Cover for No Agenda Show 832: Cissexist Hxstory
June 9th, 2016 • 3h 20m

832: Cissexist Hxstory


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

We need another BIG event for this election cycle
Ministry of Truth
The AP Announcing Clinton's "Victory" Was an Embarrassment to Journalism and U.S. Politics :: Politics :: Features :: Paste
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 20:04
Last night, you may have seen the surprising news'--first reported by the AP and then transmitted like a virus to every other major news outlet'--that Hillary Clinton ''clinched'' the Democratic presidential nomination. To do so, she had to surpass the 2,383-delegate mark, just over the halfway point for the 4,765 total delegates available. Once she reached that milestone, it became mathematically impossible for anyone to beat her.
For those readers blessed with political savvy, something about the timing of this story might strike you as strange. How, you might ask yourself, could Hillary Clinton win on Monday night? There was no primary or caucus on Monday night, and as such there were no delegates available on Monday night. So what happened? Did Alabama cheat and hold a secret second primary?
Nope. What happened is that one AP reporter, Stephen Ohlemacher, called up some superdelegates'--those party bigwigs whose influence in the primary is both undemocratic and overtly stifling'-- and extracted their commitment to support Clinton at the convention. With these new superdelegate supporters, he padded his numbers and essentially manufactured a Monday night win hours ahead of his competitors. This all went down on the eve of the last major set of primaries, when states like California and New Jersey were set to vote and play a major role in determining the mood of July's national convention. The AP announcement was perfectly timed, if the goal was to have a chilling effect on those voters.
So, to recap: We live in a democracy where a victory can be declared not after a vote, but after a national reporter calls up a collection of mayors, congressmen, or whoever else, and badgers them until they say, ''yes, fine, I'm supporting Hillary.'' Even if that exact outcome was bound to happen down the line, the inescapable truth is that Ohlemacher created this victory from a few phone calls, and as a citizen, that should make you want to scream.
Now, let's give the point-missers a chance for a predictable rebuttal:
''Hillary Clinton won the primary because she had more votes!''
That's true, point-misser, but you've missed the point. Sure, Hillary has more votes, and yes, she was going to win eventually, and even though I think this will dampen turnout in today's primary states, it might have even annoyed her camp that the AP essentially scooped their dramatic Tuesday victory moment. The point is not that this hurts Sanders, or even that it's a purposeful conspiracy. The point is that we're living in a fucked-up system where the absurd has become the new normal at every step in the process, and the mainstream media has been utterly complicit in the corruption.
Before the first votes ever took place, Clinton had a huge lead over Sanders because of the superdelegates, and almost every major media outlet included these vote totals in the overall tally without explaining what, exactly, was going on'--even though the DNC told them not to. Why would the party's ruling body take this step? Because superdelegates don't vote until the convention, so their preference is entirely hypothetical! Unlike primary and caucus voters, whose choices are locked in, superdelegates can change their minds! Things can happen, like another candidate winning the popular vote and the supers thinking, gee, maybe we shouldn't subvert the will of the people (see Clinton v. Obama, 2008). Or someone could get indicted, or die, or whatever.
But when Sanders won New Hampshire to take a lead in ''pledged delegates,'' which is another term for ''actual votes by actual people,'' almost every mainstream outlet'--TV and newspaper both'--reported Clinton holding a 431-50 delegate lead. Many of them also led with the story that she had ''won'' New Hampshire 15-13 because of superdelegates, even though Sanders had scored an overwhelming victory at the ballot box.
Now, not only was that wildly offensive to anyone who believes in democracy, but it actively stacked the deck against Sanders, creating the perception that even if he prevailed in the overall vote count, he couldn't win. Was that the only factor in his loss to Clinton? Of course not, but anyone who denies that it was a factor is deluding themselves. To anyone watching and supporting Sanders, it looked a sort of unconscious collusion between the media and the Democratic party power structure.
Finally, past the point when it even mattered, many outlets began to explain the distinction between pledged delegates and superdelegates, and to adjust their counts accordingly. But the fact that it took so insanely long before mainstream journalists understood why this was necessary was maddening'--and showed the rest of us how complicit they were in the lazy horse-race coverage that the establishment prefers.
So, let's turn back to Stephen Ohlemacher, the man who manufactured last night's ''win.'' Here was the lead of his story, co-written with three others:
Striding into history, Hillary Clinton will become the first woman to top the presidential ticket of a major U.S. political party, capturing commitments Monday from the number of delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination.
No mention of how these commitments could change, as they do all the time, or how they won't be official until the convention, and how the Tuesday primaries still matter. The headline may as well have been: ''California: Don't bother voting!''
Now, a lot of people will say that Ohlemacher was ''just doing his job.'' Bullshit. The comedy of this whole thing is that the rush to print the article was purely a function of a single reporter, or a single wire service, showing off. There is no actual news value here. If the shocking news peg is about the ''presumptive'' nominee, we've known it would be Hillary Clinton for a long time. This is not significant. This is the journalistic equivalent of a some needy lickspittle on a message board thread typing ''FIRST!''
The really amazing part, though, is how proud they were. To the AP, this was the new Watergate:
Here's more from Ohlemacher's timeline:
Top-notch work, Steve! You harassed the party moguls long enough to report a foregone conclusion 24 hours before everyone else.
This guy, and all his acolytes, actually believe this is good journalism.
It's not. Good journalism would be exposing a corrupt system and explaining to the public exactly how they're getting screwed. This is not only accepting that system, but validating it by playing a cute, pointless game within its crooked parameters. It's lackey journalism, disguised as something important. It's also one of the most naked examples we've seen of the ''unconscious collusion'' mentioned before'--the mainstream media carrying water for establishment interests. And in the end, it's nothing more than the work of a horse-race apparatchik, either too blind or too craven to report something worthwhile.
Early Nomination Call for Hillary Clinton by Associated Press Sent Media Scrambling -
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 14:36
Andrew Lack, the chairman of NBC News, was dining with Matt Lauer on the Upper East Side on Monday night when his phone rang, mid-halibut.
It quickly became clear that the fish would have to wait.
The Associated Press had just declared Hillary Clinton the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, a decision based not on any primary victory '-- none were held on Monday '-- but on the news agency's own canvassing of superdelegates, the party insiders who can support any candidate they choose.
It was an unusual, somewhat arcane way to crown the nation's first female presidential nominee from a major party, in part because the 571 superdelegates who told The A.P. they were committed to Mrs. Clinton are free to change their minds until the convention next month.
But The A.P.'s call created a trigger effect in newsrooms around the country, which have long viewed the agency as an arbiter of election results.
Pollsters at major television networks scrambled to confirm The A.P.'s math, with one official at CBS News hopping on a bicycle to quickly return to his office. CNN producers yanked an on-air promo teasing Tuesday's races as Mrs. Clinton's critical moment. NBC News, the first TV network to match the call, had its director of elections make a rare on-air appearance on MSNBC.
Editors at major papers tore up their front pages, adding banner headlines for later editions, even as they debated exactly how to describe a historic milestone predicated on another news outlet's delegate tally, rather than the results of Tuesday's primary races in California and five other states.
''The moment of history,'' said Cameron Barr, a managing editor of The Washington Post, ''snuck up on us a little bit earlier than we thought it would.''
By Tuesday, questions lingered about the abrupt nature of what had happened. Some rival journalists wondered why The A.P.'s 86-word bulletin was posted at 8:21 p.m. on the East Coast, when competitors would have difficulty matching its reporting. Others asked about the odd '-- and for some readers, puzzling '-- nature of a political victory announced on a day when no ballots had been cast.
There were political consequences, too. Mrs. Clinton played down The A.P.'s call, eager for supporters to stay motivated, as her aides grumbled about the news media stepping on her big moment. Her opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, rejected The A.P.'s delegate count outright, accusing the news agency of intentionally hurting his chances.
''They started hounding superdelegates,'' Mr. Sanders told NBC's Lester Holt in an interview on Tuesday. ''The night before the largest primary, biggest primary in the whole process.''
He added, ''I was really disappointed in what The A.P. did.''
Officials at The A.P. offered a simpler explanation: There was news, and they reported it.
''We're not calculating about when something happens,'' Kathleen Carroll, The A.P.'s executive editor, said. ''News is news. You put it out when you have it.''
The A.P. employs a crew of reporters to track delegates, distributing its tally to dozens of news organizations. On Monday, its chief delegate reporter, Stephen Ohlemacher, said that after days of nonstop calls to superdelegates, he had received enough commitments to support Mrs. Clinton for her to clinch the nomination.
''Can you imagine if we had gotten to that, and sat on it?'' Ms. Carroll said. ''That would be nutty.''
Ms. Carroll said there was only a brief discussion before editors decided to post the news on the wires '-- ''We don't need a conference call to decide when news happens'' '-- and that it was the same routine The A.P. had followed in declaring Donald J. Trump the presumptive Republican nominee last month.
Mr. Barr, of The Washington Post, said he did not hesitate about reporting The A.P.'s call, only about how big to play the news on the front page. After consulting with The Post's editor, Martin Baron, the paper swapped in a fresh photo of Mrs. Clinton, taken at an event in California after The A.P.'s announcement, and added a banner headline that she had reached the ''magic number'' for a ''historic nomination.''
Similar conversations were occurring at The New York Times, where a late-night discussion took place among editors over the best way to attribute the news about Mrs. Clinton. In the end, The Times included a prominent reference to The A.P. in a headline atop its online home page and in a six-column, front-page headline, a rarity for the paper.
As Mrs. Clinton's team planned a formal victory event on Tuesday, some supporters of Mr. Sanders described The A.P.'s move as evidence of establishment forces working against their candidate.
''Shame on you, @AP,'' the actress Shailene Woodley, a Sanders supporter, wrote on Twitter, in a post that was retweeted roughly 800 times. ''u are feeding false narratives to suppress the American people.''
