantify the cost of these management problems, the value of the main contracts to build the HealthCare.gov system exploded from $533 million to over $1 billion as officials worked to repair the malfunctioning website. (A previous IG report dealt with contracting problems on the project.)
The report also found that CMS was repeatedly warned of serious problems well in advance of the launch. Between July 2011 and July 2013, CMS received 18 warnings, "all containing substantial detail about the project's shortcomings and formally submitted to CMS senior leadership or project managers at CMS."
In late 2011, federal CIO Steven VanRoekel urged top leaders at HHS and CMS to name a chief executive to run the entire project, to avoid fragmentation. The Marketplace CEO position was later instituted, and still exists.
The report also noted that contractor CGI Federal, which bore the brunt of the blame for its work on the HealthCare.gov platform, was using agile development to roll out new functionality in two-week sprints. But the report indicates that policymakers took advantage of the quick cycles to introduce new requirements, and make changes in mid-stream. Sometimes those changes resulted in delays, or else resulted in a failure to connect changes to related parts of the project being coded elsewhere. CGI Federal also complained that CMS essentially forced them to adopt the MarkLogic NoSQL database platform, despite CGI's lack of expertise with that system.
CGI's developers had issues as well. They failed to follow "best practices for making late stage coding changes," according to the report, which led to conflicts between systems.
There were red flags raised for top officials, but these came rather close to the planned Oct. 1, 2013, launch date. When CMS requested a demo of the insurance shopping system in September, CGI Federal responded with a slideshow of screenshots.
"[CMS senior officials] would sit in meetings across from me and not know there is an enormous fire burning behind them," one anonymous CCIIO official told the IG.
Nor did the CMS tech team seem unduly alarmed by the potential for system failure. According to the report, the IT team "considered launching the website on time [to be] the priority over testing for and resolving performance problems." The report noted that, "one CMS technical official characterized the launch itself as a test of the system and indicated that CMS planned to resolve problems after launch, as CMS had done with other large programs, such as Medicare Part D."
About the Author
Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.
Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the About.com online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.
Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.
Greek Attempt To Force Use Of Electronic Money Instead Of Physical Cash Fails
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 01:56
While the "developed world" is only now starting its aggressive push to slowly at first, then very fast ban the use of physical cash as the key gating factor to the global adoption of NIRP (by first eliminating high-denomination bills because they "aid terrorism and spread criminality") one country has long been doing everything in its power to ween its population away from tax-evasive cash as a medium of payment, and into digital transactions: Greece.
The problem, however, is that it has failed.
According to Kathimerini, "Greek businesses are not ready for the expansion of plastic money through the compulsory use of credit and debit cards for everyday transactions."
Unlike in the rest of the world where "the stick" approach will likely to be used, in Greece the government has been more gentle by adopting a "carrot" strategy (for now) when it comes to migrating from cash to digital. The government has told taxpayers that they will have to spend up to a certain amount of their incomes via bank and card transactions in order to qualify for an annual tax-free exemption.
This appears to not be a sufficient incentive however, as a large proportion of stores still don't have the card terminals, or PoS (Points of Sale), required for card payments, while plastic is accepted by very few doctors, plumbers, electricians, lawyers and others who tend to account for the lion's share of tax evasion recorded in the country.
Almost as if the local population realizes that what the government is trying to do is to limit at first, then ultimately ban all cash transactions in the twice recently defaulted nation as well. It also realizes that an annual tax-free exemption means still paying taxes; taxes which could be avoided if one only transacted with cash.
For the government this is bad news, as the lack of tracking of every transaction means that the local population will pay far less taxes: a recent study by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) showed that increasing the use of cards for everyday transactions could increase state revenues by anything between 700 million and 1.6 billion euros per year, and that the market's poor preparation means that the tax burden has been passed on to lawful taxpayers. As a reminder, in Greece, the term "lawful taxpayers" is not quite the same as in most other countries.
What is more surprising is that according to data seen by Kathimerini, PoS terminals in Greece amount to just 220,000, and that despite the fact these were effectively forced on enterprises with the imposition of the capital controls, an estimated half of all businesses do not have card terminals.
Almost as if the Greeks would rather maintain capital controls than be forced into a digital currency by their Brussles overlords.
According to Finance Ministry calculations , the number of terminals the market requires for a satisfactory geographical coverage in the basic categories of small enterprises and of the self-employed to 450,000-500,000, which appears impossible for 2016.
As for consumers, the increase in the number of debit cards after the government imposed the capital controls has brought their total to 1.7 million across Greece.
And yet, despite the aggressive push to force everyone out of physical cash and into digital money, the experiment has so far failed. How long until the IMF, Troika, or Quadriga or whatever it is called these days, uses Greece as the Guniea Pig for the next monetary experiment, and "advises" the Syriza government that if it wants the bailout money to flow, it will have to do away with all physical cash within its borders. A successful implementation, first in Greece, would then mean that the global decashification process can continue in other western nations.
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dutchvote.eu | Information about the Dutch advisory referendum on the association treaty between the European Union and Ukra¯ne
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 16:31
Any questions not answered here (and other contributions or corrections) can be posted to this Piratepad. Please use Dutch (or English) only.
Read the comprehensive context first, for all background information and history of the association, Ukra¯ne and the EU.
Eurovision: Ukraine song aimed at Russia
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 17:06
Media captionBBC News takes a look at some entries that have fallen foul of Eurovision's 'no politics' rules Ukraine has picked a song about Josef Stalin's enforced wartime deportation of the Tatar people as its entry to the Eurovision Song Contest.
Jamala's song 1944 is about the tragedy that befell her great-grandmother, when the dictator sent 240,000 Tatars on crowded trains to barren Central Asia.
Thousands died during the journey or starved to death after they arrived.
The lyrics begin: "They come to your house, they kill you all and say: 'We're not guilty'."
'Helplessness'Memories of those events were revived by Russia's seizure of Crimea in 2014. Although 1944 does not directly comment on that issue, former Eurovision winner Rouslana commented: "This song... is precisely what we are all suffering in Ukraine today."
"This song really is about my family," said Jamala, whose great-grandmother was in her mid-20s when she, her four sons and daughter were deported - after Stalin accused the Tatars of collaborating with the Nazis.
One of the children died during the journey to Central Asia.
"I needed that song to free myself, to release the memory of my great-grandmother, the memory of that girl who has no grave," Jamala told the AFP news agency last week.
She added that she had entered Eurovision because she wanted people to hear a song written "in a state of helplessness" after Russia's seizure of her land.
Political songs excludedSpeaking to Radio Free Europe-Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) the 32-year-old said that she is thinking of her family members in current-day Crimea when she sings 1944.
"Now the Crimean Tatars are on occupied territory and it is very hard for them," she said.
"They are under tremendous pressure. Some have disappeared without a trace. And that is terrifying. I would not want to see history repeat itself."'‹
Eurovision rules prohibit songs with politically loaded lyrics. In 2009, Georgia's disco-funk song We Don't Wanna Put In, was excluded for poking fun at Vladimir Putin. The song was selected as the country's entry less than a year after Russia and Georgia went to war over the region of South Ossetia.
Ukraine's 2005 entrant Green Jolly was also told to rework the lyrics of its song, Razom Nas Bahato, which was an anthem of the previous year's Orange Revolution protests.
This year's edition of the Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Stockholm in May.
The UK will select its entry in a live vote on BBC Four this Friday, 26 February.
Agenda 2030
Report: VW told it must make electric cars in US | Ars Technica
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 15:04
Volkswagen is reportedly being called to make restitution for the recent diesel emissions cheat scandal, which has severely clouded the car giant's reputation.
The US Environmental Protection Agency has asked VW to produce electric vehicles in its factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to German newspaper Welt am Sonntag (via Google translate). The car maker has also apparently been told to develop a network of charging stations.
However, the EPA and Volkswagen were tight-lipped about any such plans. VW told Reuters that its talks with the regulator were continuing. But the company declined to comment on specific details when quizzed.
The VW emissions test cheating saga broke late last year, when the US government claimed that the German car manufacturer had installed ''defeat devices'' that ''rendered inoperative elements of the vehicle's emission control system.''
Further ReadingThe US Department of Justice subsequently sued the company, which had been forced to recall 500,000 Volkswagens and Audis in the wake of the nitrogen oxide emissions scandal. The DoJ alleged that VW had installed defeat devices in over 600,000 diesel passenger vehicles in the US. On top of that, the German car giant was accused of misleading federal regulators. The DoJ and EPA asked the court to require Volkswagen to pay substantial civil penalties, and halt sales of any car believed to come loaded with a defeat device.
Volkswagen said in response to the DoJ's lawsuit that it was continuing to work cooperatively with the EPA to develop remedies to bring the turbocharged direct injection (TDI) vehicles into full compliance with regulations as soon as possible.
This post originated on Ars Technica UK
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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Marijuana Kills Cancer Cells, Admits the U.S. National Cancer Institute | Natural Society
Sun, 14 Feb 2016 00:29
National legalization of marijuana may be drawing a smidgeon closer. The National Cancer Institute (NCI), one of the federal government sponsored agencies, has just updated the FAQs on its website to include recent studies on marijuana showing that it can and has killed cancer cells.
These are the findings of studies NCI have included:
Cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells.Cannabinoids may protect against inflammation of the colon and may have potential in reducing the risk of colon cancer, and possibly in its treatment.A laboratory study of delta -9-THC in hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) cells showed it damaged or killed the cancer cells. The same study of delta-9-THC in models of liver cancer showed that it had anti-tumor effects. Delta-9-THC has been shown to cause these effects by acting on molecules that may also be found in non-small cell lung cancer cells and breast cancer cells.A laboratory study of cannabidiol (CBD) in estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells showed that it caused cancer cell death while having little effect on normal breast cells. Studies of metastatic breast cancer showed that cannabinoids may lessen the growth, number, and spread of tumors.A laboratory study of cannabidiol in human glioma cells showed that when given along with chemotherapy, CBD may make chemotherapy more effective and increase cancer cell death without harming normal cells. Studies showed that CBD together with delta-9-THC may make chemotherapy such as temozolomide more effective.These studies are considered by the NCI as preclinical. They were all done using animals. According to them, no clinical trials of cannabis use for the treatment of cancer in humans have been published.
Read: Gov't Admits Marijuana Kills Cancer
The NCI has included findings on peripheral benefits for cancer patients from marijuana:
Delta-9-THC and other cannabinoids stimulate appetite and can increase food intake.Cannabinoid receptors have been studied in the brain, spinal cord, and nerve endings throughout the body to understand their roles in pain relief.Cannabinoids have been studied for anti-inflammatory effects that may play a role in pain relief.The NCI is one of the National Institutes of Health.
Infowars is reporting that the National Institute on Drug Abuse, another of the agencies of the National Institutes of Health, has referred to marijuana studies, including one that showed ''marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others.''
The big news here is not these studies. These and many more are contained on PubMed, the U.S. National Library of Medicine that is also part of the National Institutes of Health. They are there for all of the world to see.
The news is that after decades of the demonization of marijuana by a federal government that supports pharmaceuticals and GMOs, there is a breath of change. But if you want to prevent or treat cancer with marijuana, be prepared for arrest and imprisonment in most states of this union.
Article Two of the United States Constitution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 04:36
Article Two of the United States Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, which carries out and enforces federal laws. It includes the President, the Vice President, the Cabinet, executive departments, independent agencies, and other boards, commissions, and committees.
Section 1: President and Vice President[edit]Clause 1: Executive Power[edit]The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows[1]
Section 1 begins with a vesting clause that confers federal executive power upon the President alone. Similar clauses are found in Article I and Article III. The former bestows federal legislative power exclusively to Congress, and the latter grants judicial power solely to the federal judiciary. These three articles create a separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government. This separation of powers, by which each department may exercise only its own constitutional powers and no others, is fundamental to the idea of a limited government accountable to the people.
The President's executive power is subject to two important limitations. First, the President lacks executive authority explicitly granted to Congress. Hence the President cannot declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, or regulate commerce, even though executives had often wielded such authority in the past. In these instances, Congress retained portions of the executive power that the Continental Congress had wielded under the Articles of Confederation. Second, specific constitutional provisions may check customary executive authority. Notwithstanding his executive power, the President cannot make treaties or appointments without the advice and consent of the Senate. Likewise, the President's pardon power is limited to offenses against the United States and does not extend to impeachments or violations of state law.[2]
The head of the Executive Branch is the President. Although also named in this first clause, the Vice President is not constitutionally vested with any executive power. Nonetheless, the Constitution dictates that the President and Vice President are to be elected at the same time, for the same term, and by the same constituency. The framers' intent was to preserve the independence of the executive branch should the person who was Vice President succeed to the duties of the presidency.
Clause 2: Method of choosing electors[edit]Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
Under the U.S. Constitution the President and Vice President are chosen by Electors, under a constitutional grant of authority delegated to the legislatures of the several states and the District of Columbia. The Constitution reserves the choice of the precise manner for creating Electors to the will of the state legislatures. It does not define or delimit what process a state legislature may use to create its state college of Electors. In practice, the state legislatures have generally chosen to create Electors through an indirect popular vote, since the 1820s.
