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Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 57m
June 5th, 2016
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Sinkhole forms in Northwest Austin neighborhood following rain | www.statesman.com
Sat, 04 Jun 2016 22:31
Sinkhole forms in Northwest Austin neighborhood following rain | www.statesman.com
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10:40 a.m. June 4by James Barragan /American-Statesman Staff
Residents of Sierra Blanca Street in Northwest Austin woke up to sinkhole on their road that developed overnight as rain pounded the city.
Around 9 p.m., Austin police reported that a sinkhole had formed on the 10800 block of Sierra Blanca and said the road would be shut down for days until it could be repaired. Authorities aren't sure whether the hole was caused by the rain, but noted that the street where it formed was hit with heavy rainfall.
''The street is closed to motor vehicle traffic right now,'' Carolyn Perez, the public affairs manager for the city's public works department, said Saturday morning. ''We're asking people not to move the barricade. '... We're asking for the public's consideration.''
Perez said she estimated the whole was 6 feet deep and 6 feet wide.
''It's a sizable hole,'' she said. ''We would not want someone to drive there and not realize it's there. It's at the bottom of a slight hill and you won't see it until you're right up on it, especially at night.''
Perez said the Public Works Department was working with police to keep people off the street. She said a fence would be put up around the hole. An engineer from the department will inspect the hole later Saturday to determine what caused it and how long repairs will take.
''Luckily this is a quiet street, a quiet neighborhood and not a major arterial,'' she said. ''So we don't expect it'll be a major inconvenience.''
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Thanks Adam. http://uknightednations.com is all set! I forwarded it to the itm.im link as I imagine that tracks page hits. Two forwards shouldn't throw any "too many redirects" browser errors. If it doesn't work for you let me know.
Also, I received my knight ring on Friday! My wife the teacher, being the pen/paper letter writer that she is, was ENAMORED with the set. Thank you as It is quite impressive and I'll be sending Aric my thanks as well. I'll post a picture once I get some mead.
From Gerry
...although couldn't get curry... got these...8-)
Meetup in Chicago
ITM John and Adam!
"Someone I know" just booked a No Agenda meetup in Chicago for the night of the screening of Killing Ed:
If you could mention it on the show it would be appreciated - both to get producers together, and to promote the screening as they are using Tugg and needs more confirmations before the screening happens - https://www.tugg.com/events/114595
Elections 2016
The button that isn't | Restricted Data
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 12:31
One of my favorite articles from The Onion concerns the imagined allure of ''the button'':
Despite being constantly tempted by the seductive power of having an apocalyptic arsenal at his fingertips, President Barack Obama somehow made it through another day Tuesday without unlocking the box on his desk that houses ''the button'' and launching all 5,113 U.S. nuclear warheads. '...
Though the president confirmed his schedule was packed with security briefings, public appearances, and cabinet meetings, he said he couldn't help but steal a few glances at the bright red button, which is ''right there, staring at [him], all the time.''
The article manages to wring a lot of humor out of the idea that on the President's desk is a big red button that starts World War III.
Like much of The Onion's satire, it is exceedingly clever in taking a common trope and pushing it into absurd territory. Even the physicality of the idea of a ''button'' is toyed with:
''Did you know that if you sort of put enough weight on the button with your fingertip, you can feel a little slack there before it actually clicks?'' Obama added. ''Thank you, and God bless America.''
I was thinking about this article a few months ago because I was asked by my friend from grad school, Latif Nasser, if I would be interested in talking to him and NPR's Robert Krulwich about ''the button'' for a Radiolab episode they were working on. The Radiolab show was initially meant to be about buttons '-- in all senses of the term '-- but they kept finding that things that they thought were buttons were in fact either non-buttons or non-functional buttons. You can listen to the full episode here: ''Buttons Not Buttons.''
You should listen to the whole episode, but '-- spoiler alert '-- the interesting thing about the nuclear ''button'' is that there isn't a nuclear button. That is, nuclear war can't be started by just pounding a big red button. Sorry. Waging a nuclear war requires a lot more activity, spread out across a vast geographical area, and is a complex interaction of technical, organizational, and political issues. In the Radiolab interview, I attempted to paint in broad strokes the kind of vast technical and organizational networks that are needed to maintain the United States' command and control systems '-- the systems that let you use nukes when you want to, and make sure that nukes don't get used when they are not supposed to be used.
The problem with a big red button is that someone might actually press it. Like a cat. Source: Ren and Stimpy, Space Madness.
The Onion article indicates, in its wry way, one of the key reasons there isn't a single ''button'' '-- it would be way, way too dangerous. Nobody wants nuclear war to be that easy to start. Or, as I like to put it, you don't want a nuclear weapon that can be set off by a cat. Because you know that, sooner or later, a cat would set it off. Such is the way of cats. There are places in the world where big red buttons exist. But they are usually used to stop activity, not start it. They are emergency shutoff switches, things that you need to push in a big hurry, without too much hassle. And even they might require you to break some glass first.
On the other hand, if you're a believer in deterrence and all that, you don't want it to be too hard to start nuclear war. So this is just another variation of the ''always/never'' problem: you want to be able to start nuclear war if you need to, and start it quickly and effectively, but on the other hand, you want to never start nuclear war accidentally.
''Nuclear C3 [Command, Control, Communication] Transport Systems'' '-- an attempt to characterize the technical, organizational, and political systems needed to actually start nuclear war in the United States today. Source: The Nuclear Matters Handbook, by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs.
From a technical standpoint, this means that you have to engineer a pretty complex system. In principle, the United States President has complete control over whether nuclear war starts. But the President doesn't work in a missile silo. So somewhere between the President and the silo has to be a delegation of authority, and a subsequent potential loss of control. One could, in theory, completely automate that control '-- you could install a single ''button'' '-- but aside from the technical difficulty of that, there are a lot of new potential errors that get introduced.
Eric Schlosser's Command and Control is a great read if you are interested in how this problem gets addressed over the course of the Cold War. Michael Gordin's Five Days in August is, in part, a great description of how these issues were wrangled with even in the earliest days of nuclear weapons as political control transferred from Potsdam to Washington and Tinian. If I could add footnotes to radio interviews, I would prominently name-check both of these books '-- they greatly improved my own understanding of this. As did the work of my friend Dan Volmar, who is writing a dissertation on US command and control systems. And I need to give a massive hat-tip to Stephen Schwartz, who clued me into the Roger Fisher ''cut the heart out'' that I wrote about a few years back.
A submarine-launched ballistic missile trigger. Photo by the always amazing Paul Shambroom; courtesy of Stephen Schwartz.
Of course, there sometimes are switches, keys, and '-- yes '-- buttons, as part of the overall launching systems. But they aren't centralized, and they are always more complicated than a simple big, red button. US ICBM launches require two simultaneous keys to be turned by two different people, on different sides of the room, the idea being that the odds of two people deciding to collude on an illegal launch are lower than one. SLBM launches, Stephen Schwartz reports, require the use of a pistol-grip ''trigger'' that is kept in a safe'-- a button, of sorts, though one that is hard to accidentally set off.
OK, so there isn't a single nuclear button. Why do we talk about a button? This is a great history of technology question '-- ''the button'' is a metaphor, and not a new one. Starting in the 19th century, ''the button'' (or the ''push button'' or other variations on the same thing) started becoming a standard English idiom for ''quick and easy and automatic.'' The idea that you ''push a button'' and something happens '-- as easy as that! '-- shows up in the late Machine Age and continues onward.
So ''the button'' is just a metaphor for how technology makes things easy. That's why everything in The Jetsons is button-based '-- the future was meant to take this to the extreme, where George Jetson would just spend all day at work pressing a single button. (Of course, many of us do press buttons all day '-- I am pressing quite a few as I type this '-- but generally not just one button.) If you combine the button imagery with the atomic bomb, it becomes a comment on the way technology has made mass destruction easy.
''Now I am become Edison, Wrecker of Worlds'': fictional account of Edison destroying Great Britain using ''button no. 4,'' 1896. Source: The Electrical Trade, August 1, 1896, page 9.
In fact, the idea that technology had made it so easy to destroy the world that a single button could set it all off predates nuclear fission. In the 1890s, a Parisian newspaper published a skit about Thomas Edison destroying all of England by joining some wires and pushing ''button No. 4.'' For this anecdote, and several others relating to ''pushbutton'' world destruction prior to fission, I am grateful to Spencer Weart's Nuclear Fear: A History of Images.
There are other ''button'' stories I found while searching from newspaper and journal databases. In 1929, the famous American physicist Robert Millikan was quoted as saying that ''no 'scientific bad boy' ever would be able to blow up the world by releasing atomic energy,'' (!), and he later ''scoffed at the idea that in the future by pressing a button a man might have an army of atomic servants wash his face, mend his clothing or make his bed.'' In a 1932 review of the 1928 proto-atomic-bomb drama ''Wings Over Europe,'' it is noted that ''All the scenes are set in Downing-street and the chief character is a young scientist who has presented to the cabinet a secret that could destroy the world by pressing a button.'' In article from the Weekly Irish Times in 1932, it is feared that atomic energy will enable ''a time when, by the pressing of a button or turning of a switch, it will be possible for somebody to explode the whole world like a penny balloon. It will be a tremendously lethal opportunity.'' On these proto-atomic bomb fantasies, especially in the U.K. context, I found Graham Farmelo's Churchill's Bomb very useful. Churchill himself was an atomic-bomb speculator in the H.G. Wells vein, writing about atomic energy as early as 1931.
August 20, 1945: a LIFE magazine correspondent reports on ''push-button'' battles of the future.
So when the actual atomic bomb came along, there was already a ready-made imagery to be applied to it. (And Weart's book is excellent at demonstrating this well beyond the realm of buttons, too.) So when did people first start applying the button metaphor to the bomb? As early as late August 1945, there are discussions of ''push-button'' battles. By November 1945, when the physicist Edward Condon argued during Congressional testimony that ''The next war should be described as the War of the Pushbuttons,'' it was already something of a clich(C). The idea of World War III being a ''pushbutton war'' started pretty early.
I have to admit, I was a little uncertain how the ''button'' line of discussion was going to come together when I was first contacted by Latif, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was a nice way to get into a lot of different, interesting issues both about the history of the bomb (and what ''the button'' means, metaphorically), but also in explaining why there isn't a button, it allows for a nice, tangible, interesting way to bring up the questions involved in command and control systems '-- moving the discussion of the bomb out of the realm of pure imagery and into the tangible and real.
Tags: 1940s, 1950s, Bad ideas, Bomb design, Hiroshima, Speculation
This entry was posted on Monday, December 15th, 2014 at 11:26 am and is filed under Visions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Citation: Alex Wellerstein, "The button that isn't," Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog, December 15, 2014, accessed June 2, 2016, http://blog.nuclearsecrecy.com/2014/12/15/button-isnt/.
New book reveals Bill Clinton lost secret nuclear launch codes for MONTHS | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 12:38
By David Gardner for MailOnlineUpdated: 15:51 EST, 21 October 2010
As President of the United States, you can lose the occasional round of golf. You can lose your temper. You can even lose the plot sometimes.
But you can never lose 'The Biscuit'.
It is the nickname given to the plastic card the president carries with him at all times with the codes necessary to launch a nuclear strike.
Codes... what codes? The then US president Bill Clinton is said to have lost the card on which codes needed to launch a nuclear attack are printed
And, according to a new memoir by a former Pentagon general, Bill Clinton not only misplaced the nuclear key card, it was missing for several months.
Mr Clinton, who was president between 1993 and 2001, had his aides turn the White House upside down, but it is unclear whether the codes were ever found.
The astounding gaffe was revealed by General Hugh Shelton, who served under Mr Clinton as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in his book, Without Hesitation: The Odyssey of an American Warrior.
'At one point during the Clinton administration the codes were actually missing for months,' he writes. 'That's a big deal '' a gargantuan deal.'
President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky at the White House: The President realised he'd lost the codes the day after the Monica Lewinsky scandal first hit the headlines
The Biscuit carries the unique codes that identify the president as the only person allowed to authorise a nuclear attack. It also carries the numbers required to unlock a black briefcase known as 'The Football', which is carried by a military officer who is always at the commander-in-chief's side.
Inside the case is another set of codes, on a mobile computer terminal, which the president would need to launch nuclear weapons.
The case also reportedly contains 'The Black Book', which lists retaliatory options should the U.S. come under nuclear attack and secret locations where the president could hide.
Misplaced: Mr Clinton lost the 'biscuit' containing the codes and aides searched for it after he was hand it over for a replacement
Before an order to launch a nuclear attack can be processed by the military, the President must be positively identified using the special code issued on the plastic card
Without The Biscuit, the most powerful man on the planet was powerless. The blunder was confirmed by another senior former military officer, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Robert Patterson, one of those charged with carrying around The Football.
He said the gaffe became evident the morning the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke in 1998 '' Mr Clinton was alleged to have had an affair with the White House intern.
Lt Col Patterson said he made a routine request of the president to present him with the card so he could update it. 'He thought he just placed them upstairs,' he said.
'We called upstairs, we started a search around the White House for the codes, and he finally confessed that he had misplaced them. He couldn't recall when he had last seen them.'
While he said the card went missing in 1998, Gen Shelton claimed it happened in 2000.
But Mr Clinton may not have been the first president to lose the codes.
Although the story has never been officially confirmed, Jimmy Carter supposedly managed to leave them in a suit sent to the dry cleaners.
Maybe Donald Trump has really lost his mind: What if the GOP frontrunner isn't crazy, but simply not well? - Salon.com
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 13:57
The Donald Trump gaffe track keeps playing. The GOP frontrunner seems to literally spew out a doozy almost daily. Campaigning in Pittsburgh, he recently blathered, ''How's Joe Paterno? We gonna bring that back? Right? How about that'--how about that whole deal?'' While his campaign suggested he was referring to the former Penn State football coach's statue, it was hard to shake the sense that Trump was unaware that Paterno died in 2012 and that Pittsburgh has no direct tie to the sports program at Penn State, which is located three hours east.
Then there was the time that Sean Hannity asked Trump which government agencies Trump would shut down, ''The Department of Environmental,'' Trump replied. That exact sort of gaffe killed Rick Perry's entire campaign, but despite some biting Stephen Colbert mockery, the mistake hasn't seemed to hurt Trump at all. He won New York despite suggesting September 11 happened on 7/11.
But here's the thing, the Trump campaign seems to be filled with more than just gaffes. Channeling his inner Sarah Palin, Trump's rants often seem to lose any connection with reality at all. Take the example of Trump's interview with the Washington Post editorial board in March. During that exchange one of the editors asked Trump if he would consider using a tactical nuclear weapon against ISIS.
Check out Trump's reply:
TRUMP: I don't want to use, I don't want to start the process of nuclear. Remember the one thing that everybody has said, I'm a counterpuncher. Rubio hit me. Bush hit me. When I said low energy, he's a low-energy individual, he hit me first. I spent, by the way, he spent 18 million dollars' worth of negative ads on me. That's putting [MUFFLED]'...
RYAN: This is about ISIS. You would not use a tactical nuclear weapon against ISIS?
TRUMP: I'll tell you one thing, this is a very good-looking group of people here. Could I just go around so I know who the hell I'm talking to?
We have become so accustomed to these sorts of ramblings that we don't really register them as anything more than standard nonsensical Trump-speak'--a pattern of speech we have seen crop up across the GOP in recent years, most notably in Palin's gibberish. But I urge you to re-read the exchange above and register the range of nonsense'--the lack of basic grammar, the odd syntax, the abrupt shift in topic, the disconnect from reality, the paranoia, and the seeming inability to even grasp the question.
As we scratch our heads and wonder how someone who says and does such things can still be a frontrunner, I want to throw out a concern. What if Trump isn't ''crazy'' but is actually not well instead? To put it differently: what if his campaign isn't a sign of a savvy politician channeling Tea Party political rhetoric and reality TV sound bites? What if it's an example of someone who doesn't have full command of his faculties?
We've watched both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton come under fire for potentially being unfit medically to run, but have we wondered enough about Trump? There is far more media coverage about Clinton's health at 68 than Trump's at 69.
There could be a good reason why. At times it can be very hard to distinguish between extreme right-wing politics and symptoms of dementia. The Alzheimer's Association tells us that if two of the following core mental functions seem impaired then it is time to seek medical help: Memory, communication and language, ability to focus and pay attention, reasoning and judgment, visual perception. Alzheimer's carries other symptoms besides memory loss including difficulty remembering newly learned information, disorientation, mood and behavior changes; deepening confusion about events, time and place; unfounded suspicions about family, friends and professional caregivers; more serious memory loss and behavior changes.
Scholars of the recent trends in GOP politics point to some of the very same tendencies happening across the extreme right-wing faction of the party. (See this and this for example.)
Much to the chagrin of the reasonable conservatives who wonder what has happened to their party, it is now often difficult to distinguish Republican rhetoric from the ravings of someone suffering from diminished mental capacity.