Several reporters who cover Mrs. Clinton for major outlets, including BuzzFeed News and The Times, said Tuesday that they received angry and threatening messages from Sanders supporters after writing about The A.P.'s call.
Frank Sesno, a former CNN Washington bureau chief, said he could understand the frustration of Mr. Sanders's fans. But he said that The A.P. ''wins stars and kudos on this.''
''It's good, solid enterprising reporting,'' said Mr. Sesno, who now teaches about the media at George Washington University. ''The A.P. did its job. They should be talking to superdelegates on a regular basis.''
''We live in an age of instant reporting,'' Mr. Sesno said. ''If it had been Saturday night at 11:59 p.m., you report what you got.''
Outrage in Stanford Rape Case Over Light Sentence for Attacker and Statement by His Father -
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 02:46
A recall effort against a California judge was announced on Monday in a sexual assault case at Stanford University that ignited public outrage after the defendant was sentenced to a mere six months in jail and his father complained that his son's life had been ruined for ''20 minutes of action'' fueled by alcohol and promiscuity.
In court, the victim had spoken out against the inequities of the legal process, arguing that the trial, the sentencing and the legal system's approach to sexual assault '-- from the defense lawyer's questions about what she wore that night to her attacker's sentence '-- were irrevocably marred by male and class privilege.
The case, which had made headlines since the trial concluded earlier this year, began to seize the public's attention anew after a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge, Aaron Persky, on Thursday handed the defendant, Brock Allen Turner, 20, what many critics denounced as a lenient sentence, including three years' probation, for three felony counts of sexual assault.
The next day, BuzzFeed published the full courtroom statement by the woman who was attacked. The statement, a 7,244-word cri de coeur against the role of privilege in the trial and the way the legal system deals with sexual assault, was provided by the victim and has since gone viral. By Monday, it had been viewed more than five million times on the BuzzFeed site.
Also on Monday, the CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield spent part of an hour looking into the camera and reciting the entire statement live on the air.
The unidentified 23-year-old victim, who was not a student of the university in Palo Alto, Calif., was attacked while visiting the campus, where she attended a fraternity party. In the statement, she spoke of drinking at the party, but not remembering the assault in January 2015.
She said she was told she had been found behind a Dumpster, and learned from news reports that witnesses had discovered her attacker lying on top of her unconscious, partly clothed body. The witnesses intervened and held the attacker for the police.
The judge, identified by The Guardian as a Stanford alumnus, handed Mr. Turner, a champion swimmer, far less than the maximum 14 years after he was convicted, pointing out that he had no prior convictions, he had been affected by the intense media coverage, and ''there is less moral culpability attached to the defendant, who is ... intoxicated,'' The Guardian said.
The victim said Mr. Turner had admitted drinking, but still had not acknowledged any fault in the attack, insisting the episode had been consensual. She said the court privileged his well-being over her own, and in the end declined to punish him severely because the authorities considered the disruption to his studies and athletic career at a prestigious university when determining his sentence. She wrote:
The probation officer weighed the fact that he has surrendered a hard-earned swimming scholarship. How fast Brock swims does not lessen the severity of what happened to me, and should not lessen the severity of his punishment. If a first-time offender from an underprivileged background was accused of three felonies and displayed no accountability for his actions other than drinking, what would his sentence be? The fact that Brock was an athlete at a private university should not be seen as an entitlement to leniency, but as an opportunity to send a message that sexual assault is against the law regardless of social class.
Michele Dauber, a law professor and sociologist at Stanford, said Monday that she was part of a committee that was organizing a recall challenge to Judge Persky, whose position is an elected one. The professor said the judge had misapplied the law by granting Mr. Turner probation and by taking his age, academic achievement and alcohol consumption into consideration.
''If you're going to declare that a high-achieving perpetrator is an unusual case, then you're saying to women on college campuses that they don't deserve the full protection of the law in the state of California,'' the professor said.
On Sunday, Professor Dauber posted to Twitter a statement read to the court by the defendant's father, Dan Turner.
Mr. Turner's father said that his son should not do jail time for the sexual assault, which he referred to as ''the events'' and ''20 minutes of action'' that were not violent. He said that his son suffered from depression and anxiety in the wake of the trial and argued that having to register as a sex offender '-- and the loss of his appetite for food he once enjoyed '-- was punishment enough.
Brock Turner also lost a swimming scholarship to Stanford and has given up on his goal of competing at the Olympics.
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''I was always excited to buy him a big rib-eye steak to grill or to get his favorite snack for him,'' Dan Turner wrote. ''Now he barely consumes any food and eats only to exist. These verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many ways.''
In a statement, the Santa Clara, Calif., district attorney, Jeff Rosen, said the sentence ''did not fit the crime,'' and he called Brock Turner, who withdrew from Stanford, a ''predatory offender'' who refused to take responsibility or show remorse.
''Campus rape is no different than off-campus rape,'' Mr. Rosen said. ''Rape is rape.''
In an editorial, The San Jose Mercury News called the sentence ''a slap on the wrist'' and ''a setback for the movement to take campus rape seriously.''
Judge Persky did not respond to a request for comment sent to Santa Clara County Superior Court on Monday.
Stanford University said on Monday that it ''takes the issue of sexual assault extremely seriously'' and was proud of two students who intervened to stop Mr. Turner's attack.
''There is still much work to be done, not just here, but everywhere, to create a culture that does not tolerate sexual violence in any form and a judicial system that deals appropriately with sexual assault cases,'' the university said in a statement.
In his statement, Dan Turner said his son planned to use his time on probation to educate college students ''about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity'' so that he could ''give back to society in a net positive way.''
The victim, however, rebuked that proposal:
It is deeply offensive that he would try and dilute rape with a suggestion of ''promiscuity.'' By definition rape is not the absence of promiscuity, rape is the absence of consent, and it perturbs me deeply that he can't even see that distinction.
The dad's letter
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 02:38
To Brock Turner's Father, From Another Father | john pavlovitz
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 02:35
Dear Mr. Turner,
I've read your letter to the judge on behalf of your son Brock, asking for leniency in his rape conviction.
I need you to understand something, and I say this as a father who dearly loves my son as much as you must love yours:
Brock is not the victim here.His victim is the victim.She is the wounded one.He is the damager.
If his life has been ''deeply altered'' it is because he has horribly altered another human being; because he made a reprehensible choice to take advantage of someone for his own pleasure. This young woman will be dealing with this for far longer than the embarrassingly short six months your son is being penalized. She will endure the unthinkable trauma of his ''20 minutes of action'' for the duration of her lifetime, and the fact that you seem unaware of this fact is exactly why we have a problem.
This is why young men continue to rape women. This is why so many men believe that they can do whatever they please to a woman's body without accountability. This is the reason so many victims of sexual assault never step forward. This is why white privilege is real and insidious and usually those with it are oblivious to it.
I understand you trying to humanize your son in your letter; talking to the judge about his favorite snacks and swim practice and about the memories that are sweet for your as his father'--but to be honest I don't give a damn and if his victim was your daughter I'm quite sure you wouldn't either.
I imagine this young woman had favorite snacks and sports too, and parents who had wonderful plans for her that didn't include this nightmare.
There is no scenario where your son should be the sympathetic figure here. He is the assailant. He is the rapist. I can't image as a father how gut wrenching such a reality is for you, but it is still true.
Brock has to register as a sex offender because he sexually assaulted an incapacitated young women. This is why we have such requirements; because one vile act against another human being is one too many, because we don't get a do-over when we do unspeakable things, because people need to be protected with knowledge of others in their midst who have failed so egregiously at respecting another person's basic dignity.
The idea that your son has never violated another woman next to a dumpster before isn't a credit to his character. We don't get kudos for only raping one person in our lifetime. I don't believe your son is a monster but he acted like one and that needs to be accounted for. To be sure, this decision is not the sum total of Brock's life, but it is an important part of the equation and it matters deeply.
And to be clear, Mr. Turner,''alcohol and sexual promiscuity'' are not the story here. The story here, is that young men have choices to make and these choices define them, even if those choices are made when temptation is great and opportunity is abundant. In fact, our humanity is most expressed when faced with such things, we choose integrity and decency; when we abstain from doing what is easy but wrong.
We as parents don't control our children. Most parents understand this. Despite our best efforts to the contrary, they fail and fall and do things we'd never consent to. I certainly hope this is such an occasion, though it is not coming across that way in your letter. It feels like you want more sympathy and goodwill toward your son than you want for the survivor of his crime, and that's simply not good enough for her or for those young men and women watching.
Here is her story.
You love your son and you should. But love him enough to teach him to own the terrible decisions he's made, to pay the debt to society as prescribed, and then to find a redemptive path to walk, doing the great work in the world that you say he will.
For now though, as one father to another: help us teach our children to do better'--by letting them see us do better.
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Brock Turner's Friend Pens Letter of Support -- The Cut
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 16:34
A friend of the Stanford swimmer who assaulted an unconscious woman calls "the whole thing a huge misunderstanding.”
Photo: Stanford UniversityOn Thursday, Judge Aaron Persky gave Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster, an unusually light six-month sentence, lest jail ''have a severe impact on [Turner]." Persky also added that he thinks Turner "will not be a danger to others," a perception that was perhaps aided by the letters friends and family wrote in support of him.
The Cut previously posted the letter Turner's father wrote, in which he refers to his son's crime as ''20 minutes of action'' and bemoans the fact that he no longer has the appetite to enjoy steak since his felony sexual-assault conviction. A source also provided the Cut with a letter from Turner's childhood friend Leslie Rasmussen to Judge Persky. In it, she includes a photo of Turner smiling and says there's no way Brock could ever be a rapist, because ''he was always the sweetest to everyone,'' going so far as to call ''the whole thing a huge misunderstanding.''
She blames accusations of campus rape on political correctness, writing:
I don't think it's fair to base the fate of the next ten + years of his life on the decision of a girl who doesn't remember anything but the amount she drank to press charges against him. I am not blaming her directly for this, because that isn't right. But where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn't always because people are rapists.