In an indirect popular vote, it is the names of the electors who are on the ballot to be elected. Typically, their names are aligned under the name of the candidate for President and Vice President, that they, the Elector, have pledged they will support. It is fully understood by the voters and the Electors themselves that they are the representative "stand-ins" for the individuals to whom they have pledged to cast their electoral college ballots to be President and Vice President. In some states, in past years, this pledge was informal, and Electors could still legally cast their electoral ballot for whomever they chose. More recently, state legislatures have mandated in law that Electors shall cast their electoral college ballot for the Presidential Candidate to whom they are pledged. The constitutionality of such mandates is uncertain.
Each state chooses as many Electors as it has Representatives and Senators representing it in Congress. Under the Twenty-third Amendment, the District of Columbia may choose no more electors than the state with the lowest number of electoral votes. No Senators, Representatives or federal officers may become Electors.
Clause 3: Electors[edit]The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse [sic] by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse [sic] the President. But in chusing [sic] the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse [sic] from them by Ballot the Vice President.
(Note: This procedure was changed by the Twelfth Amendment in 1804.)
In modern practice, each state chooses its electors in popular elections. Once chosen, the electors meet in their respective states to cast ballots for the President and Vice President. Originally, each elector cast two votes for President; at least one of the individuals voted for had to be from a state different from the elector's. The individual with the majority of votes became President, and the runner-up became Vice President. In case of a tie, the House of Representatives could choose one of the tied candidates; if no person received a majority, then the House could again choose one of the five with the greatest number of votes. When the House voted, each state delegation cast one vote, and the vote of a majority of states was necessary to choose a President. If second-place candidates were tied, then the Senate broke the tie. A quorum of two-thirds applied in both Houses: at least one member from each of two-thirds of the states in the House of Representatives, and at least two-thirds of the Senators in the Senate. This procedure was followed in 1802 after the electoral vote produced a tie, and nearly resulted in a deadlock in the House.
The Twelfth Amendment introduced a number of important changes to the procedure. Now, Electors do not cast two votes for President; rather, they cast one vote for President and another for Vice President. In case no Presidential candidate receives a majority, the House chooses from the top three (not five, as with Vice Presidential candidates). The Amendment also requires the Senate to choose the Vice President from those with the two highest figures if no Vice Presidential candidate receives a majority of electoral votes (rather than only if there's a tie for second for President). It also stipulates that to be the Vice President, a person must be qualified to be the President.
Clause 4: Election day[edit]The Congress may determine the Time of chusing [sic] the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
Congress sets a national Election Day. Currently, Electors are chosen on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November, in the year before the President's term is to expire. The Electors cast their votes on the Monday following the second Wednesday in December of that year. Thereafter, the votes are opened and counted by the Vice President, as President of the Senate, in a joint session of Congress.
Clause 5: Qualifications for office[edit]Section 1 of Article Two of the United States Constitution sets forth the eligibility requirements for serving as president of the United States:
No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
By the time of their inauguration, the President and Vice President must be:
natural born citizensat least 35 years oldinhabitants of the United States for at least fourteen years.Eligibility for holding the office of President and Vice-President were modified by subsequent amendments:
The Twelfth Amendment (1804) requires the Vice-President to meet all of the qualifications of being President.The Twenty-second Amendment (1951) prevents a President from being elected more than twiceClause 6: Vacancy and disability[edit]In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.
The wording of this clause caused much controversy at the time it was first used. When William Henry Harrison died in office, a debate arose over whether the Vice President would become President, or if he would just inherit the powers, thus becoming an Acting President. Harrison's Vice President, John Tyler, believed that he had the right to become President. However, many Senators argued that he only had the right to assume the powers of the presidency long enough to call for a new election. Because the wording of the clause is so vague, it was impossible for either side to prove its point. Tyler took the Oath of Office and became President, setting a precedent that made it possible for later Vice Presidents to ascend to the presidency unchallenged following the President's death. The "Tyler Precedent" established that if the President's office becomes vacant, the Vice President becomes President.
The Congress may provide for a line of succession beyond the Vice President. The current Presidential Succession Act establishes the order as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President pro tempore of the Senate and then the fifteen Cabinet Secretaries in order of that Department's establishment.
The Twenty-fifth Amendment explicitly states that when the Presidency becomes vacant, the Vice President becomes President, and also establishes a procedure for filling a vacancy in the office of the Vice President. It supersedes the ambiguous wording of this clause.[3] The Amendment further provides that the President, or the Vice President and Cabinet, can declare the President unable to discharge his duties, in which case the Vice President becomes Acting President. If the declaration is done by the Vice President and Cabinet, the Amendment permits the President to take control back, unless the Vice President and Cabinet challenge the President and two-thirds of both Houses vote to sustain the findings of the Vice President and Cabinet. If the declaration is done by the President, he may take control back without risk of being overridden by the Congress.
Clause 7: Salary[edit]The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.
The President's salary, currently $400,000 a year, must remain constant throughout the President's term. The President may not receive other compensation from either the federal or any state government.
Clause 8: Oath or affirmation[edit]Before he enters the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:'--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
According to the Joint Congressional Committee on Presidential Inaugurations, George Washington added the words "So help me God" during his first inaugural,[4] though this has been disputed. There are no contemporaneous sources for this fact, and no eyewitness sources to Washington's first inaugural mention the phrase at all'--including those that transcribed what he said for his oath.
Also, the President-elect's name is typically added after the "I", for example, "I, George Washington, do...." Normally, the Chief Justice of the United States administers the oath. It is sometimes asserted that the oath bestows upon the President the power to do whatever is necessary to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution." Andrew Jackson, while vetoing an Act for the renewal of the charter of the national bank, implied that the President could refuse to execute statutes that he felt were unconstitutional. In suspending the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, President Abraham Lincoln claimed that he acted according to the oath. His action was challenged in court and overturned by the U.S. Circuit Court in Maryland (led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney) in Ex Parte Merryman, 17 F. Cas. 144 (C.C.D. Md. 1861). Lincoln ignored Taney's order. Finally, Andrew Johnson's counsel referred to the theory during his impeachment trial. Otherwise, few have seriously asserted that the oath augments the President's powers.
The Vice President also has an oath of office, but it is not mandated by the Constitution and is prescribed by statute. Currently, the Vice Presidential oath is the same as that for Members of Congress.
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.[5]Section 2: Presidential powers[edit]In the landmark decision Nixon v. General Services AdministrationJusticeWilliam Rehnquist, afterwards the Chief Justice, declared in his dissent the need to "fully describe the preeminent position that the President of the United States occupies with respect to our Republic. Suffice it to say that the President is made the sole repository of the executive powers of the United States, and the powers entrusted to him as well as the duties imposed upon him are awesome indeed."
Clause 1: Command of military; Opinions of cabinet secretaries; Pardons[edit]The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
The Constitution vests the President with Executive Power. That power reaches its zenith when wielded to protect national security.[6] And federal courts in the United States must pay proper deference to the Executive in assessing the threats that face the nation.[7] The President is the military's commander-in-chief; however Article One gives Congress and not the President the exclusive right to declare war. Nevertheless, the power of the president to initiate hostilities has been subject to question. According to historian Thomas Woods, "Ever since the Korean War, Article II, Section 2 [...] has been interpreted 'The president has the power to initiate hostilities without consulting Congress' [....]But what the framers actually meant by that clause was that once war has been declared, it was the President's responsibility as commander-in-chief to direct the war. Alexander Hamilton spoke in such terms when he said that the president, although lacking the power to declare war, would have ''the direction of war when authorized or begun.'' The president acting alone was authorized only to repel sudden attacks (hence the decision to withhold from him only the power to ''declare'' war, not to ''make'' war, which was thought to be a necessary emergency power in case of foreign attack). [8][9] Since World War II, every major military action has been technically a U.S. military operation or a U.N. "police action", which are deemed legally legitimate by Congress, and various United Nations Resolutions because of decisions such as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution or the The Resolution of The Congress Providing Authorization for Use of Force In Iraq.
The President may require the "principal officer" of any executive department to tender his advice in writing. While the Constitution nowhere requires a formal Cabinet, it does authorize the president to seek advice from the principal officers of the various departments as he (or she) performs their official duties. George Washington found it prudent to organize his principal officers into a Cabinet, and it has been part of the executive branch structure ever since. Presidents have used Cabinet meetings of selected principal officers but to widely differing extents and for different purposes. Secretary of State William H. Seward and then Professor Woodrow Wilson advocated use of a parliamentary-style Cabinet government. But President Abraham Lincoln rebuffed Seward, and Woodrow Wilson would have none of it in his administration. In recent administrations, cabinets have grown to include including key White House staff in addition to department and agency heads. President Ronald Reagan formed seven subcabinet councils to review many policy issues, and subsequent Presidents have followed that practice.[10]
The President, furthermore, may grant pardon or reprieves, except in cases of impeachment. Originally, as ruled by the Supreme Court in United States v. Wilson (1833), the pardon could be rejected by the convict. In Biddle v. Perovich 274 U.S.480 (1927), the Supreme Court reversed the doctrine, ruling that "[a] pardon in our days is not a private act of grace from an individual happening to possess power. It is a part of the Constitutional scheme. When granted it is the determination of the ultimate authority that the public welfare will be better served by inflicting less than what the judgment fixed."[11]
Clause 2: Advice and Consent Clause[edit]The President exercises the powers in the Advice and Consent Clause with the advice and consent of the Senate.
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
Treaties[edit]Main article: Treaty ClauseThe President may enter the United States into treaties, but they are not effective until ratified by a two-thirds vote in the Senate.[12] In Article II however, the Constitution is not very explicit about the termination of treaties. The first abrogation of a treaty occurred in 1798, when Congress passed a law terminating a 1778 Treaty of Alliance with France.[13] In the nineteenth century, several Presidents terminated treaties after Congress passed resolutions requesting the same.[14] In 1854, however, President Franklin Pierce terminated a treaty with Denmark with the consent of the Senate alone. A Senate committee ruled that it was correct procedure for the President to terminate treaties after being authorized by the Senate alone, and not the entire Congress. President Pierce's successors, however, returned to the former procedure of obtaining authorization from both Houses. Some Presidents have claimed to themselves the exclusive power of terminating treaties. Abraham Lincoln, for instance, terminated a treaty without prior Congressional authorization, but Congress retroactively approved his decision at a later point. The first unambiguous case of a President terminating a treaty without authorization, granted prior to or after the termination, occurred when Jimmy Carter terminated a treaty with the Republic of China.[15] For the first time, judicial determination was sought, but the effort proved futile: the Supreme Court could not find a majority agreeing on any particular principle, and therefore instructed the trial court to dismiss the case.
Appointments[edit]The President may also appoint judges, ambassadors, consuls, ministers and other officers with the advice and consent of the Senate. By law, however, Congress may allow the President, heads of executive departments, or the courts to appoint inferior officials.
The Senate has a long-standing practice of permitting motions to reconsider previous decisions. In 1931, the Senate granted advice and consent to the President on the appointment of a member of the Federal Power Commission. The officer in question was sworn in, but the Senate, under the guise of a motion to reconsider, rescinded the advice and consent. In the writ of quo warranto proceedings that followed, the Supreme Court ruled that the Senate was not permitted to rescind advice and consent after the officer had been installed.
After the Senate grants advice and consent, however, the President is under no compulsion to commission the officer. It has not been settled whether the President has the prerogative to withhold a commission after having signed it. This issue played a large part in the famous court case Marbury v. Madison.
At times the President has asserted the power to remove individuals from office. Congress has often explicitly limited the President's power to remove; during the Reconstruction Era, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act, purportedly preventing Andrew Johnson from removing, without the advice and consent of the Senate, anyone appointed with the advice and consent of the Senate. President Johnson ignored the Act, and was later impeached and acquitted. The constitutionality of the Act was not immediately settled. In Myers v. United States, 272 U.S.52 (1926), the Supreme Court held that Congress could not limit the President's power to remove an executive officer (the Postmaster General), but in Humphrey's Executor v. United States, 295 U.S.602 (1935) it upheld Congress's authority to restrict the President's power to remove officers of the Federal Trade Commission, an "administrative body [that] cannot in any proper sense be characterized as an arm or eye of the executive."
Congress may repeal the legislation that authorizes the appointment of an executive officer. But it "cannot reserve for itself the power of an officer charged with the execution of the laws except by impeachment."[16] Congress has from time to time changed the number of justices in the Supreme Court.
Clause 3: Recess appointments[edit]The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.
During recesses of the Senate, the President may appoint officers, but their commissions expire at the conclusion of the Senate's next session.
Section 3: Presidential responsibilities[edit]He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.