The first time I wondered at something being not quite right with Trump's brain was during the first debate in August 2015 when Trump said ''We need brain in this country to turn it around.'' Even my 10-year-old son noted that Trump had suggested we need intelligence in government in a really stupid way. But it was more than stupid; it was ungrammatical. It wasn't simply a basic use of language; it lacked the grammar structure that even a third grader has readily available. And for all of the ease with which we Trump bash, it's worth remembering that he did, in fact, graduate from Wharton as an undergraduate in economics. He might have been full of bluster back then, but I'm guessing he still could speak in a complete sentence.
The next real warning sign was the doctor letter Trump trotted out to show that he was in fine shape. The Daily Beast jokingly said that the letter was more insane than Trump's campaign. But, at the time, no one expected him to still be the frontrunner today. I urge you to take a look and re-read the letter now.
One might wonder how a physician could mess up the phrase ''to whom it may concern'' and not be asked for a revision from the Trump team, but the really disturbing tells are the reference to ''positive'' results (which in medicine means actually finding an ailment) and Trump being the ''healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency'' (a statement that can't be proven).
Last October, Death and Taxes ran a piece wondering if Trump had dementia. They pointed to the fact that Trump's father, Fred, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's six years prior to his death. They also highlighted Trump's aggressive late-night tweets, his childish behavior, his name-calling and mood swings. They explained that it would be really easy for Trump take some tests and prove that he is mentally fit. ''Because if Trump can prove he's not suffering from a degenerative neurological disorder that has left him with a damaged mind devoid of all shame or self-awareness, he might just be an asshole.''
Now it may seem like I'm taking this in a flip manner and not respecting the real health challenges that face those that suffer these ailments. But that's actually my point. I need to be reassured that Trump is indeed OK so that the jokes about him remain funny. Public mockery has been the only way to stay balanced this election. And, of course, the best jokes about Trump have come from political satirists because satire does more than poke fun. It encourages critical thinking in the face of blind acceptance. It doesn't just make Trump look silly and stupid; it points out that he's dangerous to democracy. It's the difference between jokes about his orange face and jokes about his demagoguery.
One excellent example was John Oliver's brilliant piece on Trump that ended by outing that Trump's name had originally been Drumpf'--a truth that was extremely ironic since Trump himself likes to mock others for their names. In the bit Oliver called Trump a ''serial liar,'' who had ''a string of broken business ventures and the support of a former Klan leader, who he can't decide whether or not to condemn.'' It was Oliver's most watched segment from ''Last Week Tonight.'' But it's not funny if Trump really can't actually remember his family history, his business past, or who David Duke is.
Satirical humor only works if it is punching up. Humor that punches down is just mean. A joke about Trump's brain is amusing; one about an Alzheimer's patient is twisted and cruel.
There are countless other excellent examples of Trump comedy takedowns'--all of which depend entirely on the idea that Trump is not someone who actually needs medical attention. For more, see these examples from Larry Wilmore, Samantha Bee and Stephen Colbert.
Lee Camp's Redacted Tonight reminded viewers that Trump speaks at a fourth grade level. That makes him, according to Camp, scientifically proven to be the dumbest candidate of them all. But Camp's joke is only funny if Trump is talking that way to attract voters who respond to his simplistic rhetoric. It's not funny if he really has lost the ability to speak like a healthy adult.
Woman pelted with eggs by Trump protesters | TheHill
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 14:06
A woman wearing a Donald TrumpDonald TrumpWill America's job creators also 'feel the Bern'?Trump tears into 'Morning Joe'Ryan previews 'A Better Way' GOP agendaMORE for president jersey was cornered by dozens of protesters on Thursday and pelted with water bottles and eggs.
It was just one of several incidents of violence at the San Jose event, the most disturbing scenes yet of growing confrontations on the 2016 campaign trail.
Raw video: Punches thrown in clashes following @realDonaldTrump rally in San Jose. pic.twitter.com/U4d7vSbkf2
'-- M. Scott Mahaskey (@smahaskey) June 3, 2016NBC News reported that several Trump supporters were punched or chased as they left the event. Video showed protestors taking the a red Trump hat from one man. The hat was then set on fire.
San Jose Police Sgt. Enrique Garcia told NBC News that several protesters were arrested and one officer was assaulted in the melee, NBC reported.
John Podesta, Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonWill America's job creators also 'feel the Bern'?Clinton chair: Tech community wants to know candidate is 'on the level'Poll: Clinton leads Trump by 3 points in FloridaMORE's campaign manager, condemned the violence on Twitter.
Violence against supporters of any candidate has no place in this election.https://t.co/PY4vYYszVf
'-- John Podesta (@johnpodesta) June 3, 2016Political commentator Mark Halperin of Bloomberg criticized police, questioning why they didn't step in earlier.
"What those people did in San Diego is outrageous and law enforcement in San Diego really dropped the ball," Halperin said.
The incidents are likely to raise pressure on police in Cleveland, where the GOP is hosting its convention this summer, to take additional steps for ready for big protests planned for Trump.
At this point in the protest, police have usually declared an unlawful assembly and tell the crowd to disperse. Not in San Jose.
'-- Jacob Rascon (@Jacobnbc) June 3, 2016I called 911 but no one answered. Donald trump protest in San Jose, CA pic.twitter.com/LwaWyeYZfq
'-- Marcus DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) June 3, 2016American flag burned at anti-Trump protest last night in San Jose. Photo by @thomvmendoza via @mendozamarthapic.twitter.com/m0M0ALtfF5
'-- Joshua Chavers (@JoshuaChavers) June 3, 2016
Trump Has a Conflict-of-Interest Problem No Other White House Candidate Ever Had - BillMoyers.com
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 18:07
He owes at least $100 million to a foreign bank that's battled with US regulators.
Donald Trump speaks during a rally in San Diego, California on May 27, 2016. (Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images)
In his most recent financial disclosure statement, Donald Trump notes he has billions of dollars in assets. But the presumptive GOP nominee also has a tremendous load of debt that includes five loans each over $50 million. (The disclosure form, which presidential candidates must submit, does not compel candidates to reveal the specific amount of any loans that exceed $50 million, and Trump has chosen not to provide details.) Two of those megaloans are held by Deutsche Bank, which is based in Germany but has US subsidiaries. And this prompts a question that no other major American presidential candidate has had to face: What are the implications of the chief executive of the US government being in hock for $100 million (or more) to a foreign entity that has tried to evade laws aimed at curtailing risky financial shenanigans, that was recently caught manipulating markets around the world and that attempts to influence the US government?
Trump's disclosure form lists 16 loans from 11 different lenders, totaling at least $335 million, and the aggregate amount is likely much more. Deutsche Bank is clearly his favorite lender, and Trump's financial empire has become largely dependent on his relationship with this major player on Wall Street and the global markets. The German bank has lent him at least $295 million for two of his signature projects. In 2012, Deutsche provided Trump with $125 million to help him buy Trump National Doral golf course. Last year, it handed Trump a $170 million line of credit for his new hotel project on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC.
Having a president who owes a lot of money to banks, particularly when it's on negotiable terms '-- it puts them at the mercy of the banks and the banks are at the mercy of regulators.'-- University of Minnesota Professor Richard Painter
Should Trump move into the White House, four blocks away from his under-construction hotel, he would be its first inhabitant to owe so much to any bank. And in recent years, Deutsche Bank has repeatedly clashed with US regulators. So might it be awkward '-- if not pose a conflict of interest '-- for Trump to have to deal with policy matters that could affect this financial behemoth?
Richard Painter, an attorney who teaches at the University of Minnesota and who was the chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007, says a situation in which a sitting president owes hundreds of millions of dollars to any entity, especially a bank that jousts with regulators, is disturbing. There have been wealthy presidents and vice presidents, Painter notes, pointing to John Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt and Nelson Rockefeller, but none were as heavily leveraged as Trump. ''They had large assets and usually diversified assets. They weren't in a situation where someone could put pressure on them to do what they want,'' Painter remarks. ''Whereas having a president who owes a lot of money to banks, particularly when it's on negotiable terms '-- it puts them at the mercy of the banks and the banks are at the mercy of regulators.'' Painter adds: ''In real estate, the prevailing business model is to own a lot but also owe a lot, and that is a potentially very troublesome business model for someone in public office.''
MORE ON Democracy & GovernmentBY Bill Moyers | April 20, 2016
Members of a Trump Cabinet would have to recuse themselves from any government business that would have a direct impact on their personal financial interests. If a Treasury secretary held this sort of loan, he or she could not participate in policy deliberations and actions that might have an impact on Deutsche Bank '-- and that would likely be many. But the president and vice president are excluded from this requirement. As president, Trump would have no obligation to divest his vast business holdings, though recent presidents and presidential candidates have taken steps to avoid any concern. President Barack Obama has even put off refinancing his Chicago home to save money because it would mean establishing a financial relationship with a bank, and that could prompt questions. In 2011, Mitt Romney promised to use a blind trust for his substantial personal business interests, though there were concerns regarding how ''blind'' the trust was.
Trump's relationship with Deutsche Bank means he is in league with a financial giant that has been at odds with US government regulators and has attempted to skirt reforms designed to prevent Wall Street firms from wrecking the US economy once again. Last year, around the same time Trump secured the $170 million for the Washington project, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay a $2.5 billion fine to regulators here and abroad for its role in rigging interest rates. This included $600 million to the New York State Department of Financial Services, $800 million to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, and $775 million to the Department of Justice. As Reuters reported, ''Slamming Germany's largest lender for 'cultural failings,' regulators squarely blamed senior staff for misleading them, failing to be open and cooperative, and prolonging the investigation.'' From roughly 2003 to 2010, as the news service put it, the bank ran a scam to ''fix rates'...used to price hundreds of trillions of dollars of loans and contracts worldwide.'' The bank also recently reached settlements in lawsuits alleging it had manipulated prices for precious metals and their derivatives.
Like most big banks, Deutsche Bank has been at odds with regulators over the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform measure. But it went to unusual lengths to dodge some of the law's requirements. For years, the bank operated in the United States through two subsidiaries that were legally considered to be American entities. Yet in 2012 '-- after Dodd-Frank was enacted '-- the bank tried to rewrite its own corporate structure to make it less American. Under the new law, a foreign-based bank's subsidiaries were required to maintain certain minimum levels of capital '-- as much as $20 billion worth of reserves in Deutsche Bank's case '-- so that the bank could weather another financial catastrophe like the one that occurred in 2008. The consequence of the rule also restricted how freely an American subsidiary of a foreign bank could invest and how much risk it could assume. This was the point of the law: to prevent gargantuan financial firms from behaving recklessly, collapsing, and, once more, requiring a taxpayer-funded bailout.
MORE ON HistoryBY Gail Ablow | February 26, 2016
Rather than accept these limitations, Deutsche Bank reorganized itself, moving its commercial banking subsidiary out of the holding company for its American operations, which also contained its investment arm. Deutsche Bank then claimed this banking subsidiary was not subject to the new Dodd-Frank regulations. The Federal Reserve didn't fall for this stunt. The bank eventually was forced to comply with Dodd-Frank requirements.
That was only the beginning of Deutsche Bank's problems with Dodd-Frank. Last September, in its first enforcement action on new Dodd-Frank provisions, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission fined Deutsche Bank $2.5 million for failing to report properly on its trading of swaps, which are complex financial derivatives.
And like most big banks, Deutsche Bank lobbies heavily in Washington. Last year it spent $600,000 on a stable of lobbyists. In 2010, the year Dodd-Frank was enacted, the bank spent nearly $2.6 million on influence-peddlers in the nation's capital.
So how might Trump, should he become president, handle the conflict of interest posed by his relationship with Deutsche Bank?
The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment, but previously Trump has said (without mentioning Deutsche Bank specifically) that he would avoid any conflicts of interest by installing his children at the top of the Trump business empire.
''There would be enormous tax consequences from just giving it all to the children,'' Painter says. ''But just merely letting his [children] run the business doesn't solve the problem. You really have got to figure out a way to sell your interest in the business and sell off the risk.'' Other wealthy presidents have tended to own assets that could easily be unwound or sold off. But for Trump, disposing of his real estate holdings would be a special challenge. ''I think what you need to do is wind down or sell off the real estate portfolio, and that probably takes time,'' Painter says. ''It's not like liquid securities that are easy to sell. Or he'd need to start to focus on paying off this debt.''
Selling the parts of the businesses that he has mortgaged might be particularly difficult, because some of the debt may be tied to him personally. In the past that has led to problems, even with Deutsche Bank. In 2005, Trump borrowed $640 million from Deutsche Bank and several other lenders for the construction of a Chicago hotel tower. When he failed to pay back the money on time in 2008, the banks, including Deutsche Bank, demanded he pay up the $40 million he had personally guaranteed. In response, Trump sued Deutsche Bank for $3 billion, saying the project's financial troubles were the fault of the economic recession, essentially an act of God, and accusing the bank of undermining the project and his reputation.
Trump and Deutsche Bank patched things up, and hundreds of millions of dollars in credit subsequently flowed from the German behemoth to Trump. But with all his debt to Deutsche Bank coming due before the end of what would be Trump's second term as president, there's more to this relationship than what's on the financial ledger. The American public, too, has much at stake when it's possible that the next president will be deeply in debt to a global financial player that has been caught trying to use its influence to rig the financial system.
Ex-Texas Official: Trump U Probe Dropped Due to Politics - ABC News
Sun, 05 Jun 2016 13:11
Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton moved Friday to muzzle a former state regulator who says he was ordered in 2010 to drop a fraud investigation into Trump University for political reasons.
Paxton's office issued a cease and desist letter to former Deputy Chief of Consumer Protection John Owens after he made public copies of a 14-page internal summary of the state's case against Donald Trump for scamming millions from students of his now-defunct real estate seminar.
Owens, now retired, said his team had built a solid case against the now-presumptive Republican presidential nominee, but was told to drop it after Trump's company agreed to cease operations in Texas.
The former state regulator told The Associated Press on Friday that decision was highly unusual and left the bilked students on their own to attempt to recover their tuition money from the celebrity businessman.
According to the documents provided by Owens, his team sought to sue Trump, his company and several business associates to help recover more than $2.6 million students spent on seminars and materials, plus another $2.8 million in penalties and fees.
Owens said he was so surprised at the order to stand down he made a copy of the case file and took it home.
"It had to be political in my mind because Donald Trump was treated differently than any other similarly situated scam artist in the 16 years I was at the consumer protection office," said Owens, who lives in Houston.
Owens' boss at the time was then-Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is now the state's GOP governor.
The Associated Press first reported Thursday that Trump gave donations totaling $35,000 to Abbott's gubernatorial campaign three years after his office closed the Trump U case. Several Texas media outlets then reported Owens' accusation that the probe was dropped for political reasons.
Abbott spokesman Matt Hirsch said Friday that the governor had played no role in ending the case against Trump, a decision he said was made farther down the chain of command.
"The Texas Attorney General's office investigated Trump U, and its demands were met '-- Trump U was forced out of Texas and consumers were protected," Hirsch said. "It's absurd to suggest any connection between a case that has been closed and a donation to Governor Abbott three years later."
Paxton issued a media release about the cease and desist later Friday, saying Owens had divulged "confidential and privileged information."
Owens first learned about the state's action against him on Friday afternoon when contacted by the AP for response.
"I have done nothing illegal or unethical," said Owens, a lawyer. "I think the information I provided to the press was important and needed to be shared with the public."
Paxton faces his own legal trouble. He was indicted last year on three felony fraud charges alleging that he persuaded people to invest in a North Texas tech startup while failing to disclose that he hadn't invested himself but was being paid by the company in stock. Paxton has remained in office while appealing the charges.
Texas was not the only GOP-led state to shy away from suing Trump.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi briefly considered joining a multi-state suit against Trump U. Three days after Bondi's spokeswoman was quoted in local media reports as saying her office was investigating, Trump's family foundation made a $25,000 contribution to a political fundraising committee supporting Bondi's re-election campaign.
Bondi, a Republican, soon dropped her investigation, citing insufficient grounds to proceed.
In New York, meanwhile, Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued Trump over what he called a "straight-up fraud." That case, along with several class-action lawsuits filed by former Trump students, is still ongoing.
Trump, for his part, is standing by his namesake real estate seminars, saying he plans to resurrect Trump University if elected president.
Follow Michael Biesecker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mbieseck
Shut Up Slave!
Arrests For Social Media Posts Surge In London - Vocativ
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 19:08
If you can't do the time, don't '... eh'... tweet carelessly in London? London is increasingly slapping people with prosecutions for reckless, aggressive or plain hateful language on social media.
''Online crimes of speech'' are landing a growing number of people in London's courts, according to data reported by the city's police force in response to a Freedom of Information Request. While these types of arrests seemed to be on the decline between 2010 and 2013, a surge was observed again last year.