Rasmussen also says that alcohol-fueled sexual assaults perpetrated by young college students are not the same as when a woman is abducted and assaulted:
This is completely different from a woman getting kidnapped and raped as she is walking to her car in a parking lot. That is a rapist. These are not rapists. These are idiot boys and girls having too much to drink and not being aware of their surroundings and having clouded judgement.
You can read Rasmussen's letter in full, below, and Turner's victim'sharrowing letter to him here.
The Craziest Demands of College Kids in 2016 - The Daily Beast
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 18:27
No grades, no Shakespeare, and no students of different stripes'--welcome to campus insanity in 2016.
''We have spoken. We are speaking. Pay attention.''
So said Yale University students to the faculty of the English department, perfectly encapsulating the attitude of the college activist in 2016. Students at campuses across the country are demanding'--not asking, but demanding'--fundamental changes to their education.
Sometimes, change is good, and these kids deserve to be heard. But the demands of student activists have increasingly taken an Orwellian bent'--and, if met, would eviscerate the free speech rights of faculty members, campus visitors, and even other students.
Here are some of the craziest recent demands of liberal student activists this year.
Abolish English Classes that Feature White Male Poets
Yale activists who told the faculty, ''We have spoken. We are speaking. Pay attention,'' had a very specific demand: they wanted to purge the English department of its colonialist course offerings by restructuring classes focused on white male poets.
Yale English majors are required to take a two-course sequence on the eight great poets of English literature: Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, John Donne, John Milton, Alexander Pope, William Wordsworth, and T.S. Eliot. The problem? These poets are all white men.
''It is unacceptable that a Yale student considering studying English literature might read only white male authors,'' wrote student activists in a petition. ''The Major English Poets sequences creates a culture that is especially hostile to students of color.''
Yale does offer courses that feature more diverse readings. But the students have to complete the main sequence'--on white male authors'--first. For the angry students, that's a problem. Explicitly, they don't want more ''diversity,'' according to their petition: they don't want to learn about so many dead white guys.
Of course, it's not the English department's fault that most of the very best poetry was written by wealthy white men. It's not right, and it isn't fair, that rich white men dominated Western culture for centuries, but nevertheless, that's how history happened. Students should feel free to explore how female authors, and authors of color, were mistreated throughout history, but this shouldn't exempt them from studying Shakespeare.
Implement Segregated Safe Spaces
It's not just that the curriculum is too white: some students actually resent having to spend so much time surrounded by people who don't belong to their tribe. Many activists, in fact, have asked their colleges to create segregated safe spaces for students of color, female students, LGBT students, or students of some other identity group.
In another age, such demands would have been ridiculed as racist. Imagine white students seeking to create a separate area for whites only. This effort would be denounced on both moral and legal grounds'--there's this thing called the Civil Rights Act'--and rightfully so.
But it's an increasingly popular demand among far-left student protesters. At the University of Arizona, the Marginalized Students (PDF)'--a coalition of self-described oppressed students, including the Latino student association, black student association, Asian student association, LGBT student association, Native American student association, and women's center'--want safe spaces for each unique identity group. The black students, for instance, want a residence hall to themselves.
They are hardly alone. Student-activists at New York University want one floor of a campus building turned over to black students, and another floor given to LGBT students.
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It's not always clear that non-black students would be welcome in such spaces. Following the protests at the University of Missouri that brought about the ouster of Mizzou President Tim Wolfe, black student activists set up spaces of healing. They specifically asked white students'--even those who self-identified as allies'--to leave.
Students have the right to segregate themselves into groups, but there's good reason for universities to avoid creating such spaces by design. A Facebook group that doubled as a safe space for women of color at the Claremont Colleges was anything but safe: several of the female students who frequented the group consistently posted hateful and derogatory comments about people of other genders and races.
Isn't the point of college to bring people from diverse backgrounds together, rather than keep them apart?
No More Cross-Ethnic Food/Song/Dance/Haircuts
Students have also brought their quixotic Cultural Revolution to the cafeteria, where inauthentic ethnic food is considered a microaggression. At Oberlin College, Asian students complained that the General Tso's chicken wasn't up to their standards'--a delicious irony, given that the meal was actually standardized in America as a way to introduce Americans to Asian food.
But people on campus have an increasing aversion to cultural intermingling. Some students don't want white people practicing yoga, others think tequila and sombreros on Cinco de Mayo are offensive, and still others think Hindu chanting should be reserved for Hindus, even when performed with all due respect.
But nothing compares with Bonita Tindle, the irate San Francisco University student who attacked a white man because she objected to his dreadlocks. ''It's my culture,'' Tindle explained.
As the previous examples suggest, there are a great many things that offend college students. But student activists don't merely want to discourage offensive expression'--they want to punish those who engage in it. To that end, student activists around the country seek the power to police microaggressions and discipline those who perpetrate them.
Microaggressions are subtle, bothersome digs based upon the slighted person's race, gender, sexuality, disability status, orientation, age, or even their size. They are often subconscious'--the micro-aggressor doesn't realize he or she is saying something untoward'--and they fall well under the category of protected First Amendment speech on public university campuses.
But students at Western Washington University want the administration to create a 15-person student committee to monitor ''racist, anti-black, transphobic, cissexist, misogynistic, ableist, homophobic, Islamophobic, and otherwise oppressive behavior on campus.'' No one would be safe: Even tenured faculty members accused of micro-aggressing someone would be subject to formal investigation. As an example of what qualifies as a microaggression in the eyes of these students, they spelled the word ''history'' with an ''x'''--as in ''hxstory'''--because the actual word is too patriarchal (''his'' + ''story'').
Get Rid of Grades and Tests
Students want far-reaching changes to the curriculum, cultural experience, and tradition of unfettered free speech on campuses. But their most absurd'--and transparently self-serving'--demand is somewhat mundane: they frequently want grades and tests to be limited, if not done away with entirely.
At Johns Hopkins University, administrators do not count first-semester freshmen's grades. These students received grades, but they aren't included on their transcript. The university is phasing out this practice, however, given concerns that it discourages new students from studying as hard as they should.
Student activists are utterly opposed to the new policy. One student, Erica Taicz, accused the administration of worsening her anxiety:
''I'm paying to have a support network, academically and mentally. I can't be expected to do well in class if I'm depressed and have anxiety. If the school is worsening my anxiety, that's their problem and they need to be held accountable for that.''
Meanwhile, more than 1,300 Oberlin students signed a petition calling on the college to make ''C'' the lowest possible grade such that no student would be deemed ''below average.'' Other students think special accommodations should be made for people who are too depressed, anxious, or triggered to take final exams. One student told The New Yorker that he expected his professors to proactively invite him to office hours to have a conversation about the course material in lieu of a midterm.
If there's a common theme among these demands, it's this: the modern college student thinks he or she (or xe) is uniquely oppressed, mistreated, and unsafe. They think a university education is too hostile, triggering, and difficult. They're paying a great deal of money for this experience, and therefore it should be easy, pleasant, and re-affirming, in their view.
It was once the job of college professors to liberate young people from their delusions about the world in order to better prepare them to succeed in it. But 2016 might be the year the tables turned. Professors and administrators are increasingly caving to their students' demands out of fear for their own job security.
In other words, there's little reason to think we've reached peak campus insanity.
Elections 2016
Hillary Clinton Disqualified by U.S. Code Title 18, Section 2071 :
Mon, 06 Jun 2016 15:42
Claim: Hillary Clinton is disqualified from holding the office of President under the provisions of U.S. Code Title 18, Section 2071.
WHAT'S TRUE: Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey appeared on MSNBC on 24 August 2015 and opined that Hillary Clinton was disqualified from holding office due to her use of a private e-mail server while serving as secretary of state.
WHAT'S FALSE: Bipartisan legal analysts agreed that Mukasey's assertion wasn't plausible, and he retracted his statement a few days later.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, May 2016]
This needs to go viral. Let the government know. Let's see how corrupt they are ... or are the people in government exempt from the law?
U.S. Code Title 18, Section 2017
So Much Wrong and So Few Seem to Care
Word for word from the Cornell Law Library
Former United States Attorney General Michael Mukasey tells MSNBC that not only is Hillary Clinton's private email server illegal, it "disqualifies" her from holding any federal office. Such as, say, President of the United States. Very specifically points to one federal law, Title 18. Section 2071.
For those of us who do not have United States Code committed to memory, here's what it says:
?(a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
(b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term ?office? does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.?
Yes, it explicitly states "shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States."
Shouldn't voters know that? The media won't tell them. So it's up to us. Can you help hold Hillary accountable?
Now !! Does anyone believe that this will make a difference ??
just a note! Now if Hillary is allowed to run for an office of any kind, it will show us that the Washington D.C. establishment is so much more corrupt than we thought.
Former United States Attorney General Michael Mukasey tells MSNBC that not only was Hillary Clinton's private email server illegal, it "disqualifies" her from holding any federal office. Such as, say, President of the United States.
"If you do this, you've essentially disqualified yourself from being the leader of the free world," said Mukasey, referring to the illegal server and the illegal handling of classified materials by the former Secretary of State and Democrat Presidential candidate .
Mukasey specifically points to one federal law, Title 18. Section 2071.
Origin:On 24 August 2015, former United States Attorney General Michael Mukasey appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe program and opined that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton should be disqualified from holding that office due to her use of a private e-mail server for conducting government business while she was serving as secretary of state. Mukasey cited U.S. Code Title 18, Section 2071 as basis of his statement:
During that initial appearance, he said that Clinton's wiping of data from her private e-mail server was the offense that violated the cited section of the U.S. Code and disqualified her from office:
I think the more dangerous part of [the Clinton e-mail investigation], from her standpoint, is not so much the placement of the material here as wiping the server.
Number one, that's a felony, but that statute disqualifies you from holding any further office in the United States and she's running for a further office under the United States.
It is true that U.S. Code Title 18, Section 2071 establishes the concealment or destruction of some government records as a crime, and that public officeholders who violate the code are to be disqualified from "holding any office under the United States":
(a) Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
(b) Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States.