Clause 1: State of the Union[edit]The President must give the Congress information on the "State of the Union" "from time to time." This is called the State of the Union Clause.[17] Originally, Presidents personally delivered annual addresses to Congress. Thomas Jefferson, who felt that the procedure resembled the Speech from the Throne delivered by British monarchs, chose instead to send written messages to Congress for reading by clerks. Jefferson's procedure was followed by future Presidents until Woodrow Wilson reverted to the former procedure of personally addressing Congress, which has continued to this day[update].[17]
Kesavan and Sidak explain the purpose of the State of the Union clause:
"The State of the Union Clause imposes an executive duty on the President. That duty must be discharged periodically. The President's assessment of the State of the Union must be publicized to Congress, and thus to the nation. The publication of the President's assessment conveys information to Congress- information uniquely gleaned from the President's perspective in his various roles as Commander-in-Chief, chief law enforcer, negotiator with foreign powers, and the like-that shall aid the legislature in public deliberation on matters that may justify the enactment of legislation because of their national importance."[17]Clause 2: Making recommendations to Congress[edit]The president has the power and duty[17] to recommend, for the consideration of Congress, such measures which the president deems as "necessary and expedient". At his inaugurationGeorge Washington declared in his Inaugural Address: "By the article establishing the executive department it is made the duty of the President 'to recommend to your consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.'" This is the Recommendation Clause.[18]
Kesavan and Sidak explain the purpose of the Recommendation clause:
"The Recommendation Clause also imposes an executive duty on the President. His recommendations respect the equal dignity of Congress and thus embody the anti-royalty sentiment that ignited the American Revolution and subsequently stripped the trappings of monarchy away from the new chief executive. Through his recommendations to Congress, the President speaks collectively for the People as they petition Government for a redress of grievances, and thus his recommendations embody popular sovereignty. The President tailors his recommendations so that their natural implication is the enactment of new legislation, rather than some other action that Congress might undertake. Finally, the President shall have executive discretion to recommend measures of his choosing."[17]Sidak explained that there is a connection between the Recommendation clause and the Petition Clause of the first amendment: "Through his performance of the duty to recommend measures to Congress, the President functions as the agent of a diffuse electorate who seek the redress of grievances. To muzzle the President, therefore, is to diminish the effectiveness of this right expressly reserved to the people under the first amendment."[18]:2119, note 7 Kesavan and Sidak also cited a Professor Bybee who stated in this context: "The Recommendation Clause empowers the President to represent the people before Congress, by recommending measures for the reform of government, for the general welfare, or for the redress of grievances. The Right of Petition Clause prevents Congress from abridging the right of the people to petition for a redress of grievances."[17]:43
The Recommendation clause imposes a duty, but its performance rests solely with the President. Congress possesses no power to compel the President to recommend, as he alone is the "judge" of what is "necessary and expedient." Unlike the Necessary and Proper Clause of Article I, which limits Congress's discretion to carrying out only its delegated powers, the phrase "necessary and expedient" implies a wider range of discretion for the President. Because this is a political question, there has been little judicial involvement with the President's actions under the clause as long as Presidents have not tried to extend their legislative powers. In Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (1952), the Supreme Court noted that the Recommendations Clause serves as a reminder that the President cannot make law by himself: "The power to recommend legislation, granted to the President, serves only to emphasize that it is his function to recommend and that it is the function of the Congress to legislate."[19] The Court made a similar point in striking down the line-item veto in Clinton v. City of New York (1998).[19] When President William Jefferson Clinton attempted to shield the records of the President's Task Force on Health Care Reform as essential to his functions under the Recommendations Clause, a federal circuit court rejected the argument and noted in Ass'n of American Physicians & Surgeons v. Clinton (1993): "[T]he Recommendation Clause is less an obligation than a right. The President has the undisputed authority to recommend legislation, but he need not exercise that authority with respect to any particular subject or, for that matter, any subject."[19]
[edit]To allow the government to act quickly in case of a major domestic or international crisis arising when Congress is not in session, the President is permitted to call extraordinary sessions of one or both Houses of Congress. If the two Houses cannot agree on a date for adjournment, the President may adjourn both Houses to such a time as befits the circumstances. The last time this power was exercised was in 1948, when President Harry S Truman called a special session of Congress. That was the twenty-seventh time in American history that a president convened such a session.[20]
Following the widespread adoption of transcontinental air travel in the second half of the twentieth century, Congress began meeting year-round. Since that time, it has always been in session on every occasion when the President might otherwise have perceived the need to call Congress into extraordinary session.
Clause 4: Receiving foreign representatives[edit]The President receives all foreign Ambassadors. This clause of the Constitution, known as the Reception Clause, has been interpreted to imply that the President can be granted broad power over all matters of foreign policy by Congress,[21] and to provide support for the President's exclusive authority to grant recognition to a foreign sovereign.[22]
Clause 5: Caring for the faithful execution of the law[edit]The President must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."[23] This clause in the Constitution imposes a duty on the President to take due care while executing laws and is called the Take Care Clause,[24] also known as the Faithful Execution Clause[25] or Faithfully Executed Clause.[26] This clause is meant to ensure that a law is faithfully executed by the President,[24] even if he disagrees with the purpose of that law.[27] By virtue of his executive power, the President may execute the law and control the law execution of others. Under the Take Care Clause, however, the President must exercise his law-execution power to "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."[25] Addressing the North Carolina ratifying convention, William Maclaine declared that the Faithful Execution Clause was "one of the [Constitution's] best provisions."[25] If the President "takes care to see the laws faithfully executed, it will be more than is done in any government on the continent; for I will venture to say that our government, and those of the other states, are, with respect to the execution of the laws, in many respects mere ciphers."[25] President George Washington interpreted this clause as imposing on him a unique duty to ensure the execution of federal law. Discussing a tax rebellion, Washington observed, "it is my duty to see the Laws executed: to permit them to be trampled upon with impunity would be repugnant to [that duty.]"[25]
According to former United States Assistant Attorney GeneralWalter E. Dellinger III, the Supreme Court and the Attorneys General have long interpreted the Take Care Clause to mean that the President has no inherent constitutional authority to suspend the enforcement of the laws, particularly of statutes.[28] The Take Care Clause demands that the President obey the law, the Supreme Court said in Humphrey's Executor v. United States, and repudiates any notion that he may dispense with the law's execution.[29] In Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997), the Supreme Court explained how the President executes the law: "The Constitution does not leave to speculation who is to administer the laws enacted by Congress; the President, it says, "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed," Art. II, §3, personally and through officers whom he appoints (save for such inferior officers as Congress may authorize to be appointed by the "Courts of Law" or by "the Heads of Departments" with other presidential appointees), Art. II, §2."
The President may not prevent a member of the executive branch from performing a ministerial duty lawfully imposed upon him by Congress. (See Marbury v. Madison (1803); and Kendall v. United States ex rel. Stokes (1838)). Nor may the President take an action not authorized either by the Constitution or by a lawful statute. (See Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (1952)). Finally, the President may not refuse to enforce a constitutional law, or "cancel" certain appropriations, for that would amount to an extra-constitutional veto or suspension power.[25]
The President, while having to enforce the law, also possesses wide discretion in deciding how and even when to enforce laws. He also has a range of interpretive discretion in deciding the meaning of laws he must execute. When an appropriation provides discretion, the President can gauge when and how appropriated moneys can be spent most efficiently.
Some Presidents have claimed the authority under this clause to impound money appropriated by Congress. President Jefferson, for example, delayed the expenditure of money appropriated for the purchase of gunboats for over a year. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his successors sometimes refused outright to expend appropriated money.[25] The Supreme Court, however, has held that impoundments without Congressional authorization are unconstitutional.[30]
It has been asserted that the President's responsibility in the "faithful" execution of the laws entitles him to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus[citation needed]. Article One provides that the privilege may not be suspended save during times of rebellion or invasion, but it does not specify who may suspend the privilege. The Supreme Court ruled that Congress may suspend the privilege if it deems it necessary. During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln suspended the privilege, but, owing to the vehement opposition he faced, obtained congressional authorization for the same.[citation needed] Since then, the privilege of the writ has only been suspended upon the express authorization of Congress.
In Mississippi v. Johnson, 71 U.S.475 (1867), the Supreme Court ruled that the judiciary may not restrain the President in the execution of laws. In that case the Supreme Court refused to entertain a request for an injunction preventing President Andrew Johnson from executing the Reconstruction Acts, which were claimed to be unconstitutional. The Court found that "[t]he Congress is the legislative department of the government; the President is the executive department. Neither can be restrained in its action by the judicial department; though the acts of both, when performed, are, in proper cases, subject to its cognizance."[31] Thus, the courts cannot bar the passage of a law by Congress, though it may strike down such a law as unconstitutional. A similar construction applies to the executive branch.
Clause 6: Officers' commissions[edit]The President commissions "all the Officers of the United States." These include officers in both military and foreign service. (Under Article I, Section 8, the States have authority for "the Appointment of the Officers . . . of the [State] Militia . . ..")
The presidential authority to commission officers had a large impact on the 1803 case Marbury v. Madison, where outgoing Federalist President John Adams feverishly signed many commissions to the judiciary on his final day in office, hoping to, as incoming Democratic-Republican President Thomas Jefferson put it, "[retire] into the judiciary as a stronghold." However, in his haste, Adams' Secretary of State neglected to have all the commissions delivered. Incoming President Jefferson was enraged with Adams, and ordered his Secretary of State, James Madison, to refrain from delivering the remaining commissions. William Marbury took the matter to the Supreme Court, where the famous Marbury was decided.
Section 4: Impeachment[edit]The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High crimes and Misdemeanors.
The Constitution also allows for involuntary removal from office. The President, Vice-President, Cabinet Secretaries, and other executive officers, as well as judges, may be impeached by the House of Representatives and tried in the Senate.
Any official convicted by impeachment is immediately removed from office. The Senate may also choose to bar the removed official from holding any federal office in the future.[32] No other punishments may be inflicted pursuant to the impeachment proceeding, but the convicted party remains liable to trial and punishment in the courts for civil and criminal charges.[33]
References[edit]^The U.S. Constitution With Declaration of Independence, US Government Printing Office^Prakash, Sai Prakash. "Essays on Article II: Executive Vesting Clause". The Heritage Foundation. ^The Constitution And Democracy^"Joint Congressional Committee on Presidential Inaugurations". Retrieved November 10, 2006. ^5 U.S.C. § 3331^Cf: Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579,637 (1952) (Jackson, J., concurring) ("When the President acts pursuant to an express or implied authorization from Congress," his actions are "supported by the strongest of presumptions and the widest latitude of judicial interpretation, and the burden of persuasion ... rest[s] heavily upon any who might attack it.").^Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723, 797 (2008) ("[M]ost federal judges [do not] begin the day with briefings that describe new and serious threats to our Nation and its people.").^Woods, Thomas (July 7, 2005) Presidential War Powers, LewRockwell.com^Woods, Thomas (2013). "Presidential War Powers: The Constitutional Answer". Liberty Classrooom. Retrieved September 6, 2013. ^Gaziano, Todd. "Essays on Article II: Opinion Clause". The Heritage Foundation. ^Biddle, at 486^United States Senate. "Treaties". senate.gov. ^United States Library of Congress (February 15, 2011). "Primary Documents in American History Treaty of Alliance with France". loc.gov. ^John H. Haswell, University of Minnesota; United States Department of State (2010). Treaties and Conventions Concluded Between the United States of America Since July 4, 1776. google.books.com. pp. 1,232. ^Goldwater v. Carter, 444 U.S.996 (1979)^Bowsher v. Synar, 478 U.S.714 (1986)^ abcdefVasan Kesavan and J. Gregory Sidak (2002). "The Legislator-In-Chief". William and Mary Law Review44 (1). Retrieved June 28, 2012. ^ abSidak, Gregory (August 1989). "The Recommendation Clause". Georgetown Law Journal77 (6): 2079''2135. Retrieved June 29, 2012. ^ abcKesavan, Vasan. "The Heritage Guide to the Constitution: Recommendations Clause". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved October 27, 2012. ^U.S. Senate Turnip Day Session (January 5, 2011).^United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., 299 U.S.304 (1936), characterized the President as the "sole organ of the nation in its external relations," an interpretation criticized by Louis Fisher of the Library of Congress.^Zivotofsky v. Kerry, 576 U.S. ___ (2015), slip op. at 8-9.^"Article II, Section 3, U.S. Constitution". law.cornell.edu. Legal Information Institute. 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012. ^ ab"Take Care Clause Law & Legal Definition". USLegal.com. Retrieved July 5, 2012. ^ abcdefgTake Care Clause. "Take Care Clause". The Heritage Guide to the Constitution. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved October 12, 2012. ^Prepared by Devotion Garner. Updated by Cheryl Nyberg. "Popular Names of Constitutional Provisions". Gallagher Library of the University of Washington School of Law. Retrieved November 23, 2013. ^"Chapter 12-The Presidency Flashcards". Flashcard Machine. January 16, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2012. ^Walter E. Dellinger III (September 7, 1995). "CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITATIONS ON FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PARTICIPATION IN BINDING ARBITRATION". United States Department of Justice. Retrieved July 5, 2012. ^Kinkopf, Neil (September''October 2005). "FURIOUS GEORGE - The belligerence of the Bush Administration in pursuing expansive power has a long Republican pedigree". Legal Affairs - The magazine at the intersection of Law and Life. Retrieved July 5, 2012. ^Sai Prakash. "Take Care Clause". The Heritage Guide to the Constitution. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved August 27, 2012. ^Johnson, at 500^An example of this is Alcee Hastings who was removed from a federal judgeship, but was not barred from serving in another federal office. He was later elected to, and currently serves in, the House of Representatives.^Cf. Ritter v. United States, 677 F.2d 957 (2d. Cir. 19) 84 Ct. Cl. 293, 300 (Ct. Cl. 1936) ("While the Senate in one sense acts as a court on the trial of an impeachment, it is essentially a political body and in its actions is influenced by the views of its members on the public welfare."); STAFF OF H. COMM. ON THE JUDICIARY, 93D CONG., CONSTITUTIONAL GROUNDS FOR PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENT 24 (Comm. Print 1974) ("The purpose of impeachment is not personal punishment; its function is primarily to maintain constitutional government.") (citation omitted), reprinted in 3 LEWIS DESCHLER, DESCHLER'S PRECEDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, H.R. DOC. NO. 94''661 ch. 14, app. at 2269 (1977).External links[edit]
Appointments Clause - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 04:34
Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, known as the Appointments Clause, empowers the President of the United States to appoint certain public officials with the "advice and consent" of the U.S. Senate. This clause also allows lower-level officials to be appointed without the advice and consent process.