The Register reports that the number of arrests made for obscene, anxiety-causing, and otherwise offensive messages has increased by 37 percent since 2010. The most common type of these arrests is for ''Sending messages intended to offend or menace,'' accounting for over 60 percent of all crimes included under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003. This controversial bit of legislation broadly defines illegal communication as ''using public electronic communications network in order to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety,'' a definition that could, frankly, apply to pretty much every website on earth at some point, particularly Britain's own Daily Mail. Violating this law can carry a six-month prison term or fine of up to the equivalent of $5,500.
The arrests were all made under the same legislation which spawned the UK's infamous Twitter Joke Trial. Using just 135 characters, 28-year-old Paul Chambers tweeted a joke that would go on to capture the country's attention.
''Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky-high!!''
The ''joke tweet'' was initially deemed not credible by the airport staff that came across it, but police determined that it was enough to warrant an arrest, leading to a precedent-setting guilty verdict. In an essay for The Guardian, Chambers admitted that his frustrated tweet was ''ill-advised,'' but stated that the initial conviction caused him to believe that he lives ''in such a hyper-sensitive world that we cannot engage in hyperbole'...without having civil liberties trampled on by, at best, heavy-handed police.''
The case was eventually quashed on appeal (two years and several thousand pounds after the entire ordeal began) and the legislation in question was amended to include interim guidelines on how social media can and should be prosecuted. Under these guidelines, criminal prosecution was made limited to credible threats of violence, harassment, or stalking. Chambers' threat was deemed not credible, given the audience.
In more recent years, the legislation has been used to arrest Twitter users responsible for making racist or anti-Muslim comments. Among the scores of those recently arrested for inflammatory posts was a Scottish resident who had been using Facebook as a platform to espouse his disdain for Syrian refugees.
Meeting the problem at its source, some British police departments have taken to social media platforms to remind citizens to ''think before'' posting offensive material.
While citizens of the United Kingdom have largely unimpinged-upon internet access, the most recent Freedom on the Net report states that there is a higher degree of content limitations there than in the U.S. Online harassment remains a problem throughout the world, and the UK is no exception. A recent study found that the words 'slut' and 'whore' were used by UK Twitter users 10,000 times in merely three weeks.
But if you want to avoid a brush with the British law, there's one golden rule. If in doubt, don't tweet it out.
FOK.nl / Nieuws / Kiesraad wil wijziging referendumwet
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 02:54
In de wet die het raadgevend referendum regelt, staan onvolkomenheden en weeffouten, onder meer over de opkomstdrempel van 30 procent. Een snelle wijziging van de wet zou wenselijk zijn. Dat heeft de Kiesraad geschreven in een advies aan minister Ronald Plasterk (Binnenlandse Zaken).
De Kiesraad plaatst bijvoorbeeld kanttekeningen bij de opkomstdrempel van 30 procent. "De manier waarop die thans in de wet vorm is gegeven, leidt tot het onbedoelde en ook ongewenste effect van verwarring bij voorstanders van de wet waarover het referendum gaat: wel of niet gaan stemmen."
Verder heeft de raad twijfels over het doorgeven van opkomstpercentages op de dag zelf. Die kunnen de opkomst be¯nvloeden. Ook kan het uiterlijk van het stembiljet beter.
EU-associatieakkoordBegin april kon Nederland stemmen over het EU-associatieakkoord met Oekra¯ne. De kiesdrempel van 30 procent werd gehaald.
De Kiesraad - die gaat over de (wets-)technische kanten van stemmen en het stemrecht - stelt verder voor om voortaan elektronische indiening van referendumverzoeken mogelijk te maken.
Kiesraad wil wijziging referendumwet (Foto: ANP)
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((( How Twitter is Teaming Up to Mess with the Nazis ))) '' Tablet Magazine
Sat, 04 Jun 2016 18:56
Spend any time around prominent opinionated Jews on the Internet, particularly on platforms like Reddit or Twitter, and you're likely to encounter an odd anti-Semitic practice. White supremacists associated with the alt-right, many of them avid supporters of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, like to highlight Jewish users for targeting with parentheses: (((Rosenberg))), for example.
As Mic reported, the Internet's neo-Nazis even have their very own Chrome browser extension that automatically places these parentheses around Jewish names on web pages. But on social media, they typically add the symbols themselves to troll Jews and alert fellow bigots to a potential target. Mic's staff, for example, received these charming tweets singling out Jews on their team:
With a name like ''Yair Rosenberg,'' I might as well be called Jewy McJewface on Twitter. As a result, I've been on the receiving end of this sort of treatment for years, long before Donald Trump entered the political fray. Likewise, The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, being a Very Prominent Jew With Opinions on the Internet, has been a lightning rod for such abuse. So last night, he decided to preempt the neo-Nazis and put parentheses around his own Twitter username. It seemed like a good idea to me, so I tweeted this:
Then I went to bed. It turned out a lot of people'--not just Jews'--liked the idea. Some anonymous accounts even outed themselves as Jews to show solidarity. Muslims, Christians, and Hindus changed their names to show their support. As of now, hundreds of accounts have appropriated the Nazi symbols as their own.
It's worth noting that the internet's anti-Semites hate when their culture is appropriated by their opponents. For example, when internet users started repurposing Pepe the Frog, a previously racist meme, a white nationalist lamented:
Most memes are ephemeral by nature, but Pepe is not'... He's a reflection of our souls, to most of us. It's disgusting to see people ('normies,' if you will) use him so trivially. He belongs to us. And we'll make him toxic if we have to.
Which makes stealing the bigots' signature symbolism for Jews all the more fun.
Previous:Who Are Trump's Alt-Right Supporters?What Fuels Trump-Supporting Twitter Trolls?
Yair Rosenberg is a senior writer at Tablet and the editor of the English-language blog of the Israeli National Archives. Follow him on Twitter @Yair_Rosenberg.
Scientific Study Proves Scientific Studies Can't Prove Anything | NCSE
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 19:12
I just love it when scientists reWhen science asks: "What is truth?"spond to criticism by rolling up their sleeves and doing science. This is especially heartening during magical thinking, er, I mean, campaign season.
What follows is a two-step story of science making an effort to get it right when facing internal doubt. In the early years of the new millennium, a couple of high-profile fraud cases rocked the field of psychology. For those who had been raising alarms about the reproducibility of scientific results for some time, the fraud cases were a clear sign that the problem went beyond simple fraud at the individual level. They argued that publishing incentives that reward novelty and discourage replication had created an environment in which fraud is more likely to go undetected, perhaps even encouraging systemic fraud.
The resulting doubts about scientific integrity were dire enough that a group of researchers was able to attract major foundation funding to carry out an experiment. Called ''The Reproducibility Project: Psychology,'' the researchers set out to replicate 100 psychology studies published in high-impact journals in 2008. They worked with the original authors to replicate the original conditions as closely as possible. Their sobering results were published in 2015. Just 39% of the studies could be reproduced.
Now I am not going to hold against this extremely flashy and surprising study, that has not to my knowledge been replicated, the fact that it was not published in an open access journal for anyone to read, but rather, in Science. After all, Science is one of those for-profit, high-impact journals whose editorial decisions purportedly incentivize scientists to publish results that are flashy and surprising, and at the same time disincentivize the sharing of negative results or full details of experimental methods. Kind of ironic that this particular paper was published there, but hey, that doesn't make it wrong. The results it reports have, I gather, around a 40% chance of being replicable.
But are they correct?
That brings us to the second part of the story. In the New York Times last weekend, Jay Van Bavel, associate professor of psychology at New York University, described an experiment he and his colleagues carried out to test a hypothesis about why so many studies failed to replicate. I think it's pretty clever.
Remember that the results in doubt were from psychology studies. Van Bavel and colleagues noted that many psychology experiments are heavily context dependent. Van Bavel describes what he means by ''contextually sensitive'' as follows:
Imagine a study that examined whether an advertisement for a ''color-blind work environment'' was reassuring or threatening to African-Americans. We assumed it would make a difference if the study was conducted in, say, Birmingham, Ala., in the 1960s or Atlanta in the 2000s. On the other hand, a study that examined how people encoded the shapes and colors of abstract objects in their visual field would be less likely to vary if it were rerun at another place and time.
How science works: check out the excellent Understanding Science website for moreVan Bavel and his colleagues recruited a team of psychologists and asked them to rate all 100 of the studies from the Reproducibility Project based on the contextual sensitivity of the study. The results were published last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. I find it neither surprising nor flashy that those studies rated most contextually sensitive were also least likely to have been successfully replicated.
It's that old ''unknown unknown'' problem again; biological studies'--and human behavior studies in particular'--are examining phenomena of such staggering complexity that there are simply too many variables to successfully control, or even name. Those studies carried out in contexts where variables were objectively rated as harder to control were also harder to reproduce.
So is there a crisis of reproducibility or not? I'm going to come to a stubbornly equivocal conclusion: yes and no. There is definitely room for improvement. Intense competition for research dollars and academic job security, unconscious bias, pressure to publish in big-name journals, and the lack of a mechanism to share negative results no doubt all contribute in one way or another to the skewing of published results toward the over-hyped and the underpowered. On the other hand, there is a wealth of evidence, of which Van Bavel et al.'s study is just one example, that failure to reproduce does not mean that results were wrong, or that deliberate fraud was involved in the research. Reproducibility problems may, instead, mean that we're about to learn a little bit more about how the world works. I hope, as the ''reproducibility'' bandwagon gathers speed (the same group that carried out the project for psychology is now doing a similar study on cancer research results), its practitioners will do everything they can to root out and control for their own biases, and avoid throwing the science baby out with the replication bathwater.
Cat in a box credit: from Creative Commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dantekgeek/522563155
Tory election fraud allegations: the full story - Channel 4 News
Sun, 05 Jun 2016 01:36
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G4S strikes again'.....this time in the US | The Slog.
Sat, 04 Jun 2016 16:16
As the disgraceful mishandling of 2012 Olympics security becomes a distant memory on the horizon of Thatcherite naivety '' as the saga of Care Home sleaze and fiddled invoices fades from full primary colours into pastel-shady deals '' and as we begin to forget about how Theresa May was handing G4S business just as Chris Grayling was banning them from Government contracts in perpetuity'....this soi-disant ''security'' company is engaged in compromising the one aim its US employer has: Homeland Security.
American Border Patrol whistleblowers have told US investigative website Judicial Watch that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is surreptitiously transporting illegal Mexican immigrants from the Mexican border to Phoenix'...and then releasing them without proper processing or issuing court appearance documents.
Judicial Watch is a right-wing site with what one could call ''good intentions''. It's too Trumpy and kick-out wetbacks for my taste, but the things that make this story credible are (1) I've been on G4S's case for five years in the UK, and this lulu bears all their hallmarks (2) the site's sources mirror what others have told me about the mess the DHS is in, and (3) as the emerging nations are squeezed more and more by financially manipulated globalism, border meltdowns like these are inevitable'...be they in France, Greece or Austria.
This shot was taken earlier this week by Judicial Watch at the Phoenix Greyhound bus station, on Buckeye Road'....where unprocessed illegals then made their various ways forward. White unmarked vans arrived carrying a group of 'lucky' immigrants. G4S drove them from the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector where they were in custody to Phoenix.
The covert policy reflects recent Congressional testimony given by Bandon Judd, chief of the National Border Patrol Council '' the trade union that represents border guards. Judd told lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee that illegal immigrants without serious criminal convictions can be released immediately and disappear into the shadows. This was also confirmed by one law enforcement official in Arizona, who told Judicial Watch, ''They're telling us to put them on a bus and let them go'...Just move those bodies across the country.''
It would not, of course, occur to G4S to tell US legislators that the tide of immigrants is beyond their control'....because that would threaten G4S's gigantic fee for providing security that is clearly no longer viable. Three years ago in the UK '' using information from Open Democracy '' I was able to show that G4S made a planning application to convert a house into a children's home, under the name of one Simon Herbert, to Buckinghamshire Council. A Statement in support of the application, purporting to come from 'Childrens Services', was sent to Aylesbury Vale District Council. In fact, both were issued by G4S. The forged document went on to say that 'Both Local and National Planning Policy support the proposed change of use.' G4S simply made this up.
A year before that, I catalogued how Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt were forced to call in the army to run UK Olympic Games security, after G4S were found to have provided 3,500 less staff than promised '' most of them woefully unqualified '' and then the staff were caught by media surveillance literally asleep on the job.
In March 2014, G4S were forced to give a hundred million Pounds in overcharged fees back to the Ministry of Justice'....but then, a month later, Whitehall declared them free of blame.
The company is still as cosy as a bug in a rug '' or a cockroach under the carpet '' with the crooked incompetents of Whiteminster. It is still in charge of housing UK asylum seekers, although is now thankfully losing money on the three year old contract'....because 'the sheer number of asylum seekers now coming under the programme far exceeded original estimates made by G4S'. No change there then.
In January of 2016, yet again the Labour Party demanded that 'Private jail firm G4S should be banned from getting new government deals after a probe allegedly revealed abuse at a youth prison'. A BBC Panorama expos(C) then went on to show undercover footage of youngsters being restrained at Medway Secure Training Centre '' where one inmate was left struggling to breathe , and staff at the G4S-run jail slapped one teenager on the head and stabbed another in the leg with a fork. Seven staff members were later suspended from the centre in Kent.
I'm just giving you a flavour of this highly favoured government supplier, that just keeps on cheating, screwing up'....then being cleared before being reappointed. I sincerely hope the US authorities will be less tolerant and forgiving.
However, my growing feeling over the five years of following G4S is that, shall we say, their marketing methods employ a judicious mixture of cronyism and money.
This sort of thing is meat and drink to Jeremy Hunt, a man whose own company Hotcourses was let off the hook and then covertly reappointed by his second cousin Baroness Nettlestone. That little act of nepotism went on to make his fortune'...which remains on paper by the way, because when eighteen months ago a large combine offered £17m to buy Hotcourses, they began the due diligence'....and then reversed out like an Italian tank on rocket fuel. Go figure, eh?
Hunt was involved in hiring G4S for the Olympics, and for defending them'....at one point telling a committee it was ''quite normal'' for a government supplier to underperform. He really has no idea whatTF he is at. Mind you, Jeremy has no idea at all why he withheld emails from the BSkyB bid enquiry, had several meetings with James Murdoch in New York during 2007, blagged a seat ( as well as a BC contract) off his second-cousin, denied she was his second cousin, co-authored a pamphlet urging the destruction of the NHS, or wouldn't meet the junior doctors for further talks until cornered into admitting that his weekend hospital death stats were invented garbage.
As for Boris'....well, The Slog has a page dedicated to the Rake's Progress. You can access it here. Suffice to say that he and Hunt have a close chum in common: Rupert Murdoch.
This is the real bottom line: Western governments are not facing border control realities, and as a result the topic is easy for racists to sensationalise. Neither syndrome is even remotely advisable. In the meantime, those governments are employing profiteering incompetents to not do the job. And in that context, nobody else on the planet comes close to G4S when it comes to corruptly engineered cock-ups.
Corruption connected at yesterday's Slog: Dippy Daydream Morgan and educational cronyismLike this:LikeLoading...
DHS Quietly Moving, Releasing Vanloads of Illegal Aliens Away from Border - Judicial Watch
Sat, 04 Jun 2016 17:24
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is quietly transporting illegal immigrants from the Mexican border to Phoenix and releasing them without proper processing or issuing court appearance documents, Border Patrol sources tell Judicial Watch. The government classifies them as Other Than Mexican (OTM) and this week around 35 were transferred 116 miles north from Tucson to a Phoenix bus station where they went their separate way. Judicial Watch was present when one of the white vans carrying a group of OTMs arrived at the Phoenix Greyhound station on Buckeye Road.The OTMs are from Honduras, Colombia, El Salvador and Guatemala and Border Patrol officials say this week's batch was in custody for a couple of days and ordered to call family members in the U.S. so they could purchase a bus ticket for their upcoming trip from Phoenix. Authorities didn't bother checking the identity of the U.S. relatives or if they're in the country legally, according to a Border Patrol official directly involved in the matter. American taxpayers pick up the fare for those who claim to have a ''credible fear,'' Border Patrol sources told JW. None of the OTMs were issued official court appearance documents, but were told to ''promise'' they'd show up for a hearing when notified, said federal agents with firsthand knowledge of the operation.
A security company contracted by the U.S. government is driving the OTMs from the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector where they were in custody to Phoenix, sources said. The firm is called G4S and claims to be the world's leading security solutions group with operations in more than 100 countries and 610,000 employees. G4S has more than 50,000 employees in the U.S. and its domestic headquarters is in Jupiter, Florida. Judicial Watch is filing a number of public records requests to get more information involving the arrangement between G4S and the government, specifically the transport of illegal immigrants from the Mexican border to other parts of the country. The photo accompanying this story shows the uniformed G4S guard that transported the OTMs this week from Tucson to Phoenix.