However, when legal experts analyzed Mukasey's claim and his application of Title 18 to Hillary Clinton, they concluded it was not legally sound, and within a week even Mukasey agreed that his initial statement was problematic.
Eugene Volokh, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law (and a legal analyst for the Washington Post) ended an August 2015 column on the controversy by opining that disqualifying a person from holding the office of President over a criminal sentence was possibly unconstitutional, and that the issue was moot in Clinton's case because even if she were found guilty of such an offense, she would be effectively disqualified from office in the court of public opinion rather than in a court of law:
[T]he Constitution does expressly allow Congress to make disqualification from future office part of the sentence in impeachment proceedings '-- but has no such provision as to criminal sentences.
Of course, all this is likely practically moot, since if Hillary Clinton is guilty of violating the law, and is convicted for violating the law, such a trial would be a political disqualifier even if not a legal disqualifier; but I take it that the legal disqualification point might itself have some political force even if no trial takes place, and I thought it would be worth noting that the legal disqualification is likely unconstitutional.
Volokh largely deferred to an assessment by former Rutgers Law School Prof. Seth Barrett Tillman, who countered Mukasey's initial statement by expanding on the "unconstitutional" aspect raised by Volokh:
Michael B. Mukasey, a former Attorney General of the United States (and former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York), has stated that if former Secretary of State (and former Senator) Hillary Clinton is convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 2071,[1] then she is disqualified from holding the presidency ... Mukasey's and Cause of Action's position is fundamentally misconceived; indeed, neither puts forward any authority for the position that Section 2071 or any other federal statute creates or could create a disqualification in regard to any elected federal position, including the presidency.
It is widely accepted that the Supreme Court's decisions in Powell v. McCormack and U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton have come to stand for the proposition that neither Congress nor the States can add to the express textual qualifications for House and Senate seats in Article I.Importantly, the rationale of Powell and U.S. Term Limits '-- i.e., the primacy of the written Constitution's express provisions setting fixed textual qualifications '-- equally applies to the qualifications for the presidency (and vice presidency) in Article II. Indeed, this extension of Powell and U.S. Term Limits appears uncontroversial. For example, Chief Judge Posner opined:
The democratic presumption is that any adult member of the polity ... is eligible to run for office ... The requirement in the U.S. Constitution that the President be at least 35 years old and Senators at least 30 is unusual and reflects the felt importance of mature judgment to the effective discharge of the duties of these important offices; nor, as the cases we have just cited hold, may Congress or the states supplement these requirements.
Federal district courts, including those outside of Chief Judge Posner's Seventh Circuit, have taken a similar stance. So has persuasive scholarly authority.
As a matter of constitutional structure, the case for exclusivity in regard to the Constitution's express textual qualifications for the presidency is stronger than the coordinate case for exclusivity in regard to qualifications for House and Senate seats. The power to judge members' qualifications is expressly and unambiguously committed to each house of Congress, but no such express power is unambiguously committed to Congress in regard to adjudicating a president's (or presidential candidate's or president-elect's) qualifications. It would seem to follow that if Congress has no power to add to the standing qualifications of its own members, it cannot add to the standing qualifications for the other elected constitutional positions, i.e., the President and Vice President. Any other result risks congressional aggrandizement at the expense of the presidency; any other result risks Congress's manipulating qualifications for the presidency so that Congress chooses the President, rather than the People of the United States.
In short, Tillman (and Volokh) held that the qualifications stipulated in the Constitution regarding eligibility for the office of President (i.e., having reached the age of 35 and having lived in the United States for 14 years) cannot be modified by Congress through the passage of laws, only by amending the Constitution itself.
Prior to the August 2015 controversy, Prof. Matthew Franck had expressed much the same viewpoint in the National Review's "Bench Memos" column. Addressing a prior version of the claim made in March 2015 by Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, Franck maintained that a statute such as Section 2071 did not have the judicial weight to override the Constitution and create additional disqualifying criteria:
At first blush it appears that Kelly has it right. The presidency is an ''office under the United States,'' as are all executive and judicial branch offices. (Members of either house of Congress are consistently not called ''officers'' in the Constitution, or, so far as I know, in any federal statutes.)
But a mere statute cannot legally disqualify a person from eligibility to the presidency, if he or she possesses the constitutional qualifications. Anyone who is a native-born citizen, 35 or older, who has been 14 years a resident of the country, and who receives a majority of the electoral votes cast for president as certified by the joint session of Congress held to count the ballots (or in the event of no such majority, the one who wins a majority of the states in the contingency balloting of the House), shall be sworn in as president. That is all in the Constitution, and it is not possible for Congress to add the further qualification ''and who has not been convicted of felony X.''
No one in Congress could have thought that such a provision applied to the president, who can lose his office against his will only by being impeached by the House and convicted, after an impeachment trial, by the Senate. Even a conviction of a sitting president on a federal felony charge would not accomplish his removal from office. It follows that a statute that could not result in the removal of a sitting president does not contemplate the disqualification of any person to become president.
The alternative ... leads us into all manner of absurdities, in which the Congress might add further disabilities to the constitutional ones that limit eligibility for the presidency. What other disqualifications, either for offenses against the law or for other reasons, might be added? Lack of military service? Lack of a college degree? ... A statute such as 18 U.S.C. §2071 can reasonably be read as controlling service in any office Congress has created by statute and whose process of appointment or election is not specified by the Constitution. It might then not be read as controlling appointment to an Article III judgeship at any level, but it could plausibly control appointment to any executive branch office, even at the Cabinet level. Those would be interesting interpretive questions. What is not so interesting, because the answer is so obvious, is whether this statute has any effect whatsoever on eligibility to be president. It doesn't, because it can't.
Mukasey himself eventually concurred with Tillman and others that his original comment regarding Title 18, Section 2071 with respect to Hillary Clinton's eligibility was off the mark. Volokh appended his column with the following excerpt from a e-mail sent to him by Mukasey:
[UPDATE: Michael Mukasey sent a very gracious e-mail yesterday evening to say that, ''on reflection, '... Professor Tillman's [analysis] is spot on, and mine was mistaken'.... The disqualification provision in Section 2071 may be a measure of how seriously Congress took the violation in question, and how seriously we should take it, but that's all it is.'']
Last updated: 01 June 2016
Originally published: 27 May 2016
sources:Franck, Matthew J. "No, A Statute Can't Keep Hillary from Being President." National Review. 18 March 2015.
Tillman, Seth Barrett. "A Response to Michael B. Mukasey and Cause Of Action." 25 August 2015.
Volokh, Eugene. "No, Hillary Clinton Wouldn't Be Legally Ineligible for the Presidency Even If She Had Violated Government Records Laws." Washington Post. 26 August 2015.
Williams, Pete. "Former AG Michael Mukasey Says He's Wrong About Clinton Emails." MSNBC. 27 August 2016.
U.S. Code. "Title 18, § 2071 '-- Concealment, Removal, Or Mutilation Generally." 25 June 1948; rev. 13 September 1994.
My Endorsement for President of the United States | Scott Adams Blog
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 06:54
Posted June 5th, 2016 @ 10:11am in #Trump#clinton2016
I've decided to come off the sidelines and endorse a candidate for President of the United States.
I'll start by reminding readers that my politics don't align with any of the candidates. My interest in the race has been limited to Trump's extraordinary persuasion skills. But lately Hillary Clinton has moved into the persuasion game '' and away from boring facts and policies '' with great success. Let's talk about that.
This past week we saw Clinton pair the idea of President Trump with nuclear disaster, racism, Hitler, the Holocaust, and whatever else makes you tremble in fear.
That is good persuasion if you can pull it off because fear is a strong motivator. It is also a sharp pivot from Clinton's prior approach of talking about her mastery of policy details, her experience, and her gender. Trump took her so-called ''woman card'' and turned it into a liability. So Clinton wisely pivoted. Her new scare tactics are solid-gold persuasion. I wouldn't be surprised if you see Clinton's numbers versus Trump improve in June, at least temporarily, until Trump finds a counter-move.
The only downside I can see to the new approach is that it is likely to trigger a race war in the United States. And I would be a top-ten assassination target in that scenario because once you define Trump as Hitler, you also give citizens moral permission to kill him. And obviously it would be okay to kill anyone who actively supports a genocidal dictator, including anyone who wrote about his persuasion skills in positive terms. (I'm called an ''apologist'' on Twitter, or sometimes just Joseph Goebbels).
If Clinton successfully pairs Trump with Hitler in your mind '' as she is doing '' and loses anyway, about a quarter of the country will think it is morally justified to assassinate their own leader. I too would feel that way if an actual Hitler came to power in this country. I would join the resistance and try to take out the Hitler-like leader. You should do the same. No one wants an actual President Hitler.
So I've decided to endorse Hillary Clinton for President, for my personal safety. Trump supporters don't have any bad feelings about patriotic Americans such as myself, so I'll be safe from that crowd. But Clinton supporters have convinced me '' and here I am being 100% serious '' that my safety is at risk if I am seen as supportive of Trump. So I'm taking the safe way out and endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.
As I have often said, I have no psychic powers and I don't know which candidate would be the best president. But I do know which outcome is most likely to get me killed by my fellow citizens. So for safety reason, I'm on team Clinton.
My prediction remains that Trump will win in a landslide based on his superior persuasion skills. But don't blame me for anything President Trump does in office because I endorse Clinton.
The rest of you are on your own. Good luck.
If you don't like this endorsement, you might enjoy my book because it doesn't endorse anyone.
Early Nomination Call for Hillary Clinton by Associated Press Sent Media Scrambling -
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 14:36
Andrew Lack, the chairman of NBC News, was dining with Matt Lauer on the Upper East Side on Monday night when his phone rang, mid-halibut.
It quickly became clear that the fish would have to wait.
The Associated Press had just declared Hillary Clinton the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, a decision based not on any primary victory '-- none were held on Monday '-- but on the news agency's own canvassing of superdelegates, the party insiders who can support any candidate they choose.