Full text of the clause[edit]He[The President] shall have the Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Councils, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.Appointments Clause Aspects[edit]Background and general aspects[edit]In the federal government of the United States, "advice and consent" is a power of the United States Senate '-- in this instance, the power to approve appointments by the President of the United States to public positions, including Cabinet secretaries, federal judges, and ambassadors. The term "advice and consent" first appears in the United States Constitution in Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, referring to the Senate's role in the signing and ratification of treaties. This term is then used again, to describe the Senate's role in the appointment of public officials, immediately after describing the President's duty to nominate such officials.
Several framers of the U.S. Constitution explained that the required role of the Senate is to advise the President after the nomination has been made by the President.[1][2]Roger Sherman believed that advice before nomination could still be helpful.[3] Likewise, President George Washington took the position that pre-nomination advice was allowable but not mandatory.[4] The notion that pre-nomination advice is optional has developed into the unification of the "advice" portion of the power with the "consent" portion, although several Presidents have consulted informally with Senators over nominations and treaties.
The actual motion adopted by the Senate when exercising the power is "to advise and consent," which shows how initial advice on nominations and treaties is not a formal power exercised by the Senate.[5][6] For appointments, a majority of Senators are needed to pass a motion "to advice and consent", but unless the appointment has the support of three-fifths of Senators a filibuster blocking the passage of the motion is possible.
Congress itself may not exercise the appointment power; its functions are limited to the Senate's role in advice and consent, and to deciding whether to vest a direct appointment power over a given office in the President, a Head of Department, or the Courts of Law. The Framers of the U.S. Constitution were particularly concerned that Congress might seek to exercise the appointment power and fill offices with their supporters, to the derogation of the President's control over the executive branch. The Appointments Clause thus functions as a restraint on Congress and as an important structural element in the separation of powers.[7] Attempts by Congress to circumvent the Appointments Clause, either by making appointments directly, or through devices such as "unilaterally appointing an incumbent to a new and distinct office" under the guise of legislating new duties for an existing office, have been rebuffed by the courts.[7]
Inferior officers[edit]The Appointments Clause divides constitutional officers into two classes: principal officers, who must be appointed through the advice and consent mechanism; and inferior officers, who may be appointed through advice and consent of the Senate, but whose appointment Congress may place instead in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.[7] An earlier version of the Appointments Clause would have given the President a broader power to "appoint officers in all cases not otherwise provided for by this Constitution," but some delegates of the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention worried that this language would permit the President to create offices as well as to fill them, a classic case of institutional corruption. The requirement that the President can appoint inferior officers only when Congress has "by Law vest[ed]" that power in the President sought to preclude that possibility.[7]
One chief questions recurs under the "by Law" language: Who are "inferior Officers," not subject to the requirement of advice and consent; and (2) what constitutes a "Department," when Congress seeks to place the appointment power away from the President? As an initial matter, most government employees are not officers and thus are not subject to the Appointments Clause. In Buckley v. Valeo, the Supreme Court held that only those appointees "exercising significant authority pursuant to the laws of the United States" are "Officers of the United States," and hence it is only those who exercise such "significant authority" who must be appointed by a mechanism set forth in the Appointments Clause. The Framers of the U.S. constitution did not define the line between principal officers and inferior officers, and the Supreme Court has been content to approach the analysis on a case-by-case basis rather than through a definitive test. The Court listed in Morrison v. Olson (1988) certain factors as hallmarks of "inferior Officer" status, such as removability by a higher executive branch official other than the President, and limitations on the officer's duties, jurisdiction, and tenure. In Edmond v. United States (1997) the Court stated that "'inferior Officers' are officers whose work is directed and supervised at some level by others who were appointed by Presidential nomination with the advice and consent of the Senate." Among those officers recognized as "inferior" are district court clerks, federal supervisors of elections, the Watergate Special Prosecutor, and an Independent Counsel appointed under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.[7]
Appointments by Heads of Departments[edit]Another chief question is, what constitutes a "Department," when Congress seeks to place the appointment power away from the President? The phrase "Heads of Departments" has not been precisely defined by the Supreme Court. On the one hand, judicial interpretations of the phrase refer to the heads of departments that are within the executive branch, or according to Buckley v. Valeo "at least have some connection with that branch." Under this view, the heads of all agencies and departments exercising executive power under the President would seem to qualify as "Heads of Departments." The Court interpreted in Freytag v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue (1991) "Heads of Departments" to refer "to executive divisions like the Cabinet-level departments." The use of the phrase "like the Cabinet-level departments" could mean that, in addition to the Cabinet departments, other entities within the executive branch that are sufficiently analogous to the Cabinet departments may qualify as "Departments" for purposes of the Appointments Clause. On the other hand, the Freytag Court itself seemed unclear what it meant by the phrase "like the Cabinet-level departments," and certainly stepped back from any bright-line test. The Freytag Court sought to harmonize its analysis with the interpretation given the different term "executive Departments" in the Opinion Clause (which has been interpreted to refer only to Cabinet departments) and with earlier cases that suggested that only the Cabinet Secretaries qualified as "Heads of Departments." Ultimately, the Freytag Court seems to have reserved the question whether the heads of non-Cabinet executive-branch agencies could be deemed to be "Heads of Departments" for purposes of the Appointments Clause. Perhaps the phrase "like the Cabinet-level departments" was included in Freytag as an indication that the Court would not necessarily be inflexible about requiring Cabinet status in future cases. If that is so, then "Heads of Departments" would appear to include (as Justice Antonin Scalia reasons in his concurrence in Freytag) the heads of the Cabinet Departments and also the heads of "all independent executive establishments."[7]
From 1999 to 2008, a change in the statute governing the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") permitted a number of judges of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to be appointed by the USPTO Director. This arrangement was challenged as unconstitutional under the Appointments Clause because the appointing party was not the Heads of the Department.[8] In order to avoid the crisis that would result from new challenges to many BPAI and TTAB decisions made in that period, Congress passed a 2008 amendment to the statute which specifies that the Secretary of Commerce is responsible for such appointments, and permitting the Secretary to retroactively appoint those persons named by the USPTO Director.
List of cases[edit]United States v. Hartwell, 73 U.S. (6 Wall.) 385 (1868)United States v. Germaine, 99 U.S. (9 Otto) 508 (1879)Ex parte Siebold, 100 U.S. (10 Otto) 371 (1879)Shoemaker v. United States, 147 U.S. 282 (1893)Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1926)Springer v. Philippine Islands, 277 U.S. 189 (1928)Humphrey's Executor v. United States, 295 U.S. 602 (1935)Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976)Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654 (1988)Freytag v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 501 U.S. 868 (1991)Weiss v. United States, 510 U.S. 163 (1994)Edmond v. United States, 520 U.S. 651 (1997)Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, 561 U. S. ____ (2010)National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, 573 U.S. ___ (2014)References[edit]^Currie, David. The Constitution in Congress: The Federalist Period, 1789-1802, page 25 (University of Chicago Press 1997) via Google Books: ''Madison, Jefferson, and Jay all advised Washington not to consult the Senate before making nominations.''^Hamilton, Alexander. Federalist No. 76 (1788): ''In the act of nomination his judgment alone will be exercised.''^Letter from Roger Sherman to John Adams (July 1789) in The Founders Constitution: "their advice may enable him to make such judicious appointments."^U.S. Senate history on the power to advise and consent: "In selecting nominees, Washington turned to his closest advisers and to members of Congress, but the president resolutely insisted that he alone would be responsible for the final selection. He shared a common view that the Senate's constitutionally mandated 'advice' was to come after the nomination was made."^U.S. Senate Rule 30: "On the final question to advise and consent to the ratification in the form agreed to, the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators present shall be necessary to determine it in the affirmative."^U.S. Senate Rule 31: "the final question on every nomination shall be, 'Will the Senate advise and consent to this nomination?'"^ abcdefCox, Douglas. "The Heritage Guide to the Constitution: Inferior Officers". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 27 October 2012. ^Translogic Technology, Inc. v. Dudas, U.S., No. 07-1303, 10/6/08.See also[edit]
Republican governor of Nevada Brian Sandoval being considered for Supreme Court - The Washington Post
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 07:51
The White House is said to be considering Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-Nev.) as a nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Here's what you need to know about him. (Sarah Parnass/The Washington Post)
The White House is considering picking the Republican governor from Nevada to fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court, scrambling political calculations in what is expected to be a contentious confirmation battle in which Senate Republicans have pledged to play the role of roadblock.
President Obama is weighing the selection of Brian Sandoval, a centrist former federal judge who has served as governor since 2011, according to two people familiar with the process. Though the review process is in its initial phases and it is unclear whether the governor could ultimately emerge as the president's pick, even the prospect of his nomination poses a difficult dilemma for Senate Republicans who have promised not to consider any nomination before November's elections.
After The Washington Post published news of Sandoval's consideration Wednesday, GOP leaders insisted that Obama nominating a Republican would make no difference.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who on Tuesday pledged ''no action'' on any Supreme Court nomination before the election, said in a statement that the nominee ''will be determined by whoever wins the presidency in the fall.''
The No. 2 Senate Republican leader, Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas, said likewise: ''This is not about the personality.''
[Republicans vow no hearings, no votes for Obama's Supreme Court pick]
White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday he would not comment specifically on whether the administration was considering Sandoval because he did not want ''to get into a rhythm of responding'' to every report on a potential nominee. But he said that Obama was committed to finding ''the best person to fill the vacancy at the Supreme Court,'' regardless of party.
''The president's focused on criteria that, frankly, is more important, and that is that individual's qualifications, and their experience and their view of the law,'' Earnest said. ''That will take precedence over any sort of political consideration.''
Sandoval would represent an unconventional pick for the president, a former constitutional law professor who has prized prestigious law pedigrees and extensive legal backgrounds in the jurists he has previously selected for the Court. While the selection of a Republican could heighten the political pressure on Senate GOP leaders, it could also alienate the Democratic base and runs counter to Obama's emphasis on taking a long view of who deserves to sit on the nation's highest court.
Speaking to reporters last week, the president said he planned to select someone with extraordinary legal credentials. ''We're going to find somebody who is has an outstanding legal mind, somebody who cares deeply about our democracy and cares about rule of law,'' he said.
A Sandoval spokesman, Mari St. Martin, said Wednesday, ''Neither Governor Sandoval nor his staff has been contacted by or talked to the Obama administration regarding any potential vetting for the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.''
It is clear, however, that Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid, a fellow Nevadan with whom Sandoval enjoys cordial relations, is playing a key role as intermediary. While visiting Washington for a meeting of the National Governors Association, Sandoval met with Reid in his Capitol office Monday.
A person familiar with the conversation said that while Sandoval told Reid he had not made a final decision on whether he would accept a Supreme Court nomination, he would allow the vetting process to move forward. Another person in Nevada familiar with the process confirmed that it is underway.
Asked about a potential nomination on Saturday, Sandoval told the Morning Consult, ''It would be a privilege.'' He called the Supreme Court ''the essence of justice in this country.''
[Everything you need to know about appointing a Supreme Court justice]
In a Wednesday interview with CNN, Reid said he would endorse Sandoval for the nomination. ''I don't pick the justices, but I know if he were picked, I would support the man,'' he said. ''He's a good person, has a great record, and has been a tremendously good governor in spite of having to deal with some very big problems there.''
But in subsequent remarks to The Post, Reid tempered his praise and said he was ''not pushing it with the White House'' and was ''just responding to people.''
''He was a good judge. He's been a very excellent governor. I like him very much. I would support him,'' Reid said of Sandoval. ''I would rather we had somebody a little more progressive'.... I'll do what I can, but I'm not pushing his name.''
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval spoke about his working-class roots during his address at the 2012 Republican National Convention. (Republican National Convention)
It is unclear how many potential nominees are under White House consideration for the high court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Obama was seen last week carrying a thick binder of materials on potential picks to review.
As the standoff continued with Senate Republicans, Obama reiterated Wednesday morning that he intended to ''do his job'' by nominating a candidate during the remaining months of his presidency.
Referring to McConnell and Senate Republicans on Wednesday morning, Obama said: ''I recognize the politics are hard for them, because the easier thing to do is to give in to the most extreme voices within their party and stand pat and do nothing.''
But he predicted that the Republican position ''may evolve'' if the public believes his nominee is ''very well qualified.''
''I don't expect Mitch McConnell to say that is the case today. I don't expect any member of the Republican caucus to stick their head out at the moment and say that. But let's see how the public responds to the nominee that we put forward,'' the president said.
[Sign up for The Daily 202 and get all the news you need on the Scalia confirmation battle and the presidential campaign]
Some Democrats see a Sandoval nomination as the best opportunity to fracture the front of Republican opposition and force McConnell to take up the nomination in this contentious election year. It would also put on the spot a handful of Senate Republicans who are up for reelection in blue states in November.
Several Republican members of the Judiciary Committee, which is charged with considering a Supreme Court nominee, said Wednesday that it would not matter if Obama picked a Republican.
''The short answer is no, it doesn't change anything,'' said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).
But some Republican senators acknowledged a Sandoval pick would put GOP senators in a tough spot politically.