Outraged Border Patrol agents and supervisors on the front lines say illegal immigrants are being released in droves because there's no room to keep them in detention. ''They're telling us to put them on a bus and let them go,'' said one law enforcement official in Arizona. ''Just move those bodies across the country.'' Officially, DHS denies this is occurring and in fact earlier this year U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske blasted Border Patrol union officials for denouncing this dangerous catch-and-release policy. Kerlikowske's scolding came in response to the congressional testimony of Bandon Judd, chief of the National Border Patrol Council, the labor union that represents line agents. Judd told lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee that illegal immigrants without serious criminal convictions can be released immediately and disappear into the shadows. Kerlikowske shot back, telling a separate congressional committee: ''I would not stand by if the Border Patrol was '-- releasing people without going through all of the formalities.''
Yet, that's exactly what's occurring. This report, part of an ongoing Judicial Watch investigation into the security risks along the southern border, features only a snippet of a much broader crisis in which illegal aliens are being released and vanishing into unsuspecting American communities. The Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest addressed this issue just a few weeks ago in a hearing called Declining Deportations and Increasing Criminal Alien Releases '' The Lawless Immigration Policies of the Obama Administration. Judd, the Border Patrol Union chief, delivered alarming figures at the hearing. He estimated that about 80% of apprehended illegal immigrants are released into the United States. This includes unaccompanied minors who are escorted to their final destination, family units and those who claim to have a credible fear of persecution in their native country. Single males that aren't actually seen crossing into the U.S. by Border Patrol agents are released if they claim to have been in the country since 2014, Judd added.
A Guaranteed Income for Every American - WSJ
Sat, 04 Jun 2016 15:27
June 3, 2016 11:59 a.m. ET When people learn that I want to replace the welfare state with a universal basic income, or UBI, the response I almost always get goes something like this: ''But people will just use it to live off the rest of us!'' ''People will waste their lives!'' Or, as they would have put it in a bygone age, a guaranteed income will foster idleness and vice. I see it differently. I think that a UBI is our only hope to deal with a coming labor market unlike any in human history and that it represents our best hope to revitalize American civil society.
The great free-market economist Milton Friedman originated the idea of a guaranteed income just after World War II. An experiment using a bastardized version of his ''negative income tax'' was tried in the 1970s, with disappointing results. But as transfer payments continued to soar while the poverty rate remained stuck at more than 10% of the population, the appeal of a guaranteed income persisted: If you want to end poverty, just give people money. As of 2016, the UBI has become a live policy option. Finland is planning a pilot project for a UBI next year, and Switzerland is voting this weekend on a referendum to install a UBI.
The UBI has brought together odd bedfellows. Its advocates on the left see it as a move toward social justice; its libertarian supporters (like Friedman) see it as the least damaging way for the government to transfer wealth from some citizens to others. Either way, the UBI is an idea whose time has finally come, but it has to be done right.
First, my big caveat: A UBI will do the good things I claim only if it replaces all other transfer payments and the bureaucracies that oversee them. If the guaranteed income is an add-on to the existing system, it will be as destructive as its critics fear.
Second, the system has to be designed with certain key features. In my version, every American citizen age 21 and older would get a $13,000 annual grant deposited electronically into a bank account in monthly installments. Three thousand dollars must be used for health insurance (a complicated provision I won't try to explain here), leaving every adult with $10,000 in disposable annual income for the rest of their lives.
People can make up to $30,000 in earned income without losing a penny of the grant. After $30,000, a graduated surtax reimburses part of the grant, which would drop to $6,500 (but no lower) when an individual reaches $60,000 of earned income. Why should people making good incomes retain any part of the UBI? Because they will be losing Social Security and Medicare, and they need to be compensated.
The UBI is to be financed by getting rid of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, housing subsidies, welfare for single women and every other kind of welfare and social-services program, as well as agricultural subsidies and corporate welfare. As of 2014, the annual cost of a UBI would have been about $200 billion cheaper than the current system. By 2020, it would be nearly a trillion dollars cheaper.
Finally, an acknowledgment: Yes, some people will idle away their lives under my UBI plan. But that is already a problem. As of 2015, the Current Population Survey tells us that 18% of unmarried males and 23% of unmarried women ages 25 through 54'--people of prime working age'--weren't even in the labor force. Just about all of them were already living off other people's money. The question isn't whether a UBI will discourage work, but whether it will make the existing problem significantly worse.
I don't think it would. Under the current system, taking a job makes you ineligible for many welfare benefits or makes them subject to extremely high marginal tax rates. Under my version of the UBI, taking a job is pure profit with no downside until you reach $30,000'--at which point you're bringing home way too much ($40,000 net) to be deterred from work by the imposition of a surtax.
Some people who would otherwise work will surely drop out of the labor force under the UBI, but others who are now on welfare or disability will enter the labor force. It is prudent to assume that net voluntary dropout from the labor force will increase, but there is no reason to think that it will be large enough to make the UBI unworkable.
Involuntary dropout from the labor force is another matter, which brings me to a key point: We are approaching a labor market in which entire trades and professions will be mere shadows of what they once were. I'm familiar with the retort: People have been worried about technology destroying jobs since the Luddites, and they have always been wrong. But the case for ''this time is different'' has a lot going for it.
When cars and trucks started to displace horse-drawn vehicles, it didn't take much imagination to see that jobs for drivers would replace jobs lost for teamsters, and that car mechanics would be in demand even as jobs for stable boys vanished. It takes a better imagination than mine to come up with new blue-collar occupations that will replace more than a fraction of the jobs (now numbering 4 million) that taxi drivers and truck drivers will lose when driverless vehicles take over. Advances in 3-D printing and ''contour craft'' technology will put at risk the jobs of many of the 14 million people now employed in production and construction.
The list goes on, and it also includes millions of white-collar jobs formerly thought to be safe. For decades, progress in artificial intelligence lagged behind the hype. In the past few years, AI has come of age. Last spring, for example, a computer program defeated a grandmaster in the classic Asian board game of Go a decade sooner than had been expected. It wasn't done by software written to play Go but by software that taught itself to play'--a landmark advance. Future generations of college graduates should take note.
Exactly how bad is the job situation going to be? An Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development study concluded that 9% of American jobs are at risk. Two Oxford scholars estimate that as many as 47% of American jobs are at risk. Even the optimistic scenario portends a serious problem. Whatever the case, it will need to be possible, within a few decades, for a life well lived in the U.S. not to involve a job as traditionally defined. A UBI will be an essential part of the transition to that unprecedented world.
The good news is that a well-designed UBI can do much more than help us to cope with disaster. It also could provide an invaluable benefit: injecting new resources and new energy into an American civic culture that has historically been one of our greatest assets but that has deteriorated alarmingly in recent decades.
A key feature of American exceptionalism has been the propensity of Americans to create voluntary organizations for dealing with local problems. Tocqueville was just one of the early European observers who marveled at this phenomenon in the 19th and early 20th centuries. By the time the New Deal began, American associations for providing mutual assistance and aiding the poor involved broad networks, engaging people from the top to the bottom of society, spontaneously formed by ordinary citizens.
These groups provided sophisticated and effective social services and social insurance of every sort, not just in rural towns or small cities but also in the largest and most impersonal of megalopolises. To get a sense of how extensive these networks were, consider this: When one small Midwestern state, Iowa, mounted a food-conservation program during World War I, it engaged the participation of 2,873 church congregations and 9,630 chapters of 31 different secular fraternal associations.
Did these networks successfully deal with all the human needs of their day? No. But that isn't the right question. In that era, the U.S. had just a fraction of today's national wealth. The correct question is: What if the same level of activity went into civil society's efforts to deal with today's needs'--and financed with today's wealth?
The advent of the New Deal and then of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society displaced many of the most ambitious voluntary efforts to deal with the needs of the poor. It was a predictable response. Why continue to contribute to a private program to feed the hungry when the government is spending billions of dollars on food stamps and nutrition programs? Why continue the mutual insurance program of your fraternal organization once Social Security is installed? Voluntary organizations continued to thrive, but most of them turned to needs less subject to crowding out by the federal government.
This was a bad trade, in my view. Government agencies are the worst of all mechanisms for dealing with human needs. They are necessarily bound by rules applied uniformly to people who have the same problems on paper but who will respond differently to different forms of help. Whether religious or secular, nongovernmental organization are inherently better able to tailor their services to local conditions and individual cases.
Under my UBI plan, the entire bureaucratic apparatus of government social workers would disappear, but Americans would still possess their historic sympathy and social concern. And the wealth in private hands would be greater than ever before. It is no pipe dream to imagine the restoration, on an unprecedented scale, of a great American tradition of voluntary efforts to meet human needs. It is how Americans, left to themselves, have always responded. Figuratively, and perhaps literally, it is in our DNA.
Regardless of what voluntary agencies do (or fail to do), nobody will starve in the streets. Everybody will know that, even if they can't find any job at all, they can live a decent existence if they are cooperative enough to pool their grants with one or two other people. The social isolates who don't cooperate will also be getting their own monthly deposit of $833.
Some people will still behave irresponsibly and be in need before that deposit arrives, but the UBI will radically change the social framework within which they seek help: Everybody will know that everybody else has an income stream. It will be possible to say to the irresponsible what can't be said now: ''We won't let you starve before you get your next deposit, but it's time for you to get your act together. Don't try to tell us you're helpless, because we know you aren't.''
The known presence of an income stream would transform a wide range of social and personal interactions. The unemployed guy living with his girlfriend will be told that he has to start paying part of the rent or move out, changing the dynamics of their relationship for the better. The guy who does have a low-income job can think about marriage differently if his new family's income will be at least $35,000 a year instead of just his own earned $15,000.
Or consider the unemployed young man who fathers a child. Today, society is unable to make him shoulder responsibility. Under a UBI, a judge could order part of his monthly grant to be extracted for child support before he ever sees it. The lesson wouldn't be lost on his male friends.
Or consider teenage girls from poor neighborhoods who have friends turning 21. They watch'--and learn'--as some of their older friends use their new monthly income to rent their own apartments, buy nice clothes or pay for tuition, while others have to use the money to pay for diapers and baby food, still living with their mothers because they need help with day care.
These are just a few possible scenarios, but multiply the effects of such interactions by the millions of times they would occur throughout the nation every day. The availability of a guaranteed income wouldn't relieve individuals of responsibility for the consequences of their actions. It would instead, paradoxically, impose responsibilities that didn't exist before, which would be a good thing.
Emphasizing the ways in which a UBI would encourage people to make better life choices still doesn't do justice to its wider likely benefits. A powerful critique of the current system is that the most disadvantaged people in America have no reason to think that they can be anything else. They are poorly educated, without job skills, and live in neighborhoods where prospects are bleak. Their quest for dignity and self-respect often takes the form of trying to beat the system.
The more fortunate members of society may see such people as obstinately refusing to take advantage of the opportunities that exist. But when seen from the perspective of the man who has never held a job or the woman who wants a stable family life, those opportunities look fraudulent.
My version of a UBI would do nothing to stage-manage their lives. In place of little bundles of benefits to be used as a bureaucracy specifies, they would get $10,000 a year to use as they wish. It wouldn't be charity'--every citizen who has turned 21 gets the same thing, deposited monthly into that most respectable of possessions, a bank account.
A UBI would present the most disadvantaged among us with an open road to the middle class if they put their minds to it. It would say to people who have never had reason to believe it before: ''Your future is in your hands.'' And that would be the truth.
Mr. Murray is the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. His book advocating a universal basic income, ''In Our Hands: A Plan to Replace the Welfare State,'' was first published by AEI in 2006. A revised edition will be out later this month.
Technical Breakdown: Deutsche Bank customers can withdraw money apparently - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 16:35
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NA-Tech News
Facebook is disabling messaging in its mobile web app to push people to Messenger | TechCrunch
Sat, 04 Jun 2016 19:26
Facebook is removing the messaging capability from its mobile web application, according to a notice being served to users: ''Your conversations are moving to Messenger,'' it reads. Welcome news to the millions like me who switched to the web app in order to avoid Messenger in the first place!
At the moment, you can just dismiss the notice and go about your business. But this summer the warning will become an impenetrable wall, and your only option will be to download the official Messenger app.
I'm a little worried about this, because surely the mobile site is much used by people who have good reason not to download the app. People whose phones don't have official clients, for instance, or who can't upgrade to the latest version of an OS, and must access via the web.
And really, it strikes me as quite a hostile move, as it did before when they axed messaging from the main app. If, as everyone in the company is constantly repeating, mantra-like, that they want to connect the world, shouldn't a diversity of access options be part of that?
The usual excuse, which I am expecting to receive at any moment from Facebook PR, whom I contacted for details, is that the company wants to provide the best possible experience in messaging, and the Messenger app is the platform on which they've chosen to provide it '-- so to avoid confusion they're consolidating everyone there. (Update: that's totally the statement I got, it even said ''best experience'')I don't think a single person has ever bought that particular load of horsefeathers. It's pretty plain for anyone to see that it's easy to embellish, enrich and, of course, monetize a powerful platform like Messenger, while it's near-impossible to do so with basic text-based chat.
In other words, one service provides valuable utility to users, but not to Facebook. Can't have that!
There are differences in the core experiences of the desktop and mobile versions of Facebook '-- that's okay! It's perfectly fine that posts look different, you interact with things differently and certain features are absent or less easily accessed. This should be the case with messaging. Just offer plain text chat, for god's sake, and quit it with this reach creep. Your users will thank you, and it's really not going to hurt Messenger's growth.
By all means, advertise Messenger on top of the message feed, or point out that some content will be missing. Messenger is more full-featured! You can do video, and stickers! Look, chatbots! But the decision to switch should be the user's. By removing that agency, Facebook erodes a trust it should be tending to carefully.
And one more thing while we're at it. Let us download Facebook Lite (where messaging still works, by the way)! This geo-restriction BS has got to go. Some of us have the phone equivalent of trash fires and don't want to run that pair of hogs you call official apps.
Featured Image: Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)
Statement | The Tor Blog
Sat, 04 Jun 2016 21:23
Over the past several days, a number of people have made serious, public allegations of sexual mistreatment by former Tor Project employee Jacob Appelbaum.
These types of allegations were not entirely new to everybody at Tor; they were consistent with rumors some of us had been hearing for some time. That said, the most recent allegations are much more serious and concrete than anything we had heard previously.
We are deeply troubled by these accounts.
We do not know exactly what happened here. We don't have all the facts, and we are undertaking several actions to determine them as best as possible. We're also not an investigatory body, and we are uncomfortable making judgments about people's private behaviors.
That said, after we talked with some of the complainants, and after extensive internal deliberation and discussion, Jacob stepped down from his position as an employee of The Tor Project.
We have been working with a legal firm that specializes in employment issues including sexual misconduct. They are advising us on how to handle this, and we intend to follow their advice. This will include investigations of specific allegations where that is possible. We don't know yet where those investigations will lead or if other people involved with Tor are implicated. We will act as quickly as possible to accurately determine the facts as best we can. Out of respect for the individuals involved, we do not expect results to be made public.
People who have information to contribute are invited to contact me. I will take input seriously, and I will respect its sensitivity.
People who believe they may have been victims of criminal behavior are advised to contact law enforcement. We recognize that many people in the information security and Internet freedom communities don't necessarily trust law enforcement. We encourage those people to seek advice from people they trust, and to do what they believe is best for them.
Going forward, we want the Tor community to be a place where all participants can feel safe and supported in their work. We are committed to doing better in the future. To that end, we will be working earnestly going forward to develop policies designed to set up best practices and to strengthen the health of the Tor community.
In our handling of this situation, we aim to balance between our desire to be transparent and accountable, and also to respect individual privacy.
We expect that this will be our only public statement.
Shari SteeleExecutive DirectorThe Tor Project
Contact information:ssteele at torproject dot orgpgp key:69B4 D9BE 2765 A81E 5736 8CD9 0904 1C77 C434 1056
Ministry of Truth
Secret Dealings With Iran Led to Nuclear Talks - WSJ
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 15:48
VIENNA'--Iran secretly passed to the White House beginning in late 2009 the names of prisoners it wanted released from U.S. custody, part of a wish list to test President Barack Obama's commitment to improving ties and a move that set off years of clandestine dispatches that helped open the door to nuclear negotiations.
The secret messages, via an envoy sent by the Sultan of Oman, also included a request to blacklist opposition groups hostile to Iran and increase U.S. visas for Iranian students, according to officials...
Hillary Owes Americans the Truth About the Cause of Her Concussion. Trust Is Earned. | RedState
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 15:17
Exactly what is going on with elder Senators? Should we be concerned about, say broken ribs, black eyes and concussions? Reid is still sporting sunglasses months after his ''exercise'' accident caused his concussion and Hillary wore those coke glasses for months after she ''fell in her home'' which caused her concussion. Neither story is very plausible. A snap of an exercise band shouldn't cause that much lasting damage and neither should a minor fall at her house cause a terrible concussion that Mr. Clinton said required six months of very serious work to get over.