It was an unusual, somewhat arcane way to crown the nation's first female presidential nominee from a major party, in part because the 571 superdelegates who told The A.P. they were committed to Mrs. Clinton are free to change their minds until the convention next month.
But The A.P.'s call created a trigger effect in newsrooms around the country, which have long viewed the agency as an arbiter of election results.
Pollsters at major television networks scrambled to confirm The A.P.'s math, with one official at CBS News hopping on a bicycle to quickly return to his office. CNN producers yanked an on-air promo teasing Tuesday's races as Mrs. Clinton's critical moment. NBC News, the first TV network to match the call, had its director of elections make a rare on-air appearance on MSNBC.
Editors at major papers tore up their front pages, adding banner headlines for later editions, even as they debated exactly how to describe a historic milestone predicated on another news outlet's delegate tally, rather than the results of Tuesday's primary races in California and five other states.
''The moment of history,'' said Cameron Barr, a managing editor of The Washington Post, ''snuck up on us a little bit earlier than we thought it would.''
By Tuesday, questions lingered about the abrupt nature of what had happened. Some rival journalists wondered why The A.P.'s 86-word bulletin was posted at 8:21 p.m. on the East Coast, when competitors would have difficulty matching its reporting. Others asked about the odd '-- and for some readers, puzzling '-- nature of a political victory announced on a day when no ballots had been cast.
There were political consequences, too. Mrs. Clinton played down The A.P.'s call, eager for supporters to stay motivated, as her aides grumbled about the news media stepping on her big moment. Her opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders, rejected The A.P.'s delegate count outright, accusing the news agency of intentionally hurting his chances.
''They started hounding superdelegates,'' Mr. Sanders told NBC's Lester Holt in an interview on Tuesday. ''The night before the largest primary, biggest primary in the whole process.''
He added, ''I was really disappointed in what The A.P. did.''
Officials at The A.P. offered a simpler explanation: There was news, and they reported it.
''We're not calculating about when something happens,'' Kathleen Carroll, The A.P.'s executive editor, said. ''News is news. You put it out when you have it.''
The A.P. employs a crew of reporters to track delegates, distributing its tally to dozens of news organizations. On Monday, its chief delegate reporter, Stephen Ohlemacher, said that after days of nonstop calls to superdelegates, he had received enough commitments to support Mrs. Clinton for her to clinch the nomination.
''Can you imagine if we had gotten to that, and sat on it?'' Ms. Carroll said. ''That would be nutty.''
Ms. Carroll said there was only a brief discussion before editors decided to post the news on the wires '-- ''We don't need a conference call to decide when news happens'' '-- and that it was the same routine The A.P. had followed in declaring Donald J. Trump the presumptive Republican nominee last month.
Mr. Barr, of The Washington Post, said he did not hesitate about reporting The A.P.'s call, only about how big to play the news on the front page. After consulting with The Post's editor, Martin Baron, the paper swapped in a fresh photo of Mrs. Clinton, taken at an event in California after The A.P.'s announcement, and added a banner headline that she had reached the ''magic number'' for a ''historic nomination.''
Similar conversations were occurring at The New York Times, where a late-night discussion took place among editors over the best way to attribute the news about Mrs. Clinton. In the end, The Times included a prominent reference to The A.P. in a headline atop its online home page and in a six-column, front-page headline, a rarity for the paper.
As Mrs. Clinton's team planned a formal victory event on Tuesday, some supporters of Mr. Sanders described The A.P.'s move as evidence of establishment forces working against their candidate.
''Shame on you, @AP,'' the actress Shailene Woodley, a Sanders supporter, wrote on Twitter, in a post that was retweeted roughly 800 times. ''u are feeding false narratives to suppress the American people.''
Several reporters who cover Mrs. Clinton for major outlets, including BuzzFeed News and The Times, said Tuesday that they received angry and threatening messages from Sanders supporters after writing about The A.P.'s call.
Frank Sesno, a former CNN Washington bureau chief, said he could understand the frustration of Mr. Sanders's fans. But he said that The A.P. ''wins stars and kudos on this.''
''It's good, solid enterprising reporting,'' said Mr. Sesno, who now teaches about the media at George Washington University. ''The A.P. did its job. They should be talking to superdelegates on a regular basis.''
''We live in an age of instant reporting,'' Mr. Sesno said. ''If it had been Saturday night at 11:59 p.m., you report what you got.''
BuzzFeed Terminates Ad Deal With Republican Party Over Trump
Mon, 06 Jun 2016 16:57
Josh Edelson / AFP / Getty Images
BuzzFeed has terminated a deal with the Republican National Committee to run political advertisements in the fall, the company's CEO, Jonah Peretti, informed employees Monday morning.
In an email, Peretti cited Donald Trump's rhetoric and campaign promises as the reason for the decision to terminate the buy, worth $1.3 million according to a source who spoke with Politico.
''Earlier today, BuzzFeed informed the RNC that we would not accept Trump for President ads and that we would be terminating our agreement with them,'' Peretti said. ''The Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world and in some cases, such as his proposed ban on international travel for Muslims, would make it impossible for our employees to do their jobs.''
Peretti added later in the email, ''We certainly don't like to turn away revenue that funds all the important work we do across the company. However, in some cases we must make business exceptions: we don't run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won't accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.''
A spokesman for the RNC did not respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed, but RNC senior strategist Sean Spicer told CNN that the RNC never intended to use BuzzFeed as a platform.
''Space was reserved on many platforms, but we never intended to use BuzzFeed,'' Spicer said, adding, ''It is ironic that they have not ruled out taking money from a candidate currently under investigation by the FBI.''
In a follow-up email, BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith reiterated that the decision was not an editorial call and that coverage of the Trump campaign by BuzzFeed News journalists would go unchanged. ''This was Jonah's call, and the prerogative of a publisher,'' Smith wrote.
Here's Peretti's full email:
Hello BuzzFeeders,
I wanted to share with you a business decision we have made regarding the Trump for President campaign and why we made it.
In April, the Republican National Committee signed an agreement with BuzzFeed to spend a significant amount on political advertisements slated to run during the Fall election cycle. As you know, we accept advertisements from both republican and democratic candidates and we were pleased to accept this advertising order from the RNC.
Since signing this advertising deal, Donald Trump, as you know, has become the presumptive nominee of his party. The tone and substance of his campaign are unique in the history of modern US politics. Trump advocates banning Muslims from traveling to the United States, he's threatened to limit the free press, and made offensive statements toward women, immigrants, descendants of immigrants, and foreign nationals.
Earlier today Buzzfeed informed the RNC that we would not accept Trump for President ads and that we would be terminating our agreement with them. The Trump campaign is directly opposed to the freedoms of our employees in the United States and around the world and in some cases, such as his proposed ban on international travel for Muslims, would make it impossible for our employees to do their jobs.
We don't need to and do not expect to agree with the positions or values of all our advertisers. And as you know, there is a wall between our business and editorial operations. This decision to cancel this ad buy will have no influence on our continuing coverage of the campaign.
We certainly don't like to turn away revenue that funds all the important work we do across the company. However, in some cases we must make business exceptions: we don't run cigarette ads because they are hazardous to our health, and we won't accept Trump ads for the exact same reason.
Did Clinton's Emails Expose CIA Agents?
Mon, 06 Jun 2016 19:32
Even as Hillary Clinton closes in on the Democratic nomination, facts continue to emerge indicating that her sloppy email practices may have endangered secrets, including the identities of covert operatives, writes Peter Van Buren.
By Peter Van Buren
These are facts. You can look at the source documents yourself. This is not opinion, conjecture, or rumor. Hillary Clinton transmitted the names of American intelligence officials via her unclassified email.
From a series of Clinton emails, numerous names were redacted in the State Department releases with the classification code ''B3 CIA PERS/ORG,'' a highly specialized classification that means the information, if released, would violate the Central Intelligence Act of 1949 by exposing the names of CIA officials.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The Freedom of information Act (FOIA) requires the government to release all, or all parts of a document, that do not fall under a specific set of allowed exemptions. If information cannot be excluded, it must be released. If some part of a document can be redacted to allow the rest of the document to be released, then that is what must be done. Each redaction must be justified by citing a specific reason for exclusion.
But don't believe me. Instead, look at page two of this State Department document which lists the exemptions.
Note specifically the different types of ''(b)(3)'' redactions, including ''CIA PERS/ORG.'' As common sense would dictate, the government will not release the names of CIA employees via the FOIA process. It would '-- literally '-- be against the law. What law? Depending on the nature of the individual's job at CIA, National Security Act of 1947, the CIA Act of 1949, various laws that govern undercover/clandestine CIA officers and, potentially, the Espionage Act of 1917.
Yet Hillary's emails contain at least three separate, specific instances where she mentioned in an unclassified email transmitted across the open Internet and wirelessly to her Blackberry the names of CIA personnel. Here they are. Look for the term ''(b)(3) CIA PERS/ORG'' Click on the links and see for yourself: CIA One; CIA Two; CIA Three
There are also numerous instances of exposure of the names and/or email addresses of NSA employees (''B3 NSA''); see page 23 inside this longer PDF document.
Why It Matters
'-- These redactions point directly to violations of specific laws. It is not a ''mistake'' or minor rule-breaking.
'-- These redactions strongly suggest that the Espionage Act's standard of mishandling national defense information through ''gross negligence'' may have been met by Clinton.
'-- There is no ambiguity in this information, no possible claims to faux-retroactive classification, not knowing, information not being labeled, etc. Clinton and her staff know that one cannot mention CIA names in open communications. It is one of the most basic tenets taught and exercised inside the government. One protects one's colleagues.
'-- Exposing these names can directly endanger the lives of the officials. It can endanger the lives of the foreigners they interacted with after a foreign government learns one of their citizens was talking with the CIA. It can blow covers and ruin sensitive clandestine operations. It can reveal to anyone listening in on this unclassified communication sources and methods. Here is a specific example of how Clinton likely compromised security.