''This is one reason why I have not wanted to shut the door on considering a nominee,'' said Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), one of two Senate Republicans who is at least open to a confirmation hearing. ''We may well be sent a nominee who is deserving of thorough vetting and consideration.''
Another Republican senator aligned with the GOP court blockade, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly, said a Sandoval nomination would ''mix it up'' for Republicans. But the lawmaker also said he doubted that Democrats would unite behind Sandoval.
Nominating Sandoval would carry clear political risks for Obama. Sandoval is aligned with Democrats on some key issues, including abortion rights and the environment. As governor, he has moved to implement the Affordable Care Act, and has said he considers same-sex marriage to be a settled issue.
[Who is Brian Sandoval?]
But Sandoval is not seen as labor-friendly '-- potentially alienating a swath of the Democratic base. His legal credentials are also lacking compared to some of the other names under consideration who are mainly sitting federal judges. And he initially called the landmark health-care law ''unconstitutional,'' signing onto a brief in 2012 challenging the constitutionality of the measure's individual mandate. The Supreme Court ultimately rejected that argument, and upheld the law.
A Senate confirmation of Sandoval through this year could deny a Democratic successor to Obama, whether Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, the opportunity to nominate a more orthodox liberal to the court and cement an ideological shift in its jurisprudence.
Liberal activist groups quickly registered their displeasure with the idea of a Justice Sandoval. Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America, said in a statement it was ''downright absurd that President Obama would risk his legacy by appointing another anti-labor Republican like Brian Sandoval to an already overwhelmingly pro-big-business Supreme Court.''
''Nominating someone like Sandoval would not only prevent grass-roots organizations like DFA from supporting the president in this nomination fight, it could lead us to actively encouraging Senate Democrats to oppose his appointment,'' Chamberlain said.
[Democrats troll GOP by floating a Republican for Supreme Court]
The Senate unanimously confirmed Sandoval as a district court judge in 2005 after he was nominated by President George W. Bush. The Nevada Republican stepped down from the bench in 2009 to run for governor and is now counted among the most popular governors in the nation. He also represents a swing state with a heavy concentration of Latinos who will be important in the presidential race.
One Republican who is considered likely to support Sandoval if nominated is Nevada's junior senator, Dean Heller.
Heller suggested in a statement last week that the ''chances of approving a new nominee are slim,'' but he did not discourage Obama from putting forth a nominee.
''[W]ho knows, maybe it'll be a Nevadan,'' he said '-- a comment widely interpreted as signaling his support for Sandoval.
In a parallel story line, Reid and Sandoval have long had a symbiotic political relationship that sometimes defied logic.
Elected as the state's attorney general in 2002, Sandoval quickly became one of the more popular Republicans in Nevada. In early 2005, Reid began pushing Sandoval to take a seat on the state's U.S. District Court '' a move that political insiders viewed as a savvy one to take Sandoval off the potential field of rivals who might run against Reid in his 2010 Senate race.
Sandoval was nominated and then confirmed as a federal judge in October 2005 without any opposition, clearing the Senate Judiciary Committee by a voice vote and then winning full Senate confirmation by an 89-0 vote. Four years later, as then-Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons's popularity was imploding amid a variety of scandals, the state's GOP elites persuaded Sandoval to bail them out and challenge Gibbons in a June 2010 primary.
Sandoval ousted Gibbons '-- and in November 2010, he routed Rory Reid, 53 percent to 41 percent, knocking off the Senate leader's son.
Harry Reid, who is retiring in 2016, won his own reelection that year in a bid that left some surprised by the senator's seeming reluctance to help boost his son's campaign against Sandoval.
As governor, Sandoval alienated many conservatives by accepting the Medicaid expansion that was a cornerstone of Obama's Affordable Care Act. One of his recent budgets, passed over the opposition of many Republicans in the legislature, included tax hikes designed to boost funding for the state's notoriously underperforming public schools.
As the 2016 election cycle got underway a year ago, Washington Republicans set their sights on Sandoval as their top recruit to try to challenge Reid. However, in public and private, the governor made clear that he had little interest in running in a competitive primary and then challenging Reid in the general election. Reid is retiring in 2016, leaving a competitive open Senate seat behind him.
All this occurred while Reid repeatedly praised Sandoval for his positions on health care, taxes and education. And when the Senate Democratic leader announced in late March 2015 that he would not run for reelection, Sandoval returned the favor by praising his one-time patron for the federal judgeship.
''From humble beginnings in Searchlight to the United States Senate, Senator Reid's story is one that represents the Nevada and American dream,'' Sandoval said.
Paul Kane contributed to this report.
Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.
Juliet Eilperin is The Washington Post's White House bureau chief, covering domestic and foreign policy as well as the culture of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. She is the author of two books'--one on sharks, and another on Congress, not to be confused with each other'--and has worked for the Post since 1998.
BBC - Dame Janet Smith review - BBC Trust
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 14:40
Details of the Savile Compensation SchemeThe total payments made to survivors of Jimmy Savile, as part of the Savile Compensation Scheme, can be found below.
The terms of the Scheme were agreed with lawyers for the survivors of Savile, the NHS and the Savile estate in February 2014.
Forty four claims were received, 36 were settled and eight were rejected.
A total of £907,000 has been paid out.
This includes:
£526,000 for damages£381,000 for legal feesThe window for bringing a claim under the Scheme has now closed.
Standard Digital News - Pregnant secretary of Pope Francis found dead in her Rome apartment
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 03:25
Vatican: A spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. "Pope Francis had been informed of the death" {Photo Courtesy}The Pope's pregnant receptionist has been found dead in her apartment on the outskirts of the city.
Miriam Wuolou, a 34-year-old of Eritrean origin, was seven-months pregnant when her body was discovered.
She had worked at Pope Francis' home and a priests' guesthouse called Santa Marta for years.
The Italian press reports she worked as a kind of gatekeeper for the Pontiff, as well as for the bishops and cardinals who stay there.
The Pope opted to live at the Santa Marta guesthouse after his appointment in 2013, rejecting the grand papal apartments because he found them too sumptuous and he feared isolation.
Ms Wuolou had a serious kind of diabetes which had led doctors to warn her pregnancy was at risk.
Police are investigating a case of neglect and have interviewed family members, her ex-husband from whom she was separated, and most recent boyfriend, thought to be a policeman in the Vatican, according to Rome-based newspaper il Messaggero.
The first external examination of the corpse showed no signs of violence.
Her brother found the body on Friday after he had not heard from her for several days. The autopsy has been carried out, and DNA tests are to be carried out on the foetus.
Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said. "Pope Francis had been informed of the death. We are all pained by this news."
VIDEO-Migrant crisis: Greece will not be turned into a 'warehouse of souls,' says Tsipras | euronews, world news
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 15:45
"What we refuse to do is accept the transformation of our country into a permanent warehouse of souls and, at the same time, continue to act within the European Union and at summits as if there's nothing wrong"
With migrant numbers stacking up in Greece, there's tough talk from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
He says Athens will block future European Union agreements, if member states don't do more to share the burden of the crisis.
Migrants are now getting trapped in Greece because of tougher border checks elsewhere.
Tsipras has made his position clear in the parliament.
''Some nations do not seem to comprehend that agreements, our common agreements, are either implemented, or there are no agreements,'' said Tsipras.
''What we refuse to do is accept the transformation of our country into a permanent warehouse of souls and, at the same time, continue to act within the European Union and at summits as if there's nothing wrong.''
Tsipras has been meeting the top UN official for refugees, who is deploring the closing of borders.
Filippo Grandi has been on a fact-finding visit to Greece.
''We disagree with these measures and call once again for cooperation,'' Grandi told Tsipras.
''The problem is we have called for cooperation for a long time now and we don't get a response. So we need to find a convincing way to do it.''
Meanwhile, Austria has been hosting a meeting with Balkan states on the main migrant route into Europe.
It has brushed aside criticism from the EU, after setting off a so-called ''domino effect'' of frontier controls.
Those measures, from Austria's border with Slovenia to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's border with Greece, are causing migrants to become stranded.
Vienna says it needs to coordinate national border controls, in the absence of European measures.
VIDEO-Migrant crisis: Warnings over EU survival as ministers meet | euronews, world news
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 15:41
Amid fresh fears that the EU's survival could be threatened by Europe's worst migration crisis since World War Two, the bloc's interior ministers were meeting in Brussels on Thursday.
But as they seek solutions, member states seem just as split as ever with Austria, the country behind the warning, prompting criticism as it pursues border restrictions to stem the influx along with Balkan nations.
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is among those expressing alarm.
The UNHCR says it is ''concerned by recent restrictive practices adopted in a number of European countries that are placing additional undue hardships on refugees and asylum-seekers across Europe, creating chaos at several border points, and putting particular pressure on Greece as it struggles to deal with larger numbers of people in need of accommodation and services.''
Having decided to send ships to the Aegean Sea to tackle criminal networks smuggling refugees into Europe, NATO says it is playing its part in addressing this humanitarian tragedy.
The alliance has agreed a plan for its operations that will overcome territorial sensitivities between Greece and Turkey.
But as deals are made and disputes continue, the migrants and refugees keep coming. Some 100,000 have already arrived in Europe this year with many more expected in the summer '' unsure of what is awaiting them on arrival.
VIDEO-Kerry: If It Wasn't For My Relationship With Iran's FM Our Sailors Would Probably be Hostages | MRCTV
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 15:39
Secretary of State John Kerry told lawmakers on Wednesday that if it wasn't for the Iran nuclear deal and his relationship with his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, ten U.S. sailors apprehended in Iranian waters last month would probably now be hostages.
VIDEO-Fox's 'Family Guy': Getting Gays Angry is the Best Way to Change Laws | MRCTV
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 15:35
Family Guy is many things. It is reliably liberal, it is reliably depraved, and it is hilarious. However, one thing it is not is above poking fun at liberals, while pointing out salient truths.
On Sunday night's episode, titled 'Underage Peter,' Brian and Peter go to the Mayor's house to protest a new law that raised the drinking age to 50. Originally, Peter planned to get the law changed by threatening to kill the Mayor's nephew. However, then Peter realized that in the 21st Century there was a far more effective and powerful weapon he could deploy to force social change:
Brian: So, what exactly is your plan, here?
Peter: You'll see. Just follow my lead.
Mayor: Ooh, trick-or-treaters! Well, what do we have here? A cowboy and a princess?
Peter: Uh, yippee-ki-yay, Mr. Mayor.
Mayor: Oh, a Western princess!
Peter: All right, listen, we want that drinking law gone. And everybody knows the best way to get any law struck down is to get the gays angry about it. Bruce? Jeffrey?
Bruce: That's right, Mr. Mayor! I needs my Proseccos!
Mayor: What are you talking about? You're 52.
Jeffrey: You said you was 39!
Bruce: I was just trying to get you in bed. I thought we'd both be dead by now.
Peter: Crap.
There's really no denying that is there? What a dumb time to be alive.
VIDEO-Charlie Rose to Bill Gates: What About These Climate Deniers? | MRCTV
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 15:16
Crossposted on Newsbusters.
"Two questions before we turn to health and other things you are doing. Number one, where '-- have climate deniers gained strength or are they, what, where would you put that component of our population?"
'-- Charlie Rose question to Microsoft founder Bill Gates on PBS's Charlie Rose show, February 22, 2016.
VIDEO-CNN's Camerota Decries Trump's 'Dangerous' Anti-Press Rhetoric | MRCTV
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 15:13
[More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.]
CNN's Alisyn Camerota accused Donald Trump of "ginning up...and making people feel violently against the press" on the 23 February 2016 edition of New Day. Camerota zeroed in on a how a Trump supporter blasted NBC's Katy Tur as a "bitch" at a recent campaign rally, and asked former Reagan adviser (and NewsBusters contributor) Jeffrey Lord, "Isn't this dangerous on some level?" When Lord underlined that "people feel that the media distorts" and "portray Trump supporters as a bunch of bigots, rubes, racists, xenophobes," the anchor shot back, "Show up when we've labeled somebody a 'xenophobe,' who's a Trump supporter."
VIDEO-Palin / Hillary Open - Saturday Night Live - YouTube
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 14:01
VIDEO-Sarah Palin: 'I Can See Russia from My House' : snopes.com
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 13:58
Claim: During the 2008 presidential campaign, VP candidate Sarah Palin said: "I can see Russia from my house."Origins: Paradoxically, one of the common features of catch phrases associated with famous figures (both real and fictional) is that those phrases are often caricatures that do not reflect statements actually made by the people with whom they're associated. For years, impersonators merely had to utter the lines "Judy, Judy, Judy" or "Come with me to the Casbah," and listeners immediately knew they were portraying actors Cary Grant and Charles Boyer,respectively, though neither man ever delivered such a line in any of his roles. Likewise, the phrase most indelibly associated with the fictional character of Sherlock Holmes, "Elementary, my dear Watson," appeared in none of the original works authored by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.So it is that one of the quotes most strongly associated with former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin is the exclamation "I can see Russia from my house!" even though she didn't actually utter that phrase during the campaign.
The basis for the line was Governor Palin's 11 September 2008 appearance on ABC News, her first major interview after being tapped as the vice-presidential nominee. During that appearance, interviewer Charles Gibson asked her what insight she had gained from living so close to Russia, and she responded: "They're our next-door neighbors, and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska":
Two days later, on the 2008 season premiere of Saturday Night Live, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler appeared in a sketch portraying Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton, during which Fey spoofed Governor Palin's remark of a few days earlier with the following exchange:FEY AS PALIN: "You know, Hillary and I don't agree on everything ..."POEHLER AS CLINTON: (OVERLAPPING) "Anything. I believe that diplomacy should be the cornerstone of any foreign policy."