Maybe we should be more concerned about Senators lying to the American public rather than their health. Reid recently changed his story and there's probable cause that he got in a fist fight with his brother Larry. ''According to Power Line's John Hinderaker, brother Larry Reid, 73, is the prime suspect in the assault on Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV).''
So what really happened to Hillary? As a refresher, she claimed that she contacted a stomach virus while traveling in Europe, which made her dehydrated, which made her faint at home, which caused her to fall and hit her head, which caused a nasty concussion. And no ambulance was called per a state department official.
Her ''fall'' supposedly occurred just a few days before she was to testify on what really happened in Benghazi on 12/13/2012. Naturally many were skeptical about the timing, claiming she had Benghazi fever, not to mention that the Sec. of State would have been rushed to the hospital if it were true. A few weeks later, she was eventually admitted to the hospital on December 29, 2012 when a follow-up exam for her concussion found she had a blood clot of her right transverse venous sinus.
At the end of Dec. 2012, several sources from many countries, including the AP, Reuters, EU Times, and many others reported that Hillary was injured in a plane crash in Iran. That same crash killed US Navy Seal Commander Job W. Price yet the State Dept. claimed he died of a non-combat related injury in Afghanistan and were investigating a possible suicide. All of the sources speculated that she was on a secret mission to Iran to possibly stall a ME war or to talk about Iran's nuclear bomb program. This from the EU Times on 12/30/2012 (my emphasis):
A new Foreign Military Intelligence (GRU) report circulating in the Kremlin today is saying that United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [photo 2nd right] was injured, and a top US Navy Seal Commander killed when their C-12 Huron military passenger and transport aircraft crash landed nearly 3 weeks ago in the Iranian city of Ahvaz near the Iraqi border. Iranian intelligence agents quoted in this GRU report confirm that the C-12 Huron aircraft is still in their possession in Ahvaz, but will only admit that the plane was ''forced to land because of technical problems''. [snip] This GRU report, however, states that US military flight logs recorded by Russian air and space forces confirm that Commander Price, and other members of US Navy Seal Team 4, left their base in Urozgan Province, Afghanistan on a flight to US Naval Support Activity Bahrain where they met up with Secretary Clinton and all of them transferred to the C-12 Huron that began a flight path to Baghdad, Iraq. Within minutes of leaving Bahrain airspace, this report says, the C-12 Huron carrying Secretary Clinton and her US Navy Seal protectors, ''without notice,'' deviated from their assigned flight path heading, instead, directly towards Iran's Ahwaz International Airport where, coincidentally, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had previously landed on an ''unscheduled'' visit. Important to note, GRU analysts say in this report, was that when the C-12 Huron entered into Iranian airspace neither American nor Iran air force units responded clearly indicating that this secret mission was sanctioned. Upon the C-12 Huron landing at Ahwaz, however, this report says it encountered ''extreme turbulence'' causing it to leave the runway where its main landing gear then collapsed causing it to crash. Within seconds of the C-12 Huron crashing, this report continues, Iranian emergency and security personal responded freeing the victims, including Secretary Clinton who was reportedly unconscious and ''bleeding profusely.'' After emergency aid was given, GRU agents stationed in Iran state that another US military flight was dispatched from Bahrain to Ahwaz which evacuated all of those wounded and killed in the crash including Secretary Clinton.
Well I must admit this sounds a lot more plausible than a fall at her home. If it's true, why was it covered up? Curiously, Obama nominated Kerry on 12/21/12, before Clinton even resigned! Which lends credibility to this EU Times article titled, ''Obama Warned to Prepare for Hillary Clinton Death'' which also quotes this (my emphasis):
The Israeli MOSSAD linked news site DEBKA, who in their 31 December article titled, Hillary Clinton In Hospital Amid Speculation Of Plane Accident In Iran, wrote: '''...around Tehran and the Gulf Emirates, debkafile was already picking up insistent rumors claiming that Clinton was seriously injured while on a secret mission in the region in the first week of December. Some claimed that in the same incident, Americans in her party '' advisers and security personnel '' were either injured or killed. Those rumors did not say what her secret mission was. However, the episode described occurred shortly after Dec. 1, when, as debkafile reported at the time, Obama administration officials and senior representatives of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei launched secret talks on Iran's nuclear program.''
The inevitable Hillary is vulnerable due to her lack of credibility. This is a common theme with her and her husband and won't end for good reason; she can't be trusted as a CEO that leads by example or ''plays by the same rules''*. So if someone might be a serial liar, isn't it fair game to question her past actions? The fact is, she owes Americans the truth if she expects to be the next president. Some may ask, at this point, what difference does it make?
Is Iran holding this secret over America's head as a hostage in the nuclear talks?Is this why Hillary deleted all her emails so we don't know the truth about her trip and her involvement in secret Iran talks?Why did the NYT report she was home alone during her accident, yet Hillary said the email server is guarded by her and Bill's Secret Service protection at all times?Is she healthy enough to be president?We've seen what damage is done to our country and our allies when the president of the United States lies to cover up scandals and misdeeds. Let's not repeat that mistake and demand answers from her before the next election. She has a history of lying ala Brian William's style when for years, she repeated the lie that she took sniper fire in Bosnia, only to finally admit she fabricated the story. She lied about the video causing the deaths of Americans in Benghazi. She has long history of intentionally misleading Americans. Make her prove otherwise about the cause of her concussion.**
* h/t President Obama
**h/t Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) (D-NV)
List of Sources Not Linked Above
Eyre International, What really happened to Hilary Clinton and US Navy Seal Commander Job W. Price? (this compiles several sourced articles) DEBKAfile, Hillary Clinton in hospital amid speculation of plane accident in Iran (this is behind a paywall)Veterans Today, What Really Happened to Hillary Clinton and US Navy Seal Commander Job W. PriceIsrael National News, Op-Ed: Obama's Unprecedented BetrayalsNY Times, Clinton Is Recovering From a Concussion (this states she was home alone during her fall)
EconomicPolicyJournal.com: ABC News Report on Emergency Landing of a US Plane in Iran
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 15:15
For the record. Yesterday, ABC News via AP reported on an emergency landing of a U.S. plane in Iran more than two weeks ago: A small American commercial plane left Iran Sunday after it was repaired following an emergency landing at an Iranian airport this month, state TV reported:The plane was forced to land 16 days ago at the airport of the southern city of Ahvaz due to technical failure, Mahmoud Rasoulinejad, head of the state-owned Iran Airports Company, told the TV station.
Rasoulinejad said three passengers left Iran for Arab countries in the Gulf, but the plane remained under repair in the airport. He said the plane took off from Iran Sunday upon arrival of needed spare parts and completion of repairs.
It was not clear why the announcement of the plane's landing was not made earlier.
Iran is a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO, which requires members to come to the aid of civilian aircraft when requested.
The service was provided though Iran and U.S. are at odds over Tehran's suspect nuclear program. The West believes it might be aimed at weapons development, a charge Iran denies.
A separate report by state TV said the Falcon-900 plane had one passenger and two crew members and was flying to Rotterdam in the Netherlands from Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates when it encountered mechanical difficulties.
It said a French team from Abu Dhabi repaired the plane at Ahvaz airport.
Every day some 500 foreign airplanes pass through Iranian airspace, including 30 American aircraft.
Clinton Injured, US Navy Seal Killed In Secret US Mission To Iran
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 15:00
World's Largest English Language News Service with Over 500 Articles Updated Daily
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IronMountainApocalypse: The True Story Of 2013
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Picking up the Pieces: Practical Guide for Surviving Economic Crashes, Internal Unrest and Military SuppressionBy: Sorcha Faal ''In the span of less than 3 months gasoline prices will rise 500%. The prices of both food and shelter rise over 300%. (Continued)
Partisans Handbook:By: Sorcha Faal ''Essential Survival Guide For Resisting Foreign Military Occupation, Escape And Evasion Techniques, Surviving Interrogation, Facing Execution, Wilderness Survival (Continued)
December 30, 2012
ClintonInjured, US Navy Seal Killed In Secret US Mission To Iran
By:Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers
A new Foreign Military Intelligence (GRU) report circulating in the Kremlin today is saying that United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [photo 2nd left] was injured, and a top US Navy Seal Commander killed when their C-12 Huron military passenger and transport aircraft crash landed nearly 3 weeks ago in the Iranian city of Ahvaz near the Iraqi border.
Iranian intelligence agents quoted in this GRU report confirm that the C-12 Huron aircraft is still in their possession in Ahvaz, but will only admit that the plane was ''forced to land because of technical problems.''
The US Navy Seal member reported killed in this bizarre incident, this report says, was indentified as Commander Job W. Price[photo 3rd left] who as a leader of this highly specialized American Special Forces unit protects high-ranking diplomats traveling in Middle Eastern and Asian combat zones.
Curiously, US media reports on Commander Price's death say it being investigated as a possible suicide as he died from what the American Defense Department describes as ''a non-combat related injury.''
Equally as curious, US media reports state that Secretary Clinton will return to work next week after her having suffered what they describe as a ''nasty bout with stomach flu'' and a ''concussion'' which have kept her missing from public view the past three weeks.
This GRU report, however, states that US military flight logs recorded by Russian air and space forces confirm that Commander Price, and other members of US Navy Seal Team 4, left their base in Urozgan Province, Afghanistan on a flight to US Naval Support Activity Bahrain where they met up with Secretary Clinton and all of them transferred to the C-12 Huron that began a flight path to Baghdad, Iraq.
Within minutes of leaving Bahrain airspace, this report says, the C-12 Huron carrying Secretary Clinton and her US Navy Seal protectors, ''without notice,'' deviated from their assigned flight path heading, instead, directly towards Iran's Ahwaz International Airport where, coincidentally, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had previously landed on an ''unscheduled'' visit.
Important to note, GRU analysts say in this report, was that when the C-12 Huron entered into Iranian airspace neither American nor Iran air force units responded clearly indicating that this secret mission was sanctioned.
Upon the C-12 Huron landing at Ahwaz, however, this report says it encountered ''extreme turbulence'' causing it to leave the runway where its main landing gear then collapsed causing it to crash.
Within seconds of the C-12 Huron crashing, this report continues, Iranian emergency and security personal responded freeing the victims, including Secretary Clinton who was reportedly unconscious and ''bleeding profusely.''
After emergency aid was given, GRU agents stationed in Iran state that another US military flight was dispatched from Bahrain to Ahwaz which evacuated all of those wounded and killed in the crash including Secretary Clinton.
Strangely to note, this report says, is that in the aftermath of this crash, Iran's main oil company announced today that they were buying the Ahwaz airport with the intention of moving it because, they say, oil was discovered beneath it.
To what the Americans mission to Iran was about this report doesn't speculate upon, other than to note that with the Gulf State Monarchies rapidly approaching a union of their oil rich nations to counter Iranian power, and with President Obama signing a new law this past week to strengthen American borders against threats from Iran, and with the highly-publicized ''Velayat 91'' Iranian military exercises now taking place across a wide area from the Strait of Hormuz, a new and catastrophic war in this region is much closer to being a reality than many realize.
To if Secretary Clinton's mission was meant to forestall such a war it is not in our knowing, other than to note, that with the United States continued backing of some of the cruelest dictatorships in the world, our entire planet is but one spark away from a fire that could very well consume us all.
December 30, 2012 (C) EU and US all rights reserved. Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition it is linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase content licensed under CC-BY and GFDL.
[Ed. Note: Western governments and their intelligence services actively campaign against the information found in these reports so as not to alarm their citizens about the many catastrophic Earth changes and events to come, a stance that the Sisters of Sorcha Faal strongly disagrees with in believing that it is every human beings right to know the truth. Due to our missions conflicts with that of those governments, the responses of their 'agents' against us has been a longstanding misinformation/misdirection campaign designed to discredit and which is addressed in the report ''Who Is Sorcha Faal?''.]
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What really happened to Hilary Clinton and US Navy Seal Commander Job W. Price? (republished & modified) '' by Peter Eyre, May 10, 2013 | 2012: What's the 'real' truth?
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 14:51
Hillary Clinton was ''Hell bent on going to war with Iran'' but was there some other secret agenda when she attempted to visit Iran?
Commander Price, a top rate US Navy Seal was portrayed as taking his own life whilst serving in Afghanistan (truly an insult to his outstanding service)'...'...'....this man deserves better recognition for loosing his life whilst on a special ops mission to Iran with Hillary Clinton than being blamed for his own suicide!!!
This master of deceit certainly knew what really happened to the ''Bitch from hell''
Her office staff certainly knew what happened to her when they presented her with a crash helmet on her first day back at work
''To Wear When She Next Goes Flying''
This man certainly had first hand information on the day of the crash that nearly took her life '' ''Pity Really''
The medical team at New York Presbyterian Hospital certainly knew the difference between a blood clot and injuries sustained in a plane crash!!!
The staff at the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain had first hand knowledge of the ''Black Ops Mission & Subsequent Crash''
''It great that the sheeples here didn't know about your covert trip to Iran'...'....oh boy didn't we do a good job getting Commander Price's body back to Afghanstan and faking his own suicide?'...'...'...oh well at least it delayed the Benghazi (False Flag Operation) that we well and truly stuffed up on'...'...'.....as long as you watch my back, I'll watch yours and we should both get away with this!!
It was interesting to read someone else's interpretation of calling them the ''Butcher of Benghazi'', otherwise known as President Obama and Hillary Clinton, the most secretive, corrupt, extremist, left wing and lying administration that America has ever had the misfortune to run it. It has been built, intentionally, right from the beginning, prior to 2008, on a block of lies, fraud, treason and mis-information.
The following information has come to light which throws an air of secrecy on a trip that Hilary Clinton made in early December 2012
Was the world's media censored in covering a fatal accident that nearly killed Hilary Clinton in the Iranian City of Avaz and how did this small military aicraft, carrying such high profile passengers end up in Iran when such an aircraft carried sophisticated navigation equipment and would have normally flown coastal from Bahrain to overhead Kuwait and onwards to Baghdad as shown in the map below.
There are two stories milling around involving Hilary Clinton and also US Navy Seal Commander Job W. Price both of which could now totally be false if this report is correct'...'...'...I will let you decide its authenticity!!
Suddenly Clinton falls from office and Senator John Kerry appears on the scene'...'.....why did this women who appeared at almost every major international event, especially relating to the Middle East suddenly stop public engagements relinquish her post?
This is how the highly censored Zionist controlled media gave their explanation:
In December 2012, Clinton was hospitalized for treatment of a blood clot of her right transverse venous sinus, a vein within the head that allows blood to drain from the brain. Her doctors had discovered the clot during a follow-up examination for a concussion she had sustained when she had fainted and fallen nearly 3 weeks earlier, after developing severe dehydration from a viral intestinal ailment acquired during a trip to Europe.
The above explanation I find most interesting having served my time in the ambulance service'...'...'... have you ever met anyone with a blood clot and listened to just how agonizingly painful it is'...'...especially within the head!!!!
Could this have been a spin off from a high speed air crash as a direct result of injuries to the head?
Clinton's recovery from the concussion and treatment for the thrombosis led to postponement of her testifying to Congress on the September Benghazi matter'...'...'.....that was another ''US Flag Event'''...'.....how very convenient!!
The sudden death of US Navy Seals is no new topic, especially after the ''Bin Laden False Flag'' fiasco and this high ranking Commander certainly has some questionable attributes worth investigating. It is alleged that Commander Price committed suicide and thus followed many of his gallant team who also died mysteriously in Afghanistan after the ''Fake Bin Laden Attack.'' This was the headlines that followed his death:
US Navy Seal Commander, Who Killed Osama Bin Laden, Commits ''Apparent Suicide'' in Afghanistan!!
SEAL Team 4 Commanding Officer Job W. Price
Hyderabad '' SEAL Team 4 Commanding Officer Job W. Price commit suicide. He was best known for finding and then killing Osama bin Laden.
Cmdr. Job W. Price, 42, died Saturday, Dec. 22, of a non-combat-related injury while supporting stability operations in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.
Suicide of the Officer of this grade raises many questions among the media, as the team was best known for killing Osama Bin Laden that assaulted his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 1, 2011.
Military officials are looking into the death of Cmdr. Job W. Price as a possible suicide, but that his death remains under investigation.
Price, 42, of Pottstown, Pa., was in charge of coordinating all Team 4 missions.
Price was in Afghanistan supporting stability operations in Uruzgan Province. He was assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit based in Virginia Beach, Va.
SEAL Team 4 is among eight SEAL team deployments. SEAL Team 6 is best known among them for finding and then killing Osama bin Laden.
I guess it is now time to reveal what is floating around the ''Truth News Outlets'' and allow you the public to question who is telling the truth.