'-- These redactions show complete contempt on Clinton's part for the security process.
BONUS: There is clear precedent for others going to jail for exposing CIA names. Read the story of John Kiriakou. A Personal Aside: I just remain incredulous about these revelations seeming to mean nothing to the world. They're treated in the media as almost gossip.
Peter Van Buren blew the whistle on State Department waste during Iraqi reconstruction in his first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. His second book is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent. Next up is a novel about WWII Japan, Hooper's War. He writes about current events at www.wemeantwell.comand on Twitter @wemeantwell. [This article previously appeared at]
Senior State Dept. officer, now Iran deal coordinator, deposed about Clinton email - The Washington Post
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 09:53
A senior State Department official who oversaw executive operations during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary from 2009 to 2013 told lawyers in a civil lawsuit that he was aware of her private email server, but had no reason to think it was used for government business, according to a transcript released Monday.
''Your question is based on the assumption that I knew that someone was conducting government business, and I -- I don't have a basis to make such a judgment,'' Stephen D. Mull, said in a sworn deposition. Mull was executive secretary of the department from June 2010 to 2012 and since September is its lead implementation coordinator for the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal.
Mull also told lawyers for the conservative group Judicial Watch that he did not recall informing top Clinton aides in August 2011 that emails sent from a department-issued Blackberry would be subject to public records requests.
Mull joined a list of top State officials who have shed little new light on the workings of Clinton's email set-up which is the subject of a Judicial Watch lawsuit into whether it thwarted federal open records law.
Mull, an ambassador to Poland from 2012 to 2015 who played a key role in early negotiations with Iran, expressed no opinion on whether it was a mistake by the department to let Clinton and top aides leave office in early 2013 without preserving more than 30,000 government-related emails. They and their lawyers later reviewed and selected the emails to be returned after the existence of Clinton's private server was reported last year.
''If I were aware that any Secretary of State while I was serving as Executive Secretary were not aware of [record-preservation] responsibilities, I -- I would have taken steps within my power to inform them of that,'' Mull said in his deposition.
But, he added, ''I think it's difficult with hindsight to say something was a mistake, if a person didn't have the knowledge at the time of what was going on.''
Mull answered questions for more than three hours Friday at a deposition attended by eight lawyers for the government and Judicial Watch, days after deposition appearances by former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl D. Mills and Lewis A. Lukens, a former administrative official.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan last month allowed depositions of a half-dozen officials in a lawsuit over Judicial Watch's request for information about Abedin's employment arrangement. Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy and Clinton aide Huma C. Abedin, now vice chair of Clinton's presidential campaign are set to appear at the end of June.
Sullivan postponed Monday's scheduled deposition of a former State and Clinton-campaign staffer who helped set up the server, Bryan Pagliano, while the judge seeks more information about the aide's immunity agreement with federal prosecutors in a criminal investigation into the handling of classified information.
In the civil suit, Sullivan has focused the inquiry on whether the department's failure to preserve official agency records on Clinton's server was evidence of bad faith in complying with the federal Freedom of Information Act known as FOIA.
The picture emerging from transcripts posted publicly so far is murky.
Last week, Mills said during her deposition that she did not recall any discussion either of Clinton possibly using a State Department account or her emails' availability under FOIA, but that she believed Clinton's emails would be subject to the law because they would be retained by recipients who used official government addresses.
Mills said she did not think about emails that were sent to non-government addresses not being retained, but regretted it and ''wish I had.''
Still, Mills said she did not recall ever discussing FOIA requirements, even when shown the August 2011 email chain from Mull, concerning his response to reports of Clinton's communications problems, including ''possibly because of her personal server is down[sic].''
''We will prepare two versions for her to use, one with operating State Department email account which would mask her identity but which would also be subject to FOIA requests,'' Mull wrote.
Mull said he not recall the communication, or the circumstances behind it.
''So you don't recall why you wrote this sentence?'' Judicial Watch lawyer Michael Bekesha asked.
''Today I don't, no,'' Mull said.
Mull said he could not recall any conversations about Clinton's server during his time as executive secretary, nor any conversations or concerns that her emails were not being searched in FOIA requests.
Mull said if he had discussions regarding Clinton's use of a Blackberry, it would have been with his administrative and logistics unit's ''mobile solutions'' technical support team.
Emails: State Dept. Officials Warned Of Clinton Email Spin | The Daily Caller
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 09:45
Newly released State Department emails show that in the days after Hillary Clinton's exclusive personal email use made international news, officials with the agency's legal department were urged by the former head of that division to make it clear that the bureau did not sign off on the former secretary of state's arrangement.
But that advice, which came from John Bellinger, the State Department's Legal Adviser during the George W. Bush administration, appears to have gone unheeded, at least publicly. The State Department never publicly clarified that Clinton self-approved her personal email system.
While the agency's information technology, diplomatic security and legal adviser divisions were not made aware of the setup, those facts only came to light in an inspector general's report that was published last month.
In delaying saying whether Clinton's email system was approved by the State Department, the agency created the perception that the Democratic presidential candidate's email system was allowed. Clinton herself has made the same claim. The IG report thoroughly debunked that notion, however.
On March 3, 2015, Bellinger, now an attorney with Arnold & Porter, emailed principal deputy legal adviser Mary McLeod and deputy legal advisor Richard Visek of the State Department's office of legal affairs raising several concerns with how spokeswoman Marie Harf was spinning the scandal.
He took issue with Harf's implication that the office of the legal adviser signed off on Clinton's email system and that her email practices were similar to past secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell.
''I'm sorry you guys are getting put through the wringer today,'' Bellinger wrote in his first email, which The Daily Caller received as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department.
The watchdog group Cause of Action filed the suit on TheDC's behalf.
Bellinger offered two suggestions to McLeod and Visek.
''Please make sure that Marcie [sic] Harf doesn't keep saying that Secretary Rice did the same thing. As you know, that is not correct, and Secretary Rice has corrected the record,'' wrote Bellinger, who continues to serve as Rice's personal counsel.
During her March 3 daily press briefing Harf defended Clinton's email arrangement saying that she ''was following what had been the practice of previous secretaries.''
The implication was that Clinton's immediate predecessors, Rice and Powell, used email in the same way Clinton did. Harf did clarify later that Rice did not use personal email while Powell sometimes did.
Bellinger also bristled at the implication that the office of the legal adviser had approved of Clinton's foolhardy setup.
''I'm getting calls from people (press and former USG lawyers) asking whether State lawyers actually approved letting Secretary Clinton use a State [BlackBerry] for official business using a personal email account, and then to keep the emails,'' he continued.
''Marcie [sic] Harf is implying that State approved this practice (and this suggests that L approved it, though she didn't say so specifically). As someone who wants to defend L's reputation, I would urge you to defend the credibility of L as good and careful administrative lawyers, and don't let the spokesman give L a bad name. I can't believe that L would have approved this, and you shouldn't let Marcie Harf imply that you did.''
''L'' refers to the State Department's Office of the Legal Adviser which, according to its website, ''furnishes advice on all legal issues, domestic and international, arising in the course of the Department's work.''
State Department spokesperson Marie Harf speaks during a press briefing at the State Department June 1, 2015. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
The emails were released to TheDC just as the State Department's press shop is facing intense scrutiny after spokesman John Kirby admitted that an agency official ordered the excision of eight minutes of video from a Dec. 2, 2013 press briefing discussing nuclear negotiations between the U.S. and Iran.
The State Department has refused to conduct a detailed investigation of the matter, leaving the identity of the official who ordered the deletion to remain a mystery.
As the two top agency spokeswomen at the time, Harf and her colleague Jen Psaki have been suggested as being behind the order. Both have denied any involvement in the deletion.
Visek responded to Bellinger's advice, writing: ''Thanks for the heads up. I'll reach out to PA and try to make sure they understand.''
''PA'' is a reference to the bureau of public affairs.
''Marcie [sic] hasn't specifically said that L approved the practice, but she's strongly suggested that it's all fine which is why people are calling me to ask 'Did L really approve this'? And I have responded, I can't believe they did '-- they are careful lawyers,'' Bellinger wrote back.
In those initial days after Clinton's email practices were revealed, Harf and her fellow spokeswoman Jen Psaki led a clear-cut effort to downplay the burgeoning scandal.
At one point during the March 3, 2015 daily press briefing, Harf, who now serves as senior advisor for communications for Sec. of State John Kerry, exclaimed that ''I was a little surprised '-- although maybe I shouldn't have been '-- by some of the breathless reporting coming out last night.''
She came under criticism from many in the press for her dismissive responses to questions about the email setup.
Jen Psaki stands behind Secretary of State John Kerry as he talks with reporters aboard his government aircraft shortly after departing Seoul Air Base April 13, 2013, for Beijing, China. (REUTERS/Paul J. Richards/Pool)
State Department officials declined for months to answer questions about who may have approved Clinton's email setup.
The arrangement was managed by Bryan Pagliano, who was hired by the State Department as an information technology specialist in May 2009.
The questions of whether any State Department sub-agencies signed off on the Clinton email setup was finally answered last month in a State Department inspector general's report.
The watchdog found that Clinton did not seek approval for the system from anyone at the department. The report also noted that officials with the Bureau of Diplomatic Security would not have okayed the system even if Clinton had asked for permission to use it.
The office of the legal adviser also had no input on the system. The report did note, however, that a State Department official named John Bentel told two information technology staffers not to ask questions about Clinton's server. He allegedly told the staffers that the legal adviser had approved the system.
Reached by email for comment, Bellinger said he would let his emails speak for themselves.
State Department Office of Legal Adviser emails
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State Department Blocks Release Of Hillary Clinton-Era TPP Emails Until After The Election
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 09:33
Update, 4:35pm ET, June 6: Following IBT's story, Donald Trump's campaign demanded that the State Department release Clinton's TPP-related emails. The Trump campaign referred to Clinton as "the outsourcing candidate" and said she was intent on "ramming TPP down the throats of the American people." Read IBT's story about Trump's statement here.