FEY AS PALIN: "And I can see Russia from my house."
Henceforth, invocations of Sarah Palin frequently employed the line "I can see Russia from my house," rather than the words she actually spoke, "You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska."As to the question of whether one can actually see Russia from Alaska, Governor Palin was correct: such a view is possible from more than one site in that state. A Slate article on the topic noted that:
In the middle of the Bering Strait are two small, sparsely populated islands: Big Diomede, which sits in Russian territory, and Little Diomede, which is part of the United States. At their closest, these two islands are a little less than two and a half miles apart, which means that, on a clear day, you can definitely see one from the other.
Also, a 1988 New York Times article reported that:To the Russian mainland from St. Lawrence Island, a bleak ice-bound expanse the size of Long Island out in the middle of the Bering Sea, the distance is 37 miles. From high ground there or from the Air Force facility at Tin City atop Cape Prince of Wales, the westernmost edge of mainland North America, on a clear day you can see Siberia with the naked eye.
Neither of these viewpoints offers the observer much more than a glimpse of a vast, desolate expanse, however.Last updated: 13 February 2015
VIDEO-MSNBC: Clinton Likely Not Telling Truth About Wall Street Speeches, Should Release Transcripts - YouTube
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 08:09
VIDEO-Mark Kirk Mocks John Kerry With Team America: World Police's 'Angry Letter' Reference - YouTube
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 08:02
VIDEO-Mitt Romney: There's 'good reason' to think there's a 'bombshell' in Donald Trump's taxes - YouTube
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 08:01
VIDEO-CBS Hosts Excuse Hillary's Lies: We're Liars, Too! | MRCTV
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 06:02
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
After playing a clip of Hillary Clinton being confronted about her dishonesty during a CNN town hall event, on Wednesday's CBS This Morning, co-host Norah O'Donnell tried to defend the Democratic frontrunner by pointing to the dishonesty of herself and her fellow journalists.
O'Donnell turned to fellow co-hosts Gayle King and Charlie Rose, asking: ''Have you guys ever told a lie?'' After they both replied that they had, O'Donnell admitted: ''Yeah, so have I.'' She then explained: ''I'm waiting to find the person who's never told a lie.''
VIDEO-Chuck Todd: It's Not the Media's Job to Vet Trump's Past | MRCTV
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 04:16
In the wake of Donald Trump's victory in the Nevada Caucuses, many on the right are scrambling to point fingers at who is to blame for his dominance. A common place for blame to fall is the liberal mainstream media for not aggressively looking into his past, something they do as a matter of course for virtually every other Republican.
MSNBC's Chuck Todd washed the media's collective hands on Wednesday evening by claiming, essentially, that it's not the media's job to vet a candidate because the information is already there for the other campaigns to cobble together into attack ads.
VIDEO-Pink shirts to battle bullying in Winnipeg schools - Manitoba - CBC News
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 03:22
Thousands of Manitobans were pretty in pink Wednesday for national Pink Day, the Canadian Red Cross' anti-bullying initiative.
Almost 300 staff and students at Lord Selkirk Elementary School got involved for the first time this year. Teachers were excited to bring the message to students.
"We have a very diverse, fabulous group of kids and they treat each other so kindly and we want that to continue throughout their school years and through their lives," said arts teacher Charlotte Cook-Dowsett.
The nursery to Grade 6 school students were treated to live music and some piled up to build a human pyramid.
Students posted pink slips of paper along the hallway walls. Each note contained a student's promise to stop bullying.
Nursery to grade 6 six students at Lord Selkirk lined the walls of the schools hallways with pink pledges. Each student took the time to write out a promise on what they could do to help stop bullying. (Brett Purdy)
Eleven-year-old Grade 6 student Quennie Ritual shared what Pink Day means to her.
"It's about standing up to bullies and not being a bystander and just being brave. Being yourself. Not being afraid of what others would think about it because you are just you," said Ritual.
Nicholas Kemble was teased in younger grades for being too tall. That prompted him to dye his hair pink to mark the day.
"I've been bullied a couple of times before and I really don't like it. I guess I went ahead and dyed my hair because I really like the idea of stopping bullying," said Kemble.
Cook-Dowsett said bullied students suffer emotionally and academically.
"How can your mind be open to learning? It's not going to be," said Cook-Dowsett.
Grade 6 students at Lord Selkirk School participate in a 'hoop-a-thon' during the schools first Pink Shirt Day. (CBC)
This is the first of two Pink Days scheduled this year. The next one is April 13, which is the internationally recognized date for the event.
VIDEO-Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me - Rage Against The Machine - YouTube
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 03:00
VIDEO-MSNBC Tries to Do Live Report From a Nevada Gun Range. It Does Not Go Well. | TheBlaze - YouTube
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 02:09
VIDEO-Apple Is Said to Be Working on an iPhone Even It Can't Hack
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 01:12
Apple's showdown with the Justice Department is different in one important way. Now that the government has tried to force Apple to hack its own code, security officials say, the company must view itself as the vulnerability. That means engineers will have to design a lock they absolutely cannot break.
"This is the first time that Apple has been included in their own threat model," Mr. Zdziarski said. "I don't think Apple ever considered becoming a compelled arm of the government."
The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey Jr., signaled this week that he expected Apple to change its security, saying that the phone-cracking tool the government sought in the San Bernardino case was "increasingly obsolete." He said that supported the government's argument that it was not seeking a skeleton key to hack all iPhones.
Apple, though, says the case could set a precedent for forcing company engineers to write code to help the government break any iPhone. "The U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create," Mr. Cook said in his letter.
The heated back-and-forth between the government and technology companies is, at least in part, a function of the Obama administration's strategy. The White House has said it will not ask Congress to pass a law requiring tech companies to give the F.B.I. a way to access customer data. That has left the Justice Department to fight for access one phone at a time, in court cases that often go unnoticed.
While it is generally accepted that Silicon Valley's tech giants can outgun the government in a technical fight, the companies do face one important limitation. Security features often come at the expense of making products slower or clunkier.
Apple's brand is built around creating products that are sleek and intuitive. A security solution that defeats the F.B.I. is unworkable if it frustrates consumers. One of the impediments to encrypting all the data in Apple's iCloud servers, for instance, has been finding a way to ensure that customers can easily access and recover photos and other information stored there.
"Telling a member of the public that they're going to lose all the family photos they've ever taken because they forgot their password is a really tough sell," Mr. Soghoian said. "A company wants to sell products to the public."
VIDEO-'Overcoming Ad-blocking': New Video Frontiers, London, 2015 - YouTube
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 00:30
VIDEO-Donald Trump And 'Morning Joe' Hosts Off-Air Conversation Leaked (Video) | EpicTimes
Thu, 25 Feb 2016 00:04
A leaked audio recording of Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski's off-air conversations with Donald Trump has reignited concerns that the MSNBC co-hosts are too friendly with the Republican frontrunner.
The conversations, which took place during the commercial breaks at last week's MSNBC ''Trump Town Hall'' event, feature the three talking jovially about the success of Trump's campaign, his likelihood of winning South Carolina and Nevada, and the ineffectiveness of his opponents' attack ads.
The audio, which was obtained by comedian and radio show host Harry Shearer, offered the latest evidence that the ''Morning Joe'' co-hosts are too friendly toward Trump, which has become a source of discomfort at NBC. Network insiders have chafed at what they described as Scarborough's ''over the top'' and ''unseemly'' admiration for the real estate magnate who is leading the GOP field.
Shearer's own take, upon the conclusion of the recording: ''You can cut the adversarial tension there with a knife,'' he quipped. ''A butter knife, but still.''
One portion of the tape that received criticism on Twitter was misleading. It features Brzezinski saying, ''You don't want me to do the [questions] on deportation?'' to which Trump replies: ''That's right. Nothing too hard, Mika.''
However, sources at MSNBC said that Brzezinski was speaking to her producer Alex Korson and that Trump was voicing his approval of the decision from the sidelines. Beyond that MSNBC has declined to comment on the tape.
VIDEO-Mook: 'Right Wing' Behind Hillary Email Woes - YouTube
Wed, 24 Feb 2016 23:26
VIDEO-Russia Sends 10,000 AK-47s to Afghanistan - NBC News
Wed, 24 Feb 2016 17:50
A convoy of armored personnel vehicles cross the Soviet-Afghan border during the withdrawal of the Red Army from Afghanistan in May 1988. AFP / AFP/Getty Images
As U.S. and NATO forces withdraw, Afghanistan has been struggling to crush a growing Taliban insurgency and pockets of ISIS-linked militants. While Russia no longer shares a border with Afghanistan, there are fears that militancy and insecurity will spread to central Asian Republics on its southeastern flank.
The Russian withdrawal in 1989 followed a decade-long occupation that displaced more than 5 million civilians and claimed several hundred thousand lives, including those of around 20,000 Soviet troops.
VIDEO-MSNBC Tries to Do a Live Report From a Nevada Gun Range. It Does Not Go Well. | TheBlaze.com
Wed, 24 Feb 2016 16:23
An MSNBC reporter attempted to do a live report from a Nevada gun range on Tuesday.
It didn't go so well.
Host Andrea Mitchell asked MSNBC reporter Kerry Sanders to discuss Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's poll numbers prior to the Nevada Republican caucus on Tuesday evening.
Sanders then attempted to do the report at Reno Guns & Range, but he was inaudible due to the sound of gunfire.
''I put myself here because, as you'll see over my shoulder here, there's lots of folks here who believe that the Second Amendment in this country is under attack,'' Sanders began.
The Washington Free Beacon published a ''rough transcription'' of what transpired next:
''(Bang) (Bang) (Bang) They say that the (Bang) short distance away (Bang) (Bang) Donald Trump (Bang) (Bang) (Bang) (Bang) (Bang) about protecting the Second Amendment (Bang) (Bang) (Bang) (Bang) All the Republicans (Bang) (Bang) support protecting the Second Amendment. Donald Trump (Bang) has said in speeches (Bang) the First Amendment and he supports the Second Amendment (Bang) (Large Bang) (Bang) (Bang) from the crowd when he says that. (Bang) (Bang) As we look at what Donald Trump has been doing (Bang) (Bang) Jeb Bush now, he's focusing on Ted Cruz. (Bang) Saying in a tweet (Bang) Wow was Ted Cruz disloyal to his very capable director (Bang) used him as a scapegoat (Bang) like a dog (Bang) talking about (bang) fired his spokesman (Bang).''
''Kerry, I'm afraid we could not hear most of that, because the firepower was a little bit too great,'' Mitchell said at the end of the segment. ''We didn't know you were going to be there today.''
(H/T Washington Free Beacon)
VIDEO-Robby Mook Claims Hillary Clinton Does Not Take Money From Corporations - YouTube
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 22:35
VIDEO-AUDIO-Ben Carson: Obama was 'raised white'
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 21:20
When I pressed Carson on whether he'd experienced any racism in today's Republican Party, though, he flatly denied it '' and said the real issue was progressives who couldn't accept the existence of a truly conservative black man. ''They assume because you're black, you have to think a certain way,'' he said. ''And if you don't think that way, you're 'Uncle Tom,' you're worthy of every horrible epithet they can come up with; whereas, if I weren't black, then I would just be a Republican.''
Yet, for a nanosecond, he admitted that he's not exactly on the lookout for racists lurking in a party that is, by most estimates, about 90 percent white '' with blacks like Carson making up just two percent of the total. ''I don't find any particular problem being an African American in the Republican Party,'' he said.
But he quickly added: ''Maybe I'm just very nonobservant. You know, I don't go around looking for things, and you have to understand that whatever you think is going on is probably what you're going to see. So, if somebody told you that you're about to meet somebody and they're really a mass murderer and they're just looking for an opportunity to kill you, everything they say, you're going to say, 'Uh'‘huh, I see what he's trying to do.' Whereas, if they told you the very same person really loves everybody and is looking for a way to enhance them and the very same thing,you say, 'Oh, wow, yeah, that's really good.'''
At that point, I admitted to being a little befuddled. I've personally witnessed racist comments at events staged for candidates in both parties '' the most recent being at a Trump rally in Lowell, Massachusetts earlier this year when I witnessed two young men calling a pro-immigrant protester a ''nigger.'' Back in 2008, I heard a Clinton supporter in Toledo, Ohio use the same epithet to describe then-Sen. Obama.
Carson was steadfast in defending his party (this is a candidate who has said a Muslim shouldn't run for president unless he or she renounces sharia law) and when I asked him if Trump was a racist, he replied, ''I have not witnessed anything that would make me say that about him.''
But when I followed up with a question about Trump's general tone on racial issues, he shook his head: ''No, it's not the tone that I would use. Absolutely not.''
One of the great ironies of 2016 is that Carson, a free-market conservative who rose by railing against big-government Obamacare, views race through the larger prism of class '' putting him (very) roughly more on the Bernie Sanders side of the race-vs.-class argument.
When I ask him if racism played a role in the contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan, he says, ''Let me put it this way: If that were going on in an affluent black community, it would have not gone on,'' adding: ''A lot of things that people classify as racism is classism, and, believe me, there's a lot of classism in our society, and if people of a certain race happen to fall into a lower class, then they get the brunt of it.''