This is one story that appeared in a New Delhi Magazine written by my friend Sandhya Jaim with the headline:
Was Hillary Clinton on a secret mission to Iran? '' By Sandhya Jain dated 05 Jan 2012
Was American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a secret mission to Iran in the first week of December 2012? More specifically, was her recent, rather long illness, due to injuries sustained in a plane crash during this assignment? According to reports emanating from Israeli and Russian intelligence sources, Clinton was injured, apparently seriously, and a top US Navy Seal Commander killed when their C-12 Huron military passenger and transport airplane crash landed in the Iranian city of Ahvaz near the Iraqi border.Tehran has so far refrained from commenting on the news which is circulating in cyberspace and informed diplomatic circles. What is interesting is that the Associated Press carried a new item on Dec. 30, 2012, that a US plane made a forced landing in Iran and it ''was not clear why the announcement of the plane's landing was not made earlier''. The report said: ''A small American commercial plane left Iran Sunday after it was repaired following an emergency landing at an Iranian airport this month, state TV reported. The plane was forced to land 16 days ago at the airport of the southern city of Ahvaz due to technical failure, Mahmoud Rasoulinejad, head of the state-owned Iran Airports Company, told the TV station''.
According to Russian intelligence sources, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad had previously landed at Ahvaz International Airport on an ''unscheduled'' visit. He had reputedly gone there to receive Clinton for secret negotiations regarding Iran's nuclear programme. It is known that the Obama administration has for some time been in touch with senior representatives of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
A Foreign Military Intelligence (GRU) report circulating in the Kremlin quotes Iranian intelligence agents as confirming that the C-12 Huron aircraft is still in their possession in Ahvaz, and that the plane was ''forced to land because of technical problems''. The report says that the US Navy Seal member killed in the incident is Commander Job W. Price. As leader of this highly specialized American Special Forces unit, his job was to protect high-ranking diplomats traveling in Middle Eastern and Asian combat zones.
American media have reported that Secretary Clinton will return to work next week after recovering from a ''nasty bout with stomach flu'' and a ''concussion''. She has been 'unwell' for the past three weeks, the exact duration since the alleged plane crash, but has since been discharged from hospital.
The GRU report states that US military flight logs recorded by Russian air and space forces confirm that Commander Price and other members of US Navy Seal Team 4 left their base in Urozgan Province, Afghanistan, on a flight to US Naval Support Activity Bahrain where they met with Secretary Clinton. They all transferred to the C-12 Huron that began a flight path to Baghdad, Iraq. But within minutes of leaving Bahrain airspace, the report says, the C-12 Huron ''without notice'' deviated from the assigned flight path heading, instead, directly towards Iran's Ahwaz International Airport.
According to Debka file, speculation about Clinton's health began when she suddenly cancelled participation in the Friends of Syrian forum in Marrakesh on Dec 6, at a critical time in the war. It was first said she was down with flu, but on Dec 9 this was changed to a stomach bug. Then, on Dec. 10, the day before she was to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on the September 11 terrorist attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, the State Department announced she had sustained a concussion after fainting due to dehydration. Experts analysing the hospital bulletins feel something is amiss as blood-thinners are not usually given for blood clots related to concussion; the line of treatment is different.
Rumours about Clinton being seriously injured while on a secret mission to Iran gathered intensity after Dec. 21 when President Barack Obama announced the nomination of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry as next Secretary of State.
The sudden and unexplained death of Commander Job Price, 42, SEAL commander in Afghanistan, is believed to be linked to this incident, though the Pentagon officially reported that his sudden death on Dec. 22, in Uruzgan, Afghanistan, was under investigation.
The US State Department on December 31, 2012, denied the report in a terse one line statement to a query from EU Times: Secretary of State Clinton was not injured or involved in a plane crash.
But Hillary Clinton disappeared from the public for an unduly long period in a manner reminiscent of the sudden disappearance of Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, just days after he was appointed as head of Saudi intelligence. At that time, there were reports that Prince Bandar had been killed in a bomb attack on July 23 at the Saudi General Intelligence headquarters in Riyadh. The assassination was attributed to Syrian operatives as retaliation for the Damascus bombing on July 18 which killed members of Bashar al-Assad's inner circle, including Defense Minister General Daoud Rajha.
Till date, there has been no official statement from either Saudi Arabia or Syria confirming the alleged assassination. However, Saudi authorities did confirm the death of the Prince's Deputy, Mashaal al-Qarni. Prince Bandar has not been seen in public since the bombing, but is reported to be alive.
The author is Editor, www.vijayvaani.com:
US Military C12 Huron
This is another story about the incident:
Click Here to continue reading.
Related articles
US asks Russia not to target Al-Qaeda branch in Syria '' Russian FM Lavrov '-- RT News
Sat, 04 Jun 2016 19:39
Washington has asked Moscow not to conduct airstrikes against al-Nusra Front, which is Al-Qaeda's branch in Syria, for fear that members of the ''moderate opposition'' could also be hit, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has reported.
''They [the US] are telling us not to hit it [al-Nusra Front], because there are also 'normal' opposition groups [on those territories],'' Lavrov said in an interview with local Russian media that was published on the Russian Foreign Ministry's website.
The minister also stressed that ''such opposition groups should leave terrorist positions,'' adding that ''we have long agreed on that.'' Russia first set a deadline for the ''moderate'' opposition to leave territories occupied by al-Nusra Front extremists, but then agreed to give them more time to withdraw.
Read more
In the interview, Lavrov said that Russia believes that taking specific and more effective measures to fight the Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL) and al-Nusra Front terrorist groups should be the top priority for Russia and the US if the Syrian crisis is to be resolved.
READ MORE: Russian fighter jets destroy ISIS oil facilities close to Turkish border (VIDEO)
''It is important to provide humanitarian access to the settlements blocked by one side or another, to secure the ceasefire and to prevent its violation, as well as to launch the political process'... but, as important as these goals are, terrorism is our common threat, and there should be no doubt about that,'' he said, adding that, in the meantime, al-Nusra Front has been attempting to merge with other armed opposition groups.
Lavrov also said that the political process in Syria is being held back by radical opposition groups that refuse to come to the negotiating table and set preconditions for peace talks. He added that it is important to set aside these demands and focus on the fight against terrorism.
The minister also emphasized that Russia and the US are involved in a close and intensive dialog on Syria that includes regular telephone calls between Lavrov and his US counterpart, John Kerry, and a video-conference channel set up between the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria located at the Khmeimim airbase in Latakia and the US base in the Jordanian capital of Amman, as well as a joint US-Russian center in Geneva.
Lavrov had held a telephone conversation with US Secretary of State John Kerry at the initiative of the US side earlier the same day, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The two ministers discussed ''the fight against ISIS and the need to urgently distance the moderate opposition from the Jabhat al-Nusra group, as well as efforts to cut off the flow of weapons and militants coming from abroad to beef up terrorist organizations,'' the statement said.
In the meantime, Kerry, who is in Paris, told journalists that he had discussed the upsurge in violence in Syria during the phone call with Lavrov, explaining that the two had worked specifically on ''ways to try to strengthen the enforcement and accountability for this cessation,'' AP reported.
In the meantime, the US State Department said that Washington has asked Russia to be ''more careful'' in targeting its airstrikes against al-Nusra Front, as hitting civilians or opposition groups while attacking the jihadists could eventually give more support to the terrorist groups.
''[The US State] Secretary conveyed to Russia and the Assad regime that they need to carefully distinguish between these terrorist groups operating on the ground and those parties to the cessation of hostilities,'' US State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said during a briefing on Friday, adding that the US agrees that IS and al-Nusra Front ''pose a real threat to the security on the ground in Syria.''
Geopolitical analyst Patrick Henningsen told RT he believes Washington is not doing enough to convince so-called ''moderate'' rebel groups to part ways with terrorists.
By designating militants who share the same areas and positions with terrorists as ''moderate opposition,'' the US is actually providing the terrorists with a safe haven, Henningsen reasoned. The terrorist groups are profiting from such neighborly relations the same way they make use of civilians.
''The classification of moderate rebels is a type of the human shield,'' he said.
Hennigsen claims that the lack of a clear signal to the rebel groups coming from Washington is the result of a deliberate strategic choice made by the US government, which wants the military conflict to drag on.
''All this talk of co-mingling, this is all double-speak,'' he noted, adding that Washington is ''trying to play both sides this to continue this conflict'' and has no intention of actually resolving the issue.
Turkey says ties with Germany won't 'deteriorate entirely'
Sun, 05 Jun 2016 03:44
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) '-- Turkey's prime minister says his government intends to take further measures in response to the German Parliament's decision to label as genocide the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago. But he says no one should expect ties to "deteriorate entirely."
Binali Yildirim said Friday that Germany had made a "historic" error, which it should rectify.
In Berlin, German's foreign ministry spokeswoman expressed hope that the "deep" and "close" relations between the two nations won't be further compromised.
"We trust that what we've built up in recent decades is so strong that it won't be shaken," Sawsan Chebli told reporters.
Turkey recalled its ambassador in Berlin for consultations after Thursday's vote. Yildirim didn't specify what else it might do.
Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event viewed by many scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century.
Turkey disputes the description. It says the toll has been inflated and considers those killed victims of a civil war.
Speaking ahead of a trip to Azerbaijan, Yildirim also lashed out at Armenia, saying the country has a history of being "involved in wrong things through agitations."
"In the past they were involved in terror attacks against our country that took the lives of many of our diplomats," he said, referring to a 1980s assassinations campaign against Turkish diplomats in several countries.
"Today, it is no secret that they have tacitly, through other ways, opened arms to terror organizations," Yildirim added in an allusion to the Kurdistan Worker's Party, or PKK, which has been in conflict with Turkey for decades.
The Armenian foreign ministry dismissed the claims that Armenia has supported terrorism.
"The new prime minister is playing outdated songs, which is ruining his pledge for change," Foreign Ministry spokesman Tigran Balayan told The Associated Press on Friday. "Not surprised at all."
Avet Demourian in Yerevan, Armenia, and Dominique Soguel in Istanbul, Turkey, and Frank Jordans in Berlin, Germany, contributed to this report.
Spot The Spook
How the Feds Are Recruiting Spies at Campuses Across the US | Alternet
Sun, 05 Jun 2016 03:50
Spy agencies have spent millions on funding centers in universities nationwide.
Photo Credit: Vladimir Gjorgiev/Shutterstock.com
The following is an excerpt from The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent edited by Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira. Reprinted with permission of University of Minnesota Press.
In July 2005, a select group of fifteen- to nineteen-year-old high school students participated in a week-long summer program called ''Spy Camp'' in the Washington, DC, area. The program included a field trip to the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia, an ''intelligence simulation'' exercise, and a visit to the $35 million International Spy Museum. According to the Spy Museum's website, visiting groups have the option of choosing from three different ''scavenger hunts,'' in which teams are pitted against one another in activities ranging ''from code-breaking to deceptive maneuvers. . . . Each team will be armed with a top secret bag of tricks to help solve challenging questions'' that can be found in the museum.
On the surface, the program sounds like fun and games, and after reading about the program one might guess that it was organized by an imagina- tive social studies teacher. But for some, ''Spy Camp'' was more than just fun and games'--it was very serious business. The high school program was car- ried out by Trinity University of Washington, DC'--a predominantly African American university with an overwhelmingly female student population'--as part of a pilot grant from the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to create an ''Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence'' (or IC Center).
According to the Office of the DNI, the goal of the IC Center program is to increase the pool of future applicants for careers in the CIA, the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the dozen or so other organizations that make up the U.S. ''intelligence community'''--in less euphemistic terms, America's spy agencies.
The idea for IC Centers came about in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks, when both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives held hearings about how the country's spy agencies missed clues that might have foiled the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. As part of the response, Congress passed a sweeping law called the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (S 2845). In the House Intelligence Committee hearings prior to the bill's passage, California representative Jane Harman (Democrat from California and chair of the House Intelligence Committee) put it bluntly: ''We can no longer expect an Intelligence Community that is mostly male and mostly white to be able to monitor and infiltrate suspicious organizations or terrorist groups. We need spies that look like their targets, CIA officers who speak the dialects that terrorists use, and FBI agents who can speak to Muslim women that might be intimidated by men'' (emphasis added).
For this reason, the IC Center program wasn't aimed at students attending Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or other Ivy League schools or internationally renowned universities like Stanford or Berkeley or the University of Chicago. The program's architects consciously directed it at schools where minority students are the majority'--predominantly African American and Latino universities, which are chronically underfunded. Perhaps this reflects the shape of ''multiculturalism'' in a militarized society: the government's spy agencies and armed forces recruit minority students from low-income regions in order to ''monitor and infiltrate'' people (''targets'') that look and speak like them.
Since 2005, Trinity's IC Center has had its funding renewed, and ''Spy Camp'' has continued every summer since. In fact, beginning in 2006, the director of National Intelligence dramatically expanded the IC Center program (of which the ''Spy Camp'' is only one part), and today there are a total of twenty-one such centers throughout the country. These are located at California State University, San Bernardino; Carnegie-Mellon University; Clemson University; Clark Atlanta University; Florida A&M University; Florida International University; Howard University; Miles College (Alabama); Norfolk State University (Virginia); North Carolina A&T University; Pennsylvania State University; Tennessee State University; Trinity University; University of Maryland, College Park; University of Nebraska; University of New Mexico; University of North Carolina, Wilmington; University of Texas, El Paso; University of Texas, Pan American; University of Washington; Virginia Tech; and Wayne State University (Michigan). Significantly, most of these universities have large numbers of minority students, which corresponds with the original objectives of the IC Center program's architects. Tens of millions of dollars have been appropriated for the programs, with some centers receiving individual grants of up to $750,000. According to the Washington Post, the DNI planned to expand the program to twenty universities by the year 2015. Apparently, it has met this goal far ahead of schedule. (Since 2008, the DNI has included universities with significantly higher percentages of ''white'' students. It appears that the DNI quickly exhausted its supply of predominantly Hispanic and African American universities.)
This is by no means the first time that U.S. military and intelligence agen- cies have funneled large sums of money into universities to advance their interests. The 1958 National Defense Education Act led to the creation of dozens of language and area studies programs focused on Russia, Latin America, and Southeast Asia, but those centers generally did not limit scholars' ability to pursue a wide range of research, including critical social science research building upon anti-imperial and leftist scholarship. By contrast, there are clear indications that the IC Centers and other new recruitment programs have much more focused and narrow objectives that threaten core educational values that have underpinned American universities for many years.
Judging from some students' responses, it seems that the DNI programs are making an impact. News reports from college newspapers begin to tell the story. Najam Hassan, a nineteen-year-old student at Trinity University, said, ''It's a good opportunity. I have interest in the FBI.'' Reagan Thompson, who is seventeen, told a reporter, ''I want to be a spy when I grow up. You learn different perspectives and it opens your mind.'' Meriam Fadli, also seventeen, said, ''I was like 'Oh my God, I am so joining the FBI'. . . . She [the speaker] made it seem so interesting. It's not like a dull office job.'' Leah Martin, a twenty-one-year-old, decided that she wanted an intelligence career after getting involved in the program: ''You get to travel, to do something different every day, you're challenged in your work and you get to serve your country. How cool is that?'' The picture that emerges from these and other comments is that students are drawn to the IC Centers because they offer exciting, challenging experiences that will serve the country'--not unlike the reasons that many young people decide to enlist in the armed forces. Television series that glorify law enforcement agents (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), intelligence operatives (24), and military personnel (JAG) have greatly romanticized these careers.
University administrators and faculty like the IC Centers for other rea- sons. Obviously there are the issues of funding and job placement for grad- uating students. But some also emphasize the importance of building an ethnically and culturally diverse pool of intelligence agents who might blend in more easily abroad. Norfolk State University geology professor David Padgett told the journal Diverse Online, ''When a lot of higher education funding shifted after September 11 into defense, a lot of Black colleges weren't in a position to take advantage of it. We saw an opening. In order to have a diverse work force in the intelligence arena, you have to get to minority- serving institutions. In intelligence, people have to go to areas populated by people of color.''
Economist Dennis Soden, who is executive director of the Institute for Policy and Economic Development, a University of Texas, El Paso, unit that was awarded an IC Center grant, had this to say:
In the intelligence community before, it was really a white male, Ivy League, Big-10 kind of place. All these guys who went to Harvard, Wisconsin, and Yale looked like America and they got the jobs and ended up just slapping each other on the back telling each other how great they were. Of course, we found out they weren't very good because they couldn't find WMDs and they couldn't figure out what was going on. There is a real sense that the agencies were just recruiting from the same places all the time and getting the same people over and over again'--it was like a type of inbreeding. . . .The US-Mexico border is now a national security interest, but who really understands it? A guy at Yale who takes Spanish for a few years doesn't really understand it. The idea is to get people both for domestic and international intelligence purposes who reflect the country and understand all of its nuances.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence promoted the IC Center program heavily during its first few years of existence. The original IC Cen- ter program plan is a twenty-five-page document that clearly lays out goals and procedures. Under the title ''Pre-College/High School Outreach'' is the subheading ''Summer Camp (for elementary and junior high students).'' The program plan notes, ''Institutions may consider coordinating summer camps for junior high students. The camps should be at least one week in duration with high energy programs that excite the participants. . . . They should focus on developing the critical skill of 'thinking before you act.'''