Original story: Trade is a hot issue in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign. But correspondence from Hillary Clinton and her top State Department aides about a controversial 12-nation trade deal will not be available for public review '-- at least not until after the election. The Obama administration abruptly blocked the release of Clinton's State Department correspondence about the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), after first saying it expected to produce the emails this spring.
The decision came in response to International Business Times' open records request for correspondence between Clinton's State Department office and the United States Trade Representative. The request, which was submitted in July 2015, specifically asked for all such correspondence that made reference to the TPP.
The State Department originally said it estimated the request would be completed by April 2016. Last week the agency said it had completed the search process for the correspondence but also said it was delaying the completion of the request until late November 2016 '-- weeks after the presidential election. The delay was issued in the same week the Obama administration filed a court motion to try to kill a lawsuit aimed at forcing the federal government to more quickly comply with open records requests for Clinton-era State Department documents.
Clinton's shifting positions on the TPP have been a source of controversy during the campaign: She repeatedly promoted the deal as secretary of state but then in 2015 said, "I did not work on TPP," even though some leaked State Department cables show that her agency was involved in diplomatic discussions about the pact. Under pressure from her Democratic primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, Clinton announced in October that she now opposes the deal '-- and has disputed that she ever fully backed it in the first place.
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While some TPP-related emails have been released by the State Department as part of other open records requests, IBT's request was designed to provide a comprehensive view of how involved Clinton and her top aides were in shaping the trade agreement, and whether her agency had a hand in crafting any particular provisions in the pact. Unions, environmental organizations and consumer groups say the agreement will help corporations undermine domestic labor, conservation and other public interest laws.
If IBT's open records request is fulfilled on the last day of November, as the State Department now estimates, it will have taken 489 days for the request to be fulfilled. According to Justice Department statistics, the average wait time for a State Department request is 111 days on a simple request '-- the longest of any federal agency the department's report analyzed. Requests classified as complex by the State Department can take years.
Earlier this year, the State Department's inspector general issued a report slamming the agency's handling of open records requests for documents from the Office of the Secretary. Searches of emails ''do not consistently meet statutory and regulatory requirements for completeness and rarely meet requirements for timeliness,'' the inspector general concluded.
Hillary Clinton smiles during a campaign event in Hartford, Connecticut, April 21, 2016.Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Last year, a Government Accountability Office report found that at the agencies it surveyed, there was not political interference in responding to open records requests. However, last month, a conservative group filed a lawsuit alleging that an Obama administration directive has deliberately slowed the response to open records requests that deal with politically sensitive material.
Nate Jones of the National Security Archive told IBT that whether or not the State Department's move to delay the release of TPP-related correspondence is politically motivated, it reflects a systemic problem at the agency.
''In my opinion it is more incompetence than maliciousness, but either way, it is a gross error by FOIA processors to not get these documents out before the election,'' said Jones, whose group helps journalists obtain government records. ''Their inefficiency is doing great harm to the democratic process.''
Defiant Sanders camp: It ain't over - POLITICO
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 21:38
Bernie Sanders' campaign is defiant, saying there is still a race despite the fact that the AP called it for Hillary Clinton. | AP Photo
AP call 'was one of the most appalling things I've seen in a long time,' said a top Sanders adviser.
By Gabriel Debenedetti
06/07/16 11:49 AM EDT
Updated 06/07/16 12:06 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES '-- Hillary Clinton became the presumptive Democratic nominee on Monday night, but Bernie Sanders still has a big problem with the word ''presumptive."
Even after the Associated Press declared Monday that she would become the first woman to top a major party ticket this fall, the increasingly combative Vermont senator's posture '-- and that of his increasingly furious campaign team '-- remained clear: This ain't over.
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''It was one of the most appalling things I've seen in a long time,'' senior campaign adviser Mark Longabaugh said of the AP call, noting that the organization had taken weeks to count Sanders' delegates from Washington state earlier this year, a saga that roiled the Sanders team, but somehow managed to chase down enough undeclared superdelegates to declare Clinton the primary winner on the eve of the campaign's last big primary day. ''Yet here they are haranguing and badgering super delegates before the final votes were cast. On top of the fact that they're awarding delegates in Puerto Rico when the counting isn't even finished in Puerto Rico."
"It's scandalous. It's absolutely scandalous and it really feeds into what Sanders supporters believe, and quite frankly probably some people on the right who are sick and tired of the establishment that feeds right into it, that this whole thing was rigged right from the beginning," said prominent Sanders surrogate Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator. "The nominee for Democrats is not called. She does not have the absolute number. The number is set up by the Democratic party. She does not have that number and will not have that number without superdelegates and because superdelegates can not vote until the Wednesday of the convention neither her nor the senator will have it. And what it does it is it gets into the heads of people who are yet to vote."
Sanders himself didn't mention the development at his 10,500-person strong rally in San Francisco's Presidio on Monday night, instead repeating his frequent case that superdelegates should flip their loyalties from Clinton because he is the stronger candidate in preliminary polling matchups against presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. A win in California, he told his audience, would give him ''enormous momentum'' ahead of Democrats' convention in Philadelphia.
In ignoring the flashing headlines and digging in his heels deeper than ever in the closing hours of the California primary, Sanders let his communications director's fuming statement from earlier in the evening speak for the campaign.
''It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgment, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee's clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of super delegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer. Secretary Clinton does not and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination,'' said spokesman Michael Briggs after the AP alert declaring Clinton's victory first landed.
''She will be dependent on superdelegates who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then. They include more than 400 superdelegates who endorsed Secretary Clinton 10 months before the first caucuses and primaries and long before any other candidate was in the race. Our job from now until the convention is to convince those super delegates that Bernie is by far the strongest candidate against Donald Trump."
As Californians woke up Tuesday while voters in New Jersey started going to the polls and residents of New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana prepped to mark their own ballots, the Sanders camp showed no signs of changing its tune.
"Let those people vote and decide before the media tells them that the race is over," Jeff Weaver told CNN Tuesday. "What's the point of suppressing voter turnout in six states across the country to have a quick news hit that could easily have been done tonight?"
"They are suppressing the vote in the most vile, vicious way I've seen establishment media do, and the fact that the Clinton campaign is giddy about it because [sic] what they should be doing is be out there saying, 'don't do that, don't call this race. There's still other states that have yet to vote.' Be true to what they have been saying on TV which is she's competing for every last vote," said Turner. "It's obvious that that's not the truth."
The senator isn't expected to directly address the matter until his election night rally, which will likely not begin until late in the evening on the West Coast '-- in the early hours of the morning in the East.
For months Sanders has maintained that he will stay in the race until the convention in Philadelphia, and his aides' sense of frustration with the early race call was palpable on Monday night, as they tried to puzzle through what it would mean for turnout in California's primary '-- on which Sanders has pinned most of his hopes. A win in this state where he's been campaigning hard for two straight weeks, he has long said, would give him the ability to make a convincing case to the superdelegates that he is the right candidate to take on Trump.
But not one of the hundreds of superdelegates he would need has flipped, and the effects of Monday's announcement on the Tuesday contests '-- especially California, the biggest delegate prize on the Democratic nomination calendar '-- were unclear in the early hours of the day on the West Coast.
"I thought it was a pretty sneaky prediction," said Larry Taylor, a Sanders superdelegate and Oregon Democratic committeeman. "If I was in California I would be a little offended by it and it would make me march to the polls all that much more strongly if I was a Sanders supporter. And there's the Clinton fear that, 'oh well, election's in the bank, we don't need to vote.' So it could go a number of ways."
Clinton's team recently redoubled its own efforts in California in an attempt to deprive Sanders the chance to win and thus make the six weeks between today and the convention uncomfortable. In her two public events after the race was called on Monday night, Clinton stressed that it's imperative that voters still play their part on Tuesday and go to the polls. Clinton's camp is eager to win a majority of pledged delegates, to take some of the shine off Sanders' case that he is truly the best candidate.
After weeks of grumbling about how turnout would be suppressed if the national press effectively declared the race over, Sanders' camp blasted out a mobilization email at 10:45 P.M. Pacific time urging backers to stick to the plan.
''Tuesday marks the largest set of primaries and caucuses in the Democratic nomination process with six states voting for president and 694 delegates up for grabs. Pundits and the political press want to call this race before every last person votes,'' wrote campaign manager Jeff Weaver. ''That threatens to suppress voter turnout in New Jersey, California, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and New Mexico. But we're not going to let that happen."
Sanders' New Jersey chairman John Wisniewski, a superdelegate backing Sanders, insisted Tuesday it's too early to call the race.
"There's over 600 delegates that will be decided today, elected delegates and Sen. Sanders is doing very well in California and I think he'll do better than expectations here in New Jersey so we ought to wait and see until all of the elected delegates are finished before we start saying the race is over," he said.
Daniel Strauss contributed to this report.
Firm With Close Clinton Ties Lobbied For Islamic Bank | The Daily Caller
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 12:35
A Washington D.C. lobbying firm closely linked to Hillary Clinton was paid handsomely by a sharia-compliant Bengali bank tied to terrorism, government records show.
Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd., which was founded in 1983, paid The Podesta Group $390,000 starting last year to lobby the Senate and House on ''international banking issues,'' according to disclosure forms filed with the Senate.
The bank, which operates in compliance with Islamic banking laws, signed the agreement with the Podesta Group last March 6. The relationship, which ended late last month, went unreported in the press until now.
The Podesta Group has perhaps the strongest ties to Hillary Clinton of any high-powered lobbying outfit. It was co-founded by two brothers and longtime Clinton cronies, John and Tony Podesta. John Podesta is Clinton's campaign chairman. Tony Podesta is a major bundler for her campaign. He has raised more than $130,000 for the Democratic party nominee this election cycle. Podesta's ex-wife, Heather Podesta, has also bundled six-figures worth of donations for Clinton.