There was a time, at the end of 2015, when Carson seemed poised to challenge Trump '' but a series of setbacks, languid debate performances and the near-collapse of his campaign from mismanagement scuttled the effort. At the Embassy Suites here on election night, several of his staff and volunteers could be heard musing about what they planned to do when '' not if '' he dropped out. Still, Carson has a substantial war-chest and a still-functional online fundraising operation and professed to be in for the long haul, without a lot of force behind the statement.
''Well, I don't have any immediate plans of cessation,'' he says.
Outside observers have suggested Carson is soldiering on through Nevada to thumb his nose at Ted Cruz, whose campaign floated the rumor that he was about to drop out of the race during the Iowa caucuses. Cruz has repeatedly apologized '' and blamed his staff's actions, dubiously, on a CNN report '' and he tried his luck again in a private meeting here; Carson ''wasn't impressed,'' a staffer later told me. And the candidate himself cast doubt on the Texas senator's contrition tour.
''As a Christian, I do accept his apology, but, you know, God forgives us when we sin, but he doesn't remove the consequences,'' he says '' and sure enough, a couple of days later, Cruz sacked a top aide for playing a dirty trick on Marco Rubio.
The central theme of Carson's inspiring personal story is his triumph over a self-destructive, volcanic temper though the salvation of his Christian faith. This makes him an unusual candidate and an unusual person '' with a clerical, un-Trump-like tendency towards self-reflection and admitting his own shortcomings (he says he's stopped providing so much ''lip service'' '' controversial comments '' to reporters like me who obscure his compassionate conservative message). In person, he projects an unnerving calm, and when you sit with him a while you can see the mechanism of this reflexive self-soothing: Ask a tough or annoying question and he closes his eyelids '' full stop '' and opens them slowly, with a Gautama smile, rolling out an answer with deliberation and care.
''As a pediatric neurosurgeon, when you're deep in somebody's brain and a blood vessel pops, if you panic, the patient is dead,'' he explains. ''You have to be very calm. You have to keep everybody else very calm, and you will generally find that neurosurgeons are calm people.''
C'mon, Dr. Carson, I want to know, don't you ever get angry?
''I generally don't, you know,'' he replies. ''If I'm, you know, working with a very obnoxious person, you know, I just say, 'That used to be a cute little baby. I wonder what happened to them.'''
Glenn Thrush is POLITICO's chief political correspondent.
VIDEO-Remains of two people found after Port Orchard explosion
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 20:12
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Remains of two people found after Port Orchard explosionInvestigators don't believe a crime was committed but are still working to determine the cause of the explosion.
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An explosion destroyed a mobile home, damaging nearby homes and a school.
An explosion destroyed a home in Port Orchard, Wash., Feb. 23, 2016.(Photo: KING 5 News)
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. '' The Kitsap County Sheriff said that the remains of two people were found at a house destroyed in an explosion early Tuesday morning in Port Orchard. Detectives believe the remains belong to the homeowners, but say the coroner will determine their identity.
Investigators do not believe a crime was committed but are still working to determine the cause of the explosion.
The first reports came in at 4:10 a.m. from the 3500 block of SE Soholt Lane. The explosion happened at a triple-wide mobile home, according to the sheriff's office. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.
''The place is leveled. It's turned into popsicle sticks as to be expected with an explosion of this nature versus one that may have occurred with a traditional stick-built house or one with brick and mortar,'' said Deputy Scott Wilson, Kitsap County Sheriff's Office.
Wilson said the homeowners, a married couple, were unaccounted for as of 8 a.m. Wilson said there could be others as well.
The force of the blast caused windows to shatter at nearby Mullenix Ridge Elementary School. Residents of other nearby homes reported similar damage. Some people as far away as Renton -- on the other side of Puget Sound -- claimed they heard it, too.
South Kitsap School District said school will go on as scheduled. Wilson asked that only those going to school and their parents go to the school Thursday and asked onlookers to stay away.
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VIDEO-Eurovision entry sparks political row
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 17:05
Questions have been raised over whether Ukraine's choice for Eurovision is too political as it refers to Stalin's deportation of the Tatar minority from the Crimea.
Jamala's song "1944" was chosen to represent Ukraine at the contest in Stockholm in May, after a public vote on Ukrainian national TV.
But does it fall foul of the competition's "no politics" rules - and which countries have got away with it in the past?
BBC News takes a look at some past entries.
VIDEO-Obama Cracks Joke About Scalia's Death >> Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 17:04
During his National Governors Association speech Monday, President Obama joked there was a lot to get done during his final days in office, including ''appointing judges.''
''Some of you may be in the final year of your term, working as hard as you can to get as much done as possible for the folks you represent, fixing roads, educating our children, helping people retrain, appointing judges, the usual stuff,'' the president jested, as the crowd in attendance burst into laughter.
Last week, the president was criticized after it was announced he would not be attending the funeral of Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Obama was further lambasted when it was reported he spent less than two minutes paying his respects to Justice Scalia during the Saturday service at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
VIDEO-MSNBC Cuts Away From Bernie Sanders as He Condemns Trans-Pacific Partnership
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 16:42
MSNBC cut away from a live Bernie Sanders press conference this afternoon as the Democratic presidential candidate was talking about his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Watch the cutaway:
''You've been listening to Bernie Sanders, less of a press conference, more of a speech. I want to turn back to the Republican side of things,'' said Kate Snow, as she pivoted to news of Ted Cruz firing a press spokesperson.
MSNBC owner Comcast has lobbied for the TPP. Last year, it fired host Ed Schultz, an outspoken opponent of the agreement.
A Media Matters study found that outside of Schultz's show, the TPP was mentioned only twice on MSNBC during an 18-month period. Last year, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough admitted to The Intercept that his network was ''guilty'' of ignoring the TPP.
Top photo: Cancer patients and health professionals at a TPP protest in Washington, D.C. Many fear the agreement would make life-saving drugs unaffordable.
VIDEO-Migrant crisis: Macedonia border closure strands thousands in Greece - BBC News
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 15:55
Media captionMany Afghans at the Greek-Macedonia border broke through the fenceThousands of migrants and refugees have been stranded near Athens and on Greece's northern border after Macedonia stopped allowing Afghans in.
More than 5,000 people were stuck at or near the border and at one point several tried to storm the fence. Four thousand more arrived by sea from the Aegean islands at Piraeus port.
Macedonia said on Sunday it was following other governments by allowing in only Syrians and Iraqis.
Greece protested against the decision.
After Syrians, Afghans made up the second largest number of people seeking asylum in the EU in 2015, according to official figures.
The Macedonian move came three days after Austria imposed a daily limit of 80 asylum claims on its southern border.
Image copyrightAFPImage caption More than 4,000 refugees and migrants arrived at the port of Piraeus on Monday from Lesbos and Chios Although EU officials said the Austrian limit was incompatible with human rights conventions, Balkan states along the migrant route from Greece responded by implementing their own restrictions.
In the past year, the vast majority of migrants and refugees arriving in Europe have taken the route through Greece, in the hope of claiming asylum in Germany or other EU countries. More than 1.1 million people arrived in Germany alone in 2015.
EU police agency Europol said on Monday that 90% of them had used a "facilitation service", offered mainly by criminal smuggling groups.
More than 5,000 people had gathered by Monday morning at the Idomeni crossing or on buses a few miles away.
Image copyrightAFPImage caption Afghans at Idomeni demanded that they be allowed across the border Some 600 Afghans staged a protest, holding up banners that read "Open the border", but then a crowd broke through a Greek cordon and gathered at the fence.
Many protesters stormed the fence and sat on a railway line in no-man's land. Several climbed through barbed wire before being arrested.
Greece's junior immigration minister said he was hopeful the issue would soon be resolved with Macedonia. The Athens government fears the new restrictions will prompt a build-up of migrants and refugees on its territory.
The first indication of that came with the arrival on Monday of four ships in the port of Piraeus carrying more than 4,000 migrants. They were intending to continue their journey to the Macedonian border at Idomeni.
Last November, Slovenia and other Balkan countries announced they would only allow in refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, where armed conflicts were taking place.
Macedonia said it was now halting access to Afghans as well, because Serbia had itself imposed restrictions, although that was disputed by the Belgrade government.
Media captionThe BBC's Richard Galpin: ''Another line of razor wire aimed at preventing thousands of migrants crossing illegally into Macedonia''Police from Austria and the Balkan states agreed new guidelines for letting in migrants last week, which reportedly include a photo-document issued by the authorities on the Macedonian border with Greece.
The UN has already counted more than 94,000 arrivals from Turkey on Greece's Aegean islands since the start of this year. However, the EU's Frontex border agency said the numbers in January were 40% lower than the previous month, largely because of poor weather.
German politicians have reacted with dismay to the change in Austrian policy, which includes a 3,200 daily limit on the number of migrants and refugees being allowed transit through the country.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere complained the number was far too high and sent the wrong signal.
"If others think that they will dump a greater burden on Germany, we won't accept that in the long term," he said.
His opposite number in Austria, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, complained that Germany was sending mixed signals.
Germany could not promise Greece that it would continue pursuing its open-border policy while also demanding that Austria stop everyone coming through, she argued.
Image copyrightReutersImage caption Police in Austria and the Balkans have agreed new guidelines for letting migrants into Macedonia Image copyrightEPAImage caption Onlookers at the fire in Bautzen jeered, according to the police Germans have been shocked in recent days by two anti-refugee protests in the eastern state of Saxony.
Dozens of protesters blocked a bus carrying families to a shelter in the town of Clausnitz on Thursday night, hurling abuse and chanting "we are the people".
Two nights later, a shelter for asylum-seekers was set alight in Bautzen as onlookers were filmed applauding the action.
Government spokesman Steffen Seibert condemned the Clausnitz attack as cold-hearted and deeply shameful.
A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.
VIDEO-Biden Senate Hearings SCOTUS Vacancy Election | User Clip | C-SPAN.org
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 15:54
June 25, 1992 | Clip Of Senate SessionThis clip, title, and description were not created by C-SPAN.User-Created ClipFebruary 22, 2016Biden: No Senate Hearings For SCOTUS Vacancy In Election Year Sen. Joe Biden says the Senate Judiciary Committee should "seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings" for a Supreme Court nomination in a presidential election year.
VIDEO-Hillary tries preacher routine at gospel awards show | The American Mirror
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 15:51
Hillary Clinton crashed a gospel awards show over the weekend where she momentarily posed as a preacher during the festivities.
Though the 31st Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards will be broadcast March 6, an audience video of Clinton's remarks leaked early.
''We all face troubles don't we,'' she told the audience. ''And it's easy to get discouraged. And then all of a sudden maybe you hear a song in church, you hear it on the radio, maybe a friend is singing it,'' she said, before reciting a portion of ''His Eye Is On The Sparrow.''
''I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free,'' she said to shouts and cheers. ''His eye is on the sparrow, and I know he's watching me.
''And all of a sudden those clouds lift and you know you can go on again. So I know this is not just about music. It truly is about the message. It's about the Gospel and all that it means to so many of us.
''So I want to thank you. I wish all of you well '-- not just in these awards but in every day, in every way,'' she said, channeling a song writer.
''And I am grateful that you are in our lives. A lot of people need to hear that message and you are helping to deliver it.''
It an interview after the event, Clinton said she is a ''person of faith.''
(C) 2016 The American Mirror. All Rights Reserved.
VIDEO-'Follow me on Twitter': Murder suspects make social media appeal in US court (VIDEO) '-- RT USA
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 15:42
Two young South Carolina men charged with murdering a teenage boy at a bowling alley decided to make the most of their court appearance this week by appealing for new social media followers.
Albert Lavern Taylor, 22, and Dennis Ezell Gibbs Jr., 19, are among four people charged with shooting 17-year-old Kejuan Brown outside a bowling alley in Easley, South Carolina, on Wednesday.
Spotting the court camera, Taylor questioned its purpose, while Gibbs then proceeded to look straight at the lens, saying: ''What's up, y'all? You can follow me on Twitter.''
His fellow accused then chimed in: ''Follow me on Instagram... Snapchat.''
The victim's great-grandfather, Doyle Moon, just shook his head after NBC affiliate WYFF4 showed him the footage of the court appearance.
Police believe the murdered teen and those charged with the fatal shooting had an argument on social media and were meeting in person to "settle the score" at the time of the incident, Easley Police Chief Tim Tollison told Greenville News.
The third of four young men charged with Brown's murder is a 15-year-old juvenile, while the fourth, Jamari Trayvar Fair, 18, was out on bond on an attempted murder charge at the time of the shooting.
The four are also charged with assault and battery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. They were denied bond.
VIDEO-Sandy Hook Mom Suing Gun Company 'to Save Other Families' - ABC News
Tue, 23 Feb 2016 14:18
From San Bernardino, California, to Newtown, Connecticut, the AR-15 is the weapon of choice for mass shootings.
And a Connecticut judge heard arguments today over whether the Remington Outdoor Co. -- the parent company of the manufacturer of the AR-15 military assault weapon used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012 -- will be held accountable for the 26 lives lost.
The hearing was expected to determine whether a wrongful death lawsuit, brought by 10 victims' families against the gun company, will go to trial. No immediate ruling was made today and a status conference was set for April 19.
The gun company was expected to ask the judge to dismiss the suit, in which the "plaintiffs seek nothing more and nothing less than accountability.''
But to Nicole Hockley, the mother of 6-year-old Sandy Hook victim Dylan Hockley, gun companies "must be held accountable for marketing and selling the AR-15, a killing machine designed only for military use, to violence-prone young men."