Though it is not clear whether or not elementary and junior high students have been included in IC Center programs so far, the Office of the DNI clearly supports this idea. (The CIA, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Security Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency all have ''Kids' Page'' websites that include games, puzzles, and, occasionally, sanitized histories of the agencies.) Nearly all universities that have received funding for IC Centers have created high school outreach programs. For example, Norfolk State's program included a simulation exercise in which faculty asked Nashville-area high schoolers to locate ten simulated ''weapons of mass destruction'' hidden in the city using GPS locators.
The name ''Spy Camp'' was only used once, at Trinity University. Now the high school outreach programs are known in many places as ''Summer Intelligence Seminars.''
Recruiting Intelligence?
What makes the new IC Centers across the country different from other insti- tutes or research centers? Though there are numerous differences from one school to the next, several universities appear to be involved in three kinds of activities apart from high school outreach programs like ''Spy Camp.''
Curriculum development'--especially the creation of new classes'--is a common process for IC Center schools. Many participating universities are creating new majors and minors in ''intelligence studies'' and developing new courses to meet the demands of spy agencies. For example, Trinity Uni- versity developed a new course titled ''East vs. West: Just War, Jihad and Cru- sade, 1050''1450.'' While the title itself is benign (though it conjures up images of the ''clash of civilizations'' popularized by historian Samuel Huntington), the syllabus reportedly states that the course ''seeks to develop the critical/ analytical and writing skills that are particularly important to the intelligence community.'' (We are left to wonder what the costs of favoring some kinds of writing'--perhaps intelligence briefs and PowerPoint presentations'--over others might be.) In some cases new masters' programs are also being developed, which might result in new faculty hiring. New classes in languages deemed important to U.S. security are being established as well (particularly in Arabic and Mandarin), and many campuses are purchasing books and films to support these new courses.
Another group of activities includes organized events such as academic colloquia and guest lectures. Like all university special events, these can be intellectually stimulating, particularly when a thought-provoking or controversial speaker is invited to speak. But what should occur when a guest lecture or other campus event becomes a recruiting pitch for spy agencies?
Finally, nearly all the IC Centers include scholarship and travel abroad programs. The same law that brought the IC Centers into existence also created the new ''Intelligence Community Scholarship Program'' (ICSP). Scholarship fellows take required intelligence-related courses and are typically eligible for study abroad experiences and internships with spy agencies. According to the law, ICSP students who do not take jobs with U.S. intelligence agencies after graduating are required ''to repay the costs of their education plus penalties assessed at three times the legally allowed interest rate.'' Like PRISP (the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholarship Program, a $25,000, one-year scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students that requires them to work for the CIA after graduation), the identities of students are not publicly announced. Congress established PRISP in 2004 as a kind of academic version of the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) program: it was designed to combine intelligence training skills with academic areas of expertise, such as anthropology or political science. Since its creation PRISP has placed hundreds of students in an unknown number of university classrooms. Although critics have referred to such programs as ''debt bondage to constrain student career choices,'' President Barack Obama's director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, announced in 2009 plans to make PRISP permanent.
In and of themselves, these activities sound benign, even desirable. After all, who could argue against funding for new courses, films, guest speakers, conferences, and scholarships, particularly during this period of chronic underfunding of higher education? But there is a subtle danger posed by the deluge of funds reaching universities through IC Centers'--a danger similar to that posed by military funding. Anthropologist Hugh Gusterson has written eloquently about the ways in which this can twist the education process over time. A wide range of problems comes into focus:
When research that could be funded by neutral civilian agencies is instead funded by the military, knowledge is subtly militarized and bent in the way a tree is bent by a prevailing wind. The public comes to accept that basic academic research on religion and violence ''belongs'' to the military; scholars who never saw themselves as doing military research now do; maybe they wonder if their access to future funding is best secured by not criticizing US foreign policy; a discipline whose independence from military and corporate funding fueled the kind of critical thinking a democracy needs is now compromised; and the priorities of the military further define the basic terms of public and academic debate.
In short, the IC Centers could further threaten the notion of the classroom as a free ''marketplace of ideas'''--a process that is well under way due to the powerful influence exerted on college campuses by multinational corporations and other commercial interests. The fact that the ''intelligence com- munity'' includes heavy representation from Pentagon agencies (such as DIA and Marine Corps Intelligence, to name but two) and is closely linked to military contract firms further underscores the significance of Gusterson's words.
Ebola / Zika / Vaccine$
White House silent on where the Zika money went | Washington Examiner
Sun, 05 Jun 2016 13:07
The White House doesn't seem to know how much money it has on hand to battle the growing threat of the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus, even as it continues to demand $1.9 billion in new spending.
The Obama administration in April shifted about $590 million from a fund aimed at controlling the Ebola virus, to combat the new Zika threat. But administration officials have been unable to answer how much of that money is left.
The White House, the Centers for Disease Control and the Office of Management and Budget were all unable to provide an exact number or even an estimate, despite repeated requests. Not even House appropriators can find out exactly how much money is available and how it is to be spent, aides told the Washington Examiner.
It's a critical question, because Congress is trying to determine how much money is needed to fight Zika only until Sept. 30, when the current fiscal year ends. On Oct. 1, a new fiscal spending year begins, and Congress will likely provide additional funds for Zika for the next year through the appropriations process over the summer, congressional appropriators said.
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The virus causes severe birth defects and experts warn it could become transmitted by mosquitos within the United States soon, particularly in southern coastal states.
But the lack of information from the Obama administration is a key reason the House GOP has resisted supporting emergency legislation that would provide new funding that can last the next four months. Instead, House Republicans last month passed legislation that would enable the Obama administration to shift an additional $622 million, much of it from the Ebola fund, to fight Zika.
Republicans argue the Obama administration could redirect as much as $2 billion in existing funding to combat the virus but is simply unwilling to use it. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., called the $2 billion "a slush fund."
But Rogers has repeatedly complained that he has no information from the Obama administration, which he says has been unwilling to explain how they are spending the $590 million, and how much has been spent so far.
"Nobody knows how much the administration has spent on Zika," Dan Holler, spokesman for the conservative Heritage Action, told the Examiner. "They are requesting $1.9 billion, but they have not made clear what that would be used for, and what they've spent or how fast they are spending the $590 million."
Also from the Washington Examiner
RNC chairman says it's possible Trump will do better than Romney with Latinos.
'06/05/16 12:01 AM
The Senate last month passed legislation providing $1.1 billion in new funding for Zika that is not offset. It's less than Obama's request, but still too much for many House Republicans, who are insisting only existing funding is utilized.
Despite the imperfect information, House and Senate negotiators are "making progress" on a compromise, according to two top GOP Senate aides.
In the meantime, some local governments most threatened by Zika are so far taking on the virus without any federal help.
"Louisiana has not received any federal dollars to battle Zika," Robert Johannessen, an official with the state's Department of Health and Hospitals," told the Examiner.
The Democratic governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, sent a letter this week to the state's U.S. congressional delegation, urging them to help pass a bill that provides the new federal money. The cash is needed, Edwards said, for "enhanced surveillance, testing and mosquito control activity."
Also from the Washington Examiner
Sources close to the speaker emphasize that Ryan is satisfied that his resistance accomplished much.
'06/05/16 12:01 AM
But Johannessen of Louisiana's health department undercut that message by saying the money isn't needed yet. He said state funding on hand is "sufficient to support the preparation for Zika," but said more money would be needed "if we had to battle the virus if local transmission was established."
Top Story
Sources close to the speaker emphasize that Ryan is satisfied that his resistance accomplished much.
'06/05/16 12:01 AM
Words Matter
Vint Cerf, one of the "fathers of the internet," thinks it should still be capitalized '-- Quartz
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 14:00
Hold the presses'--or at least the lowercase i's.
Vint Cerf, Google's chief internet evangelist and one of the ''fathers of the internet,'' said the Associated Press (and much of the world, including Quartz) is wrong and the word ''internet'' should be capitalized. As of June 1, the Associated Press Stylebook declared it will only use the lowercase form.
''The editors at AP fail to understand history and technology,'' Cerf told Politico on Wednesday (June 1). His beef is that there has always been a line between the public internet and a private internet that has no connection to the outside world, although it shares the same TCP/IP protocols. This, he warns, is simply daft. ''By lowercasing you create confusion between the two and that's a mistake,'' he wrote.
Oxford Dictionaries, for its part, is closely monitoring this controversy. The dictionary draws on a ''monitor corpus'' of nearly 2.5 billion words from online and printed sources. These represent all types of English language materials, including literary novels, trade journals, daily newspapers, blogs, and social media.
By that measure, ''internet'' had not won the war of words as of April. Only 46% of total mentions of ''internet'' used the lowercase form. In the US, it was less than 40%.
(Oxford Dictionaries)There is change on the horizon. The UK has moved firmly into the lowercase camp, with most established British media outlets going that route. In the US, online and tech-focused outlets like Buzzfeed and Wired are doing the same.
Stay tuned. Oxford Dictionaries says it will be tracking the corpus ''to see if lowercase internet makes new headway against the capitalized form.''
Psychiatric drugs killing more users than heroin, cocaine: experts | Vancouver Sun
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 14:04
Clonazepam, the generic form of Klonopin, and lorazepam, the generic form of Ativan, are popular sedatives used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders. They belong to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which are widely used across Canada. In a pair of new Vancouver-based studies, benzodiazepines have been linked with higher mortality rates than illegal drugs, such as heroin or cocaine.Joe O'Connal / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Health professionals are sounding the alarm over the heightened risk of death linked to the use of psychiatric drugs, which was highlighted in a pair of Vancouver-based studies published this month.
Benzodiazepine (BZD) is a class of psychiatric medications known as ''tranquillizers'' which can reduce the body's drive to breathe and are used to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, seizures, and other conditions. They include commonly prescribed drugs such as Valium, Xanax, and Ativan.
The first of the two studies, which involved researchers from the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BCCfE) and the University of B.C., looked at the impact of BZD use on mortality rates and established that use of BZDs was linked to a higher risk of death than illegal drugs.
Dr. Keith Ahamad, shown in this 2015 file photo, is one of several researchers on a pair of Vancouver-based studies that have established that benzodiazepine use is linked to a higher rate of death than illegal drugs.Arlen Redekop / Vancouver Sun
''There's a lot of research that's been done on more traditional drugs of abuse, other illegal drugs like heroine, cocaine, amphetamines '-- but not a lot is known about the abuse of this kind of drug,'' said Dr. Keith Ahamad, a clinician scientist with the BCCfE and an addictions physician at St. Paul's Hospital.The study followed a cohort of 2,802 drug users in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside between 1996 and 2013. Participants were interviewed semi-annually over a median duration of just over five-and-a-half years each. By the end of the study, 527 (18.8 per cent) of the participants had died.
Researchers found that the mortality rate was 1.86 times higher among the drug users who used BZD, compared to those who did not. Ahamad noted that even after researchers isolated other factors that could influence mortality, such as use of other drugs, infections, and high-risk behaviours, the mortality rate remained high among BZD users.
A second study conducted on a smaller group within the same cohort examined the link between BZD use and hepatitis C (HCV) infection. Of the 440 HCV-negative individuals who participated in the study, 158 reported prescribed or illicit BZD use, and 142 participants contracted HCV during the course of the study.
The study found that BZD was associated with a higher rate of HCV infection: Infection rates were 1.67 times higher among study participants who used BZD, compared to those who did not.
''There's not a lot of scientific evidence to say these people should be on these medications chronically,'' said Ahamad, acknowledging there is a tendency to lean on prescription psychiatric drugs though other non-pharmacological measures '-- such as counselling, breathing techniques, psycho-sociological treatment '-- are available.
Dr. Thomas Kerr, shown in this 2015 file photo, is among the health professionals who are sounding the alarm over benzodiazepine use, which is linked to higher rates of mortality than heroine or cocaine.Steve Bosch / PROVINCE
Dr. Thomas Kerr, professor of medicine at UBC, echoed those sentiments: ''Too often, we're looking for an answer in a pill, and too often, we neglect other treatment options.''
Both doctors noted that there is very little evidence to support long-term use of BZDs.
''The interesting thing about this is that it's a prescription drug and people think they're safe,'' Ahamad said. ''But as it turns out, we're probably prescribing these drugs in a way that's leading to harm.''
Kerr noted that the rise in BZD-related deaths '-- ''It's been an epidemic brewing for many, many years'' '-- very closely mirrors a rise in opioid-related deaths that has been widely documented. He cited a fourfold increase in BZD-related deaths in the United States between 1999 and 2014, and also noted that there are 50 per cent more deaths each year in the U.S. due to psychiatric medicine than heroin.
''These studies really reveal how very dangerous these drugs are, and they should be used with great caution,'' Kerr said. ''We can't just focus on opioids, we need to look at other medications that are used in combination.''
Ahamad believes much of the onus is on doctors to be properly educated before prescribing BZDs. He also acknowledged that the lack of family doctors has led to many people visiting walk-in clinics, where patient records may not accurately record an individual's drug or treatment history. Kerr noted there also needs to be a strengthening in how prescriptions are monitored and prescribed.
''There are risks that come with these medications and we need to be very, very careful about how we're prescribing them,'' Ahamad said.
The studies were published in Public Health Reports and the American Journal of Public Health.
VIDEO-CBS Hails Hillary Speech as Campaign 'Turning Point'; Showed Trump 'Not Mentally Stable' | MRCTV
Sun, 05 Jun 2016 13:40
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
Leading off a discussion with Atlantic reporter Jeffrey Goldberg at the top of 8 a.m. ET hour of CBS This Morning on Friday about Hillary Clinton's Trump-bashing speech, co-host Charlie Rose hoped: ''Is this perhaps a turning point for the Clinton campaign in terms of the way she ridiculed Donald Trump?'' Goldberg asserted: ''Right, it absolutely is. Yesterday was pivotal....Yesterday's speech was not really a foreign policy speech, it was more like a psychiatric indictment of her opponent...''
Fellow co-host Norah O'Donnell raved: ''It was a point-by-point indictment, using his own words as evidence against him....And the idea that he is unfit to command, to be commander in chief....And control the nuclear codes.'' Goldberg piled on: ''I think that what she's going to do over the next five months is keep hammering that point home, that this man is not mentally stable.''
VIDEO-Switzerland 'rejects basic income', poll projections suggest - BBC News
Sun, 05 Jun 2016 12:58
Media captionUnder the plan each citizen would receive an equal monthly payment, regardless of their circumstancesProjections from a referendum in Switzerland suggest voters have rejected a plan to introduce a guaranteed basic income for all.
Some 78% of voters opposed the plan, a GFS projection for Swiss TV suggested.
The proposal had called for adults to be paid an unconditional monthly income, whether they worked or not.
Supporters said since work was increasingly automated, fewer jobs were available for workers. Switzerland is the first country to hold such a vote.
No figure for the basic income had been set, but those behind the proposal suggested a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs (£1,755; $2,555) for adults and SFr625 for each child, reflecting the high cost of living in Switzerland. It is not clear how it would affect people on higher salaries.
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Image copyrightReutersImage caption Supporters of a basic income last month launched a giant poster campaign There was little support among Swiss politicians for the idea and not a single parliamentary party has come out in favour, but the proposal gathered more than 100,000 signatures and was therefore put to the vote under the Swiss popular initiative system.
Critics of the measure say that disconnecting the link between work done and money earned would be bad for society.
But Che Wagner from the campaign group Basic Income Switzerland, says it wouldn't be money for nothing.
"In Switzerland over 50% of total work that is done is unpaid. It's care work, it's at home, it's in different communities, so that work would be more valued with a basic income."
Allows citizens to suggest changes to the federal constitutionAll initiatives that gather 100,000 signatures in 18 months go to a public voteA constitutional amendment by initiative not only requires a majority public vote but a majority of cantons must also approve itDiffers from the mandatory referendum, which is called by parliament and does not need public signaturesBut Luzi Stamm, who's a member of parliament for the right-wing Swiss People's Party, opposes the idea.
"Theoretically, if Switzerland were an island, the answer is yes. But with open borders, it's a total impossibility, especially for Switzerland, with a high living standard," he says.
"If you would offer every individual a Swiss amount of money, you would have billions of people who would try to move into Switzerland."
The wording on the initiative was vague, asking for a constitutional change to "guarantee the introduction of an unconditional basic income" but with no mention of amounts.
The idea is also under consideration elsewhere. In Finland, the government is considering a trial to give basic income to about 8,000 people from low-income groups.
And in the Dutch city of Utrecht is also developing a pilot project which will begin in January 2017.
Another four issues were on the Swiss ballot on Sunday.