The Sandy Hook gunman, Adam Lanza, was 20 when he shot and killed his mother before going to the Sandy Hook Elementary School where he massacred 20 first-graders and six educators, before killing himself.
"No lawsuit will ever bring Dylan back to our family," Hockley said. "No lawsuit will ever bring back any of the 26 innocent lives that were stolen or bring peace to the families that will never recover from this.
"We're bringing this lawsuit to save other families from having to live with the nightmare that we do every single day.''
The gun company has declined to comment to ABC News, citing the pending litigation, but did cite a 2005 federal law in which gun manufacturers and dealers are inoculated from liability after mass shootings.
VIDEO-Cornel West: 'Sister Hillary Clinton is the Milli Vanilli of American politics'
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 16:33
Utah man dies in police custody after being jailed for $2,400 unpaid medical bill
Silicon Valley tech worker fired after blogging about starving while working at billion-dollar food delivery firm
Tech billionaire holds beloved CA beach hostage with $30 million demand to allow public access
'Small-government' conservative wants to dictate what cuts of meat poor people can eat
Telecom company abandoning Georgia after sweeping anti-gay bill passes: 'We don't tolerate that crap'
Cornel West: 'Sister Hillary Clinton is the Milli Vanilli of American politics'
Kalamazoo killer Jason Dalton was an Uber driver who took passengers for a terrifying ride during spree
WTF: Arizona lawyer says Scalia can vote 'from the grave' to keep Supreme Court conservative
John Oliver absolutely destroys GOP lawmakers whose restrictive anti-abortion laws go 'too f*cking far'
WATCH: 'Simpsons' destroys 'Robot Rubio' and insult-spewing Trump in hilarious debate send-up
VIDEO-Donald Trump muses about Marco Rubio's eligibility to run for president | Fox News
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 16:16
Marco Rubio has joined Ted Cruz in Donald Trump's crosshairs.
Fresh off his Saturday win in the South Carolina Republican primary, Trump said Sunday he didn't know whether Rubio, a Florida senator who finished second, was eligible to run for president and that ''the lawyers have to determine that.''
''I don't know,'' Trump told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's ''This Week.'' ''I really '' I've never looked at it, George. I honestly have never looked at it. As somebody said, he's not. And I retweeted it. I have 14 million people between Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and I retweet things, and we start dialogue and it's very interesting.''
Rubio brushed aside Trump's assertions later on ''This Week.''
''This is a pattern,'' Rubio said. ''This is a game he plays. He says something that's edgy and outrageous and then the media flocks and covers that. And then no one else can get any coverage on anything else.
''And that worked where there were 15 people running for president. It's not going to work anymore. I'm going to spend zero time on his interpretation of the Constitution with regards to eligibility.''
Trump was questioned on the issue after he retweeted a supporter Saturday who made the allegation and linked to a video from the Powdered Wig Society, a conservative news and commentary website. That video features an unidentified woman claiming someone can only be a ''natural-born citizen'' if the person's father was a U.S. citizen.
The Constitution states only a ''natural-born citizen'' can be president, though it does not explicitly define that phrase.
Rubio, whose parents came to the U.S. from Cuba in the 1950s, was born in Florida in 1971. His parents were not U.S. citizens at the time.
Trump's musings about Rubio's eligibility is comparable to how his similar feud began with Cruz, a Texas senator, though that argument has since intensified.
Trump has argued that Cruz, who finished third in South Carolina, may not be a ''natural-born citizen'' because he was born in Canada, even though his mother was a U.S. citizen at the time of Cruz's birth.
Numerous legal scholars have said both Cruz and Rubio are considered ''natural-born citizens,'' though Trump has said other experts disagree.
''I mean, let people make their own determination,'' Trump said Sunday.
Similar questions of eligibility dogged previous Republican contenders such as John McCain in 2008, George Romney in 1968 and Barry Goldwater in 1964. McCain was born in Panama, Romney was born in Mexico and Goldwater was born in Arizona before it became an official U.S. state.
VIDEO-Protester Reportedly Cuts Spotlight at Trump Rally '-- but Likely Didn't Bet on the GOP Frontrunner's Response | Video | TheBlaze.com
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 14:26
(TheBlaze/AP) '-- After a protester at a Donald Trump rally in Atlanta, Georgia, cut the spotlights Sunday, the result was a surreal scene in which Trump '-- rather than getting annoyed '-- actually preferred the dimmer room without bright lights in his eyes.
''Oh I like that much better!'' Trump said after the spotlights went dark. ''Those lights were brutal. Do they come from the dishonest press?''
Lighting director Bob Hunter told The Associated Press he stepped away from his booth near the front of the stage for a quick bathroom break and then returned to a chaotic scene with shouts in his headset letting him know the lights were off. He said people in the area told him a protester had reached over and pulled a wire.
But after Hunter quickly turned them back up, Trump nixed the move.
''They're too bright, turn them off!'' he shouted, before leading his supporters in a chant of: ''Turn off the lights!''
Hunter quickly obliged.
''I was trying not to be that guy,'' he said with a sheepish laugh after the rally. ''You're making me that guy.''
VIDEO-State of Play: Mary Brigid McManamon - YouTube
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 14:04
VIDEO-Trump rally instructs supporters on how to deal with protesters
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 01:57
Will Blatter's ban be lifted?Tue, Feb 16, 2016 -(1:30)
New York Fashion Week: The ShowsMon, Feb 15, 2016 -(0:51)
Zika can't stop carnivalThu, Feb 11, 2016 -(1:07)
Who is John Kasich?Thu, Feb 11, 2016 -(0:59)
Washington's baby panda scales treeWed, Feb 10, 2016 -(0:18)
All eyes on the New Hampshire primaryMon, Feb 08, 2016 -(1:49)
Images of JanuaryFri, Feb 05, 2016 -(1:00)
Zika virus transmitted in U.S.Fri, Feb 05, 2016 -(1:23)
Hard times in Atlantic CityThu, Jan 28, 2016 -(1:54)
What is Zika?Thu, Jan 28, 2016 -(0:53)
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)
The hottest year everWed, Jan 20, 2016 -(0:29)
Young Syrians dream of homeTue, Jan 19, 2016 -(2:15)
Martin Luther King Jr. DayTue, Jan 19, 2016 -(1:47)
Turn and face the strange: David Bowie dies...Mon, Jan 11, 2016 -(1:03)
Crossing the border in 2015Thu, Jan 07, 2016 -(1:10)
Swimming in SiberiaThu, Jan 07, 2016 -(0:45)
One year anniversary of Charlie HebdoThu, Jan 07, 2016 -(1:37)
Federal government in armed stand-off with...Wed, Jan 06, 2016 -(1:22)
Images of DecemberTue, Jan 05, 2016 -(1:00)
Algeria's Tattooed womenMon, Jan 04, 2016 -(1:01)
What did you Google in 2015?Thu, Dec 31, 2015 -(0:35)
The stories of Japan's wartime ''comfort women''Wed, Dec 30, 2015 -(1:47)
Hundreds of fighters and civilians escape...Wed, Dec 30, 2015 -(0:59)
A look at the strangest scenes from 2015Wed, Dec 23, 2015 -(0:43)
A world of Christmas treesTue, Dec 22, 2015 -(1:36)
Reuters most captivating animal pictures of...Tue, Dec 22, 2015 -(0:46)
Santa Claus is coming to townMon, Dec 21, 2015 -(1:27)
The year in 60 seconds: 2015Wed, Dec 02, 2015 -(1:01)
Being Darth VaderWed, Dec 16, 2015 -(0:54)
Chelsea sack 'Special One' MourinhoFri, Dec 18, 2015 -(0:44)
Serena Williams wins SI Sportsperson of the...Thu, Dec 17, 2015 -(0:51)
Behind The Scenes of 'The Nutcracker'Mon, Dec 14, 2015 -(0:48)
VIDEO-Trump yells for rally lights to be turned off
Mon, 22 Feb 2016 01:57
Will Blatter's ban be lifted?Tue, Feb 16, 2016 -(1:30)
New York Fashion Week: The ShowsMon, Feb 15, 2016 -(0:51)
Zika can't stop carnivalThu, Feb 11, 2016 -(1:07)
Who is John Kasich?Thu, Feb 11, 2016 -(0:59)
Washington's baby panda scales treeWed, Feb 10, 2016 -(0:18)
All eyes on the New Hampshire primaryMon, Feb 08, 2016 -(1:49)
Images of JanuaryFri, Feb 05, 2016 -(1:00)
Zika virus transmitted in U.S.Fri, Feb 05, 2016 -(1:23)
Hard times in Atlantic CityThu, Jan 28, 2016 -(1:54)
What is Zika?Thu, Jan 28, 2016 -(0:53)
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)
The hottest year everWed, Jan 20, 2016 -(0:29)
Young Syrians dream of homeTue, Jan 19, 2016 -(2:15)
Martin Luther King Jr. DayTue, Jan 19, 2016 -(1:47)
Turn and face the strange: David Bowie dies...Mon, Jan 11, 2016 -(1:03)
Crossing the border in 2015Thu, Jan 07, 2016 -(1:10)
Swimming in SiberiaThu, Jan 07, 2016 -(0:45)
One year anniversary of Charlie HebdoThu, Jan 07, 2016 -(1:37)
Federal government in armed stand-off with...Wed, Jan 06, 2016 -(1:22)
Images of DecemberTue, Jan 05, 2016 -(1:00)
Algeria's Tattooed womenMon, Jan 04, 2016 -(1:01)
What did you Google in 2015?Thu, Dec 31, 2015 -(0:35)
The stories of Japan's wartime ''comfort women''Wed, Dec 30, 2015 -(1:47)
Hundreds of fighters and civilians escape...Wed, Dec 30, 2015 -(0:59)
A look at the strangest scenes from 2015Wed, Dec 23, 2015 -(0:43)
A world of Christmas treesTue, Dec 22, 2015 -(1:36)
Reuters most captivating animal pictures of...Tue, Dec 22, 2015 -(0:46)
Santa Claus is coming to townMon, Dec 21, 2015 -(1:27)
The year in 60 seconds: 2015Wed, Dec 02, 2015 -(1:01)
Being Darth VaderWed, Dec 16, 2015 -(0:54)
Chelsea sack 'Special One' MourinhoFri, Dec 18, 2015 -(0:44)
Serena Williams wins SI Sportsperson of the...Thu, Dec 17, 2015 -(0:51)
Behind The Scenes of 'The Nutcracker'Mon, Dec 14, 2015 -(0:48)


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Ad Tech Abuse

Roi Carthy, CMO of Shine-1-explains ad-tech abuse.mp3
Roi Carthy, CMO of Shine-2-Conor Mullen, Commercial Director, RTÉ Media Sales-Digital.mp3

Apple Crack

Bill Gates on Apple FBI Case.mp3
Comey on the hill-not in court-congress.MP3
Fox’s ‘Family Guy’- Getting Gays Angry is the Best Way to Change Laws.mp3
Tim Cook-1-what is at stake here.mp3
Tim Cook-2-cancer-1.mp3
Tim Cook-3-This is not a poll-military.mp3
Tim Cook-4-we would if we could-disenginuous.mp3
Tim Cook-5-debate should be in congress-1.mp3
Tim Cook-6-software equivalent of cancer-2.mp3
Tim Cook-7-no one wants a master key- bullcrap.mp3
Tim Cook-8-its abut their customers not principal!.mp3
Tim Cook-9-its abut the kids [again].mp3
Tim Cook-10-cancer-3.mp3
Tim Cook-11-encryption-slecious.mp3
Tim Cook-12-not just privacy-public safety-HAMS?.mp3
Tim Cook-13-case by case is not the right approach.mp3
Tim Cook-14-must be legislated out in the open.mp3
Tim Cook-15-take it to SCOTUS?.mp3
To Hell With The Constitution - Ted Olson Nails It-Agaist Neil Cavudo.m4a

Elections 2016

Carson- 'I Think the Way That I Am Treated by the Left Is Racism'.mp3
CBS Hosts Excuse Hillary’s Lies- We’re Liars, Too!.mp3
Chuck Todd- It's Not the Media's Job to Vet Trump's Past.mp3
CNN's Camerota Decries Trump's 'Dangerous' Anti-Press Rhetoric.mp3
Mika Rips Rubio- 'Sucking Up' to Trump to be His VP Pick.mp3
MSNBC Tries to Do Live Report From a Nevada Gun Range. It Does Not Go Well.mp3
Tump & Morning Joe hot mic.mp3

JCD Clips

ABC deconstruct Trump slam new tricks.mp3
gender weirdness.mp3
greek macedonian crises.mp3
Im Hillary Clinton-1.mp3
Im Hillary Clinton.mp3
lost voters.mp3
misc brexit quotes.mp3
new wiki leaks leak Italy spying DN.mp3
refugee crises splitting europe DW.mp3
these people are insane.mp3


Migrant crisis- Greece will not be turned into a ‘warehouse of souls,’ says Tsipras.mp3
Migrant crisis- Warnings over EU survival as ministers meet.mp3


Biden- No Senate Hearings For SCOTUS Vacancy In Election Year.mp3
Obama-I'm gonna do my job-SCOTUS.mp3

Shut Up Slave!

Mind UP Overproduced Today Show.mp3
Walking Dead Sorghum.mp3
Zenergy Chime.mp3
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