A proposal to speed up the country's asylum process. The projections suggested 66% in favour.The Pro Service Public initiative proposing that bosses of big public sector companies should not earn more than government ministers - a reflection of dissatisfaction with railways and telecoms provider Swisscom - is also being rejected by 67%.A proposal to allow genetic testing of embryos before they are inserted in the uterus in cases of in-vitro fertilisation, where either parent carries a serious hereditary disease, was projected to pass with 61%.Transport financing: An initiative from the car lobby which wants more investment in roads. The government had urged a "No" vote, and it appears to have been rejected by 70%.
VIDEO-Real Time with Bill Maher: Zika '' A Plague is Upon Us (HBO) - YouTube
Sun, 05 Jun 2016 05:14
VIDEO-CBS: Donald Trump Scaring Major Sponsors Away From GOP Convention - YouTube
Sun, 05 Jun 2016 05:02
VIDEO-Jen Psaki denies knowledge of video deletion, calls it 'stunning case of poor judgment' - YouTube
Sun, 05 Jun 2016 05:00
VIDEO-Wolf Blitzer hammers Jen Psaki on State Department lies over briefing video deletion - YouTube
Sun, 05 Jun 2016 04:54
VIDEO-State Department: 'There's a Lot of Overblown Rhetoric' About Video Deletion - YouTube
Sun, 05 Jun 2016 04:51
VIDEO-Shocking scenes at disabled protest in Bolivia | euronews, world news
Sun, 05 Jun 2016 04:13
There have been shocking scenes at the end of a demonstration in Bolivia as disabled people clashed with riot police.
Tear gas was let off as the protesters, some on crutches or in wheelchairs, advanced down the street in the city of La Paz.
Some protesters were knocked to the ground.
''Some of the disabled people have been injured during the protest,'' said one protester. ''We have been gassed repeatedly. This time it is really bad, I have been sprayed in the face,'' one protester told reporters.
A face-off in the streetThe protesters tried to stand their ground as the police advanced down the street.
Campaigners are demanding better state benefits and equal rights for people with disabilities.
VIDEO-CBN NEWS - Soviet Sweden Sliding to Third World - YouTube
Sun, 05 Jun 2016 02:37
VIDEO-VICE asks Edward Snowden about How to 'Go Black' - YouTube
Sat, 04 Jun 2016 19:35
VIDEO-Susan Sarandon Mocks MSNBC's Teary Eyes For Hillary Clinton - YouTube
Sat, 04 Jun 2016 19:33
MUST WATCH VIDEO-''Five Presidents'' EU's Jean-Claude Juncker Drunk in Public, Slaps Leaders | Heat Street
Sat, 04 Jun 2016 19:22
By Louise Mensch|7:02 pm, June 3, 2016
Prominent British Member of Parliament Michael Gove received rave reviews for his performance on Sky TV's European Union Referendum debate on Friday night. One of Gove's many well-received points concerned the ''Five Presidents'' who run the EU '' whom nobody can name.
The most powerful among these is Luxembourgish politician Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU Commission head who has threatened Britain.
MoreAfter Judge Curiel, What Will Endorsing Donald Trump do To GOP Candidates?Why My American Students Used to Gasp in Horror When they Learnt About the EUNew Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 7 'The Broken Man' PredictionsSJWs Rage Against 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Because Jubilee Mall Scene Was CutLast night, sensational video emerged showing Juncker obviously drunk in public, hopping from foot to foot and slapping other EU leaders. A second member of the ''Five Presidents'', Donald Tusk, stands next to him looking uneasy.
The UK has seen huge polling swings towards a vote to leave the European Union in the wake of record EU migration figures.
MORE: PM David Cameron a Laughing Stock over Immigration in EU Referendum Debate
Juncker's anti-British stance caused UK Prime Minister David Cameron to threaten to leave the EU if he was appointed. Cameron even raised Juncker's drinking problem at the time. Cameron's objections carried no weight however, and Juncker was appointed.
At another moment Mr. Cameron might have been glad to be proven right. Not, however, before the EU referendum on June 23rd.
Mr. Juncker has threatened Britain in the event of Brexit and said he wants an EU army.
VIDEO-Make it rain: Swiss to vote on guaranteed income for all - France 24
Sat, 04 Jun 2016 19:20
(C) Fabrice Coffrini, AFP | Campaigners for a universal basic income pose with eight million five-cent coins in a bank vault in Basel, Switzerland.
Driven by a popular initiative that collected the requisite 100,000 signatures, the universal basic income (UBI) aims to revamp Switzerland's welfare state by streamlining it into a single monthly payment to each resident.
Unlike unemployment benefits, the payment would be guaranteed and with no strings attached, leaving people free to choose between continuing to work (and thereby earn more money) or opt for a life of leisure.
The idea is controversial, to say the least. The Swiss government and nearly all the country's political parties have urged voters to reject the initiative'--advice 72 percent are inclined to follow, according to the latest poll.
But supporters of the initiative have already begun mobilising, raising enough money to showcase the idea by paying 2,500 Swiss francs (2,250 euros) a month for a year to a person chosen in a draw.
The winner, Carole, hailed her luck in a YouTube video, saying she planned to go back to school.
"It is an enormous relief to know I can study and have my income taken care of," she said.
UBI supporters would like all Swiss citizens to have the same support, as well as foreigners who have been legal residents for at least five years.
'Marxist dream'?
Critics have slammed the initiative as "a Marxist dream", warning of sky-high costs and people quitting their jobs in droves.
"If you pay people to do nothing, they will do nothing," Charles Wyplosz, economics professor at the Geneva Graduate Institute, told AFP.
Proponents reject that, arguing people naturally want to be productive, and a basic income would simply provide them with more flexibility to choose the activities they find most valuable.
"For centuries this has been considered a utopia, but today it has not only become possible, but indispensible," Ralph Kundig, one of the lead campaigners, told AFP.
Sunday's vote will be on principle only, with the details of the amounts to be paid and financing to be determined later, if the initiative passes.
Discussions have centred around 2,500 francs a month per adult, and 625 francs per child.
That may sound like a lot, but it is barely enough to get by in one of the world's priciest nations'--leaving plenty of incentive to work, campaigners say.
Those with jobs would also receive the basic income, but would see their salaries deducted by the same amount, in a move campaigners say would smooth out inequalities.
Authorities have estimated an additional 25 billion francs would be needed annually to cover the costs, requiring deep spending cuts or significant tax hikes.
Supporters of the initiative however suggest the UBI could replace a range of other expensive social assistance programmes and could be easily financed through slight increases in sales tax or through a small fee on electronic transactions.
'Different kind of life'
Pascale Eberle, a 55-year-old nurse, said she planned to vote in favour.
"We have to think about our children and grandchildren, and give them the chance at a different kind of life," she told AFP.
The idea of a basic income has been bouncing around in more radical circles for centuries, but it has recently gained more mainstream traction.
Concrete projects to introduce some variation of the UBI, albeit at a lower level than what is being discussed in Switzerland, are under way at local and regional levels in a range of countries.
Finland is planning to trial a universal basic income'--involving less money than proposed by Switzerland and with conditions attached'--in 2017. The Dutch city of Utrecht is also planning a similar experiment.
International Labour Organization chief Guy Ryder said he expected interest in the issue to swell, as technological advances make more and more jobs obsolete, and a growing number of people remain stuck in poverty despite holding a job.
"We are going to have to find ways of distributing national income which are not directly related to the work that we do," he said.
Last month, campaigners rolled out a massive, 8,115-square-metre (87,350-square-foot) poster in Geneva asking: "What would you do if your income were taken care of?"
Since then, people have been covering billboards across Switzerland with their answers, including: "Study quantum physics," and "Make a feature film".
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
Date created : 2016-06-04
VIDEO-Protesters Assault Trump Supporters With Eggs, Bottles, Punches After Rally - NBC News
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 18:46
SAN JOSE, Calif. '-- Donald Trump supporters were mobbed and assaulted by protesters on Thursday night after the candidate's campaign rally in California.
The violence broke out after the event in San Jose wrapped up just before 8 p.m. local time (11 p.m. ET). Some Trump supporters were punched. One woman wearing a "Trump" jersey was cornered, spat on, and pelted with eggs and water bottles.
Police held back at first but eventually moved in. San Jose Police Sgt. Enrique Garcia told NBC News that several protesters were arrested and one officer was assaulted in the melee.
The videos below contains language some may find offensive.
Lan Hoang said anti-Trump protesters stole his "Make America Great Again" hat off of his head and set it on fire as he was leaving the rally.
The 24-year-old said he saw "a lot" of Trump supporters get attacked on the walk back to his car after the rally.
Protesters also smashed cars in a nearby parking structure and surrounded and taunted an elderly couple, according to Steve Tong.
"It was unbelievable," he told NBC Bay Area. "I've never seen anything like that in America before,"
Adam Rivas, a 22-year-old community college student who was born and raised in San Jose, was among those who turned out ahead of the rally to protest Trump.
Holding a "Dump Trump" sign, he told NBC Bay Area that Trump's remarks about Mexicans were offensive.
Hillary Clinton's campaign chair John Podesta condemned the violence, saying that "violence against supporters of any candidate has no place in this election."
"For any one Mexican here he bashes, there are about 20 Mexicans out there who are hard-working and just doing their job,'' Rivas said.
It wasn't the first Trump rally in California to turn violent. About 20 people were arrested after an April speech by Trump in Costa Mesa south of Los Angeles, when members of the crowd damaged five police vehicles.
Inside the San Jose Convention Center, Donald Trump was in full attack mode Thursday night, repeating his claim that Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server was illegal.
Trump's assault on Clinton came just hours after the Democratic candidate gave a national security speech painting the GOP nominee as reckless and dangerous. Trump called Clinton's speech a "phony hit job" and retaliated by criticizing the former Secretary of State for her email scandal, foreign policy legacy, and her gun control policy proposals.
He also revived an attack line he famously used against former Republican rival Jeb Bush '-- energy level. "I watched Hillary's thing today, it's like Sominex ... you ever hear of Sominex? Sleep all night. It's hard to stay awake!" Trump said. "I'm not a big sleeper. I think [Clinton] could make more money if she made speeches and sold them to people who can't sleep."
At one point, the presumptive Republican nominee appeared sensitive to Clinton's attacks on his lack of foreign policy experience.
"Don't let the no experience fool you," Trump said. "I've been on the other side of the equation ... I was very much a part of the establishment. I was a big donor."
VIDEO-State Department: We hit a 'dead end' in the investigation of the video deletion - YouTube
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 14:28
VIDEO-State Department spokesman: 'I'm under no obligation' to discuss investigation into video deletion - YouTube
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 14:26
VIDEO-Prince died of accidental overdose of opioid fentanyl: Medical examiner - CNN.com
Fri, 03 Jun 2016 12:52
Prince, whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson, died April 21 at age 57, after being found unresponsive in an elevator at Paisley Park, his home and recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
The report from the medical examiner's office, which was released on Twitter, didn't provide many details. "How injury occurred: The decedent self-administered fentanyl," the report said. For manner of death, a box was marked for "accident."
The report didn't specify how the drug was taken and if the fentanyl was prescribed or illegally made.
The music superstar weighed 112 pounds and was 63 inches tall when he died, the report said. He was wearing a black cap, shirt, pants, boxer briefs and socks and a gray undershirt, the report said. His occupation was listed as "artist" and his business as "music."
The full autopsy and toxicology reports will not be released, the office told CNN.
Since his death, information has emerged about the entertainer's alleged abuse of prescription drugs.
A law enforcement source told CNN's Evan Perez in April that the entertainer was found with opioid medication at the time of his death. Investigators so far haven't found any indication that Prince had a valid prescription for the recovered opioid medications
An attorney for Prince's half-siblings said they revealed the singer had an addiction to Percocet decades before he died. One half-sibling said Prince started using the drug to help him deal with the rigors of performing, not for recreational use.
On April 15, on his way home after performing in Atlanta, Prince's plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois. Prince was unresponsive and taken to a hospital. A law enforcement official told CNN he was treated for a potential overdose of pain medication.
The day before Prince died, his team called an eminent opioid addiction specialist in California seeking urgent help for the singer, an attorney working for the specialist and his son said.
The specialist, Dr. Howard Kornfeld, couldn't get there immediately so he sent his son, Andrew Kornfeld, on an overnight flight to Minnesota. The goal was for the younger Kornfeld to help evaluate Prince's health and encourage him to enter treatment for pain management and potential addiction issues, attorney William Mauzy told reporters.
But by the time Andrew Kornfeld arrived at the singer's Paisley Park complex on the morning of April 21, it was too late. He and two Prince representatives found the 57-year-old entertainer unresponsive in an elevator. Andrew Kornfeld was the person who called 911, Mauzy said.
Authorities have also said the investigation into Prince's death is a criminal investigation. It was not immediately clear if Kornfeld is the subject of a separate investigation.
Federal prosecutors and the Drug Enforcement Administration are investigating how Prince obtained prescription medications and from whom, the agencies said.
CNN's Sara Sidner reported from Minnesota.
VIDEO-Elon Musk believes we are probably characters in some advanced civilization's video game - Vox
Thu, 02 Jun 2016 22:10
By far the best moment of Recode's annual Code Conference was when Elon Musk took the stage and explained that though we think we're flesh-and-blood participants in a physical world, we are almost certainly computer-generated entities living inside a more advanced civilization's video game.
Don't believe me? Here's Musk's argument in full:
The strongest argument for us being in a simulation probably is the following. Forty years ago we had pong. Like, two rectangles and a dot. That was what games were.
Now, 40 years later, we have photorealistic, 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously, and it's getting better every year. Soon we'll have virtual reality, augmented reality.
If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, even if that rate of advancement drops by a thousand from what it is now. Then you just say, okay, let's imagine it's 10,000 years in the future, which is nothing on the evolutionary scale.
So given that we're clearly on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality, and those games could be played on any set-top box or on a PC or whatever, and there would probably be billions of such computers or set-top boxes, it would seem to follow that the odds that we're in base reality is one in billions.
Tell me what's wrong with that argument. Is there a flaw in that argument?
This came in response to a question from journalist Josh Topolsky, who pressed Musk further. "The argument makes sense," Topolsky said. "But what do you think?"
"There's a one in billions chance we're in base reality," Musk replied. He continued:
Arguably we should hope that that's true, because if civilization stops advancing, that may be due to some calamitous event that erases civilization. So maybe we should be hopeful this is a simulation, because otherwise we are going to create simulations indistinguishable from reality or civilization ceases to exist. We're unlikely to go into some multimillion-year stasis.
In this answer, Musk is repeating one of my favorite thought experiments. It comes from philosopher Nick Bostrom's aptly titled paper "Are You in a Computer Simulation?" You can read the whole thing here, but the core is more or less as Musk describes it:
One thing that later generations might do with their super-powerful computers is run detailed simulations of their forebears or of people like their forebears. Because their computers would be so powerful, they could run a great many such simulations.
Suppose that these simulated people are conscious (as they would be if the simulations were sufficiently fine-grained and if a certain quite widely accepted position in the philosophy of mind is correct). Then it could be the case that the vast majority of minds like ours do not belong to the original race but rather to people simulated by the advanced descendants of an original race. It is then possible to argue that, if this were the case, we would be rational to think that we are likely among the simulated minds rather than among the original biological ones. Therefore, if we don't think that we are currently living in a computer simulation, we are not entitled to believe that we will have descendants who will run lots of such simulations of their forebears. That is the basic idea.
The argument basically resolves down to three options, which Wikipedia summarizes thusly:
"The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage (that is, one capable of running high-fidelity ancestor simulations) is very close to zero," or"The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero," or"The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one."Musk is picking the third option here. It's worth noting that Bostrom doesn't share Musk's confidence. He's said that he doesn't see any obvious way to choose between the three options:
If (1) is true, then we will almost certainly go extinct before reaching posthumanity. If (2) is true, then there must be a strong convergence among the courses of advanced civilizations so that virtually none contains any relatively wealthy individuals who desire to run ancestor-simulations and are free to do so. If (3) is true, then we almost certainly live in a simulation. In the dark forest of our current ignorance, it seems sensible to apportion one's credence roughly evenly between (1), (2), and (3).
This is a fun paper, and it's led to lots of debate. If you want to dive deep into it, head to the simulation argument website, and you can spend days digging into the debate. For what it's worth, I side with critics who think the three options aren't actual exhaustive: I don't see a reason to believe that even very advanced civilizations will manage to easily simulate consciousness.
But that's just what a simulated consciousness who believes he's a special participant in base reality would say, isn't it?
You can watch the whole exchange here, beginning at about the 1:14:00 mark:


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CBS Touts Claims of Racism at Airbnb, 'Micro-Aggression'.mp3


Florida Atalantic University Boca-Muslim Professor Defends Sharia Chopping off Hands!.mp3

Ebola / Zika / Vaccine$

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Elections 2016

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JCD Clips

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NA-Tech News

Elon Musk believes we are probably characters in some advanced civilization's video game.mp3
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Obama Nation

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Prince died of accidental overdose of opioid fentanyl, medical examiner says.mp3


Make it rain- Swiss to vote on guaranteed income for all.mp3
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