Islami Bank Bangladesh (IBB) decision to hire the Podesta Group was part of a ramped up effort to limit reputational and financial damage it sustained after the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs' Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations published a report in July 2012 tying the group to Islamist terrorist groups.
The subcommittee found that IBB ''provided an account to a Bangladeshi accused of involvement with a terrorist bombing, and had been fined three times' connection with providing bank services to 'militants.'''
Several of the bank's top officials are members of Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamic fundamentalist group that fought against Bengali independence in 1971. One of the bank's directors is Mir Quasem Ali. He was sentenced to death in Bangladesh in 2014 after being convicted on war crimes charges for his role in the 1971 independence fight.
IBB also has ties to Jamaat-ul-Mujahedin Bangladesh, a fundamentalist group which has carried out scores of bombings in Bangladesh.
One of the bank's main shareholders is Al Rajhi Bank, a sharia-compliant that also has alleged terror ties.
In a hearing based on the Senate report, Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, a Democrat, described Al Rajhi Bank, which reportedly owns 37 percent of Islami Bank's shares, as ''a Saudi Arabian bank whose account was closed by [HBSC's U.S. affiliate] in 2005 for terrorist financing reasons.''
The name of one of Al Rajhi Bank's co-founders and top officials, Sulaiman Al-Rajhi, was found on a list that has been dubbed ''The Golden Chain.'' Discovered in Bosnia in 2002, the list purportedly contains the names of 20 top al Qaeda financiers.
A Nov. 2012 report from the Eurasia Review provided other links between IBB and terrorist activity.
The group ''was found to be linked with the Kuwait based Islamic [non-governmental organization], Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), whose bank accounts in Pakistan were closed following 9/11.''
IBB ''is also believed to have been closely tied to the August 17, 2005, serial bombings across Bangladesh,'' the report states.
There is no direct link between the Islami Bank Bangladesh and Clinton or the Clinton Foundation, the charity that the former first couple operates and which has been a source of ongoing scandal. But the connection through the Podesta Group shows just how few degrees of separation often separate the Clinton and groups implicated in illicit or controversial activities.
Another such link emerged in April. As The Daily Caller found, Tony Podesta personally lobbied for the Center for Studies and Media Affairs at the Saudi Royal Court, an arm of the Saudi regime. (RELATED: Exclusive: Hillary Clinton Campaign Bundler Is Directly Lobbying For Saudi Arabia)
The Saudis have pressured the Obama administration to oppose legislation that would allow family members of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government over the attacks. The Saudi group has paid the Podesta Group $140,000 a month for its pubic relations services.
Islami Bank's lobbyist spending prior to hiring the Podesta Group provides insight into what ''international banking issues'' it hoped to explore.
The Islamic bank paid lobbyist Dana Contratto $120,000 in 2013 and 2014 to work on issues related to the ''implications of July 2012 Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations staff report on HSBC.''
Contratto died in July 2014.
In a report published published in an outlet called The Daily Star, two top IBB officials explained their lobbying expenses.
''The firm will help us reach our explanation to the US Senate committee that came up with the report last year,'' Islami Bank's managing director Mohammed Abdul Mannan told The Daily Star.
''Earlier, we had tried to clear our position before the U.S. Senate subcommittee. But we could not reach them,'' Mahbub ul Alam, the bank's deputy managing director, said.
The group also paid lobbyist Powell Moore $45,000 in that same time period to lobby on the same issue. The relationship was terminated in April 2014, about a year before the bank tapped the Podesta Group.
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Russia says will resume selling gas to Ukraine
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 10:06
MOSCOW (AP) '-- Russia's gas monopolist says it will resume selling gas to Ukraine, following an official request from Kiev.
In a statement on Tuesday signaling that sales would resume, Gazprom said it had received an official request from Ukraine's state-owned Naftogaz to buy gas for the next nine months.
Ukraine's new government has been anxious to shake off its dependence on Russian gas. After Russia cut off the supply to Ukraine in November last year over unpaid deliveries, Ukraine turned to its western neighbors to buy gas that they had bought from Russia. Kiev insisted it was at a lower price than what direct supplies cost.
Past gas disputes between Russia and Ukraine have led to cutoffs. One standoff in 2009 caused serious disruptions in winter supplies to EU countries.
Six Week Cycle
F.B.I. Steps Up Use of Stings in ISIS Cases -
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 12:51
WASHINGTON '-- The F.B.I. has significantly increased its use of stings in terrorism cases, employing agents and informants to pose as jihadists, bomb makers, gun dealers or online ''friends'' in hundreds of investigations into Americans suspected of supporting the Islamic State, records and interviews show.
Undercover operations, once seen as a last resort, are now used in about two of every three prosecutions involving people suspected of supporting the Islamic State, a sharp rise in the span of just two years, according to a New York Times analysis. Charges have been brought against nearly 90 Americans believed to be linked to the group.
The increase in the number of these secret operations, which put operatives in the middle of purported plots, has come with little public or congressional scrutiny, and the stings rely on F.B.I. guidelines that predate the rise of the Islamic State.
While F.B.I. officials say they are careful to avoid illegally entrapping suspects, their undercover operatives are far from bystanders. In recent investigations from Florida to California, agents have helped people suspected of being extremists acquire weapons, scope out bombing targets and find the best routes to Syria to join the Islamic State, records show.
Officials said in interviews that because social media had given extremists a cloak of anonymity, these undercover stings '-- online and in person '-- had become increasingly vital to gathering evidence and deterring possible attacks in the United States.
''We're not going to wait for the person to mobilize on his own time line,'' said Michael B. Steinbach, who leads the F.B.I.'s national security branch. He added that the F.B.I. could not afford to ''just sit and wait knowing the individual is actively plotting.''
Counterterrorism officials said the Islamic State had inspired loyalists to strike quickly, even within days or weeks of their radicalization. Unlike wiretaps or searches, undercover operations do not require a judge to sign a warrant. They are overseen by F.B.I. supervisors and Justice Department prosecutors, and so can usually be started more quickly.
But defense lawyers, Muslim leaders and civil liberties advocates say that F.B.I. operatives coax suspects into saying and doing things that they might not otherwise do '-- the essence of entrapment.
''They're manufacturing terrorism cases,'' said Michael German, a former undercover agent with the F.B.I. who researches national security law at New York University's Brennan Center for Justice. In many of the recent prosecutions, he said, ''these people are five steps away from being a danger to the United States.''
Karen J. Greenberg, the director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University, said undercover operations had become the norm for the F.B.I. in the most recent Islamic State cases, with little debate or understanding of how the bureau actually conducts its investigations, especially its online stings.
''I think the F.B.I. is really going down the wrong path with a lot of these ISIS cases,'' she said, using a common acronym for the Islamic State, also known as ISIL.
Emanuel Lutchman of Rochester was suspected of being an Islamic extremist.
New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, via Associated Press
Aggressive MethodsCourt records and interviews give a glimpse of the aggressive undercover methods that have become typical in investigations once the F.B.I. identifies someone as a possible threat.
In Rochester, a paid informant went undercover and drove a man suspected of being an Islamic extremist, Emanuel Lutchman, to a Walmart in December to buy a machete, ski masks, zip ties and other supplies for a would-be terrorist attack on New Year's Eve. Because Mr. Lutchman, a mentally ill panhandler, had no money, the informant covered the $40 cost.
In North Carolina, an undercover agent pressed another suspect, Justin Sullivan, on whether he was willing to commit acts of terrorism for the Islamic State '-- ''do you think you can kill?'' the agent asked in one online message '-- before giving him a silencer for an AR-15 assault rifle in June 2015.
And in Washington State, an undercover informant paid $1,100 to Daniel Franey, a former soldier, for acting as a lookout on several trips to buy duffel bags filled with assault weapons for a possible attack last summer.
The F.B.I. arrested all three suspects before any attacks occurred, and has used similar undercover techniques to prosecute dozens of others it believes had ties to the Islamic State, court records show. While some defendants have pleaded guilty, most are still awaiting trial.
At least 40 agencies use covert operatives to investigate everything from tax cheating and welfare fraud to Supreme Court demonstrations. But in no agency have undercover stings been more central than in the F.B.I.
While the F.B.I.'s internal guidelines, last updated in 2011, require the ''least intrusive'' methods possible in investigations, bureau officials said they believed less intrusive methods might be impossible because suspects have the ability to remain anonymous on encrypted online sites.
''When the bad guys turn to encrypted areas, we're dark, and the only way to gain a better understanding of what we're up against may be through an undercover,'' Mr. Steinbach said. He said using undercover agents online allowed the F.B.I. to ''flesh out'' suspects by gaining their trust and persuading them to disclose their real identities.
The F.B.I. has about 1,000 open investigations into ''homegrown violent extremists,'' which it defines as Americans motivated by a foreign terrorist group, including the Islamic State, to conduct attacks at home, officials said. They said that a ''significant number'' of cases '-- hundreds in all '-- had entailed undercover operations against people suspected of being Islamic extremists, but that the F.B.I. did not have precise numbers.
But court records examined by The Times indicate that the F.B.I. has used undercover operations with increasing frequency in its Islamic State investigations since the earliest cases emerged in March 2014. (For years before that, the bureau had carried out similar sting investigations against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.)
Only about 30 percent of the first few dozen prosecutions through late 2014 appear to have relied on evidence gathered through undercover operations. That number climbed to about 45 percent by early last year, with a string of undercover prosecutions in New York, Minnesota and Illinois. And since February 2015, about 40 of 60 Islamic State prosecutions, or 67 percent, have been based on undercover operations.
The number of Islamic State prosecutions over all has slowed since January; officials believe a spate of prosecutions late last year may have deterred plotters. But undercover stings have remained the norm. So far this year, eight of the dozen Islamic State prosecutions have relied on undercover operatives, court records indicate.
In the most recent case, prosecutors two weeks ago charged a Bronx man, Sajmir Alimehmeti, 22, with traveling to Europe twice to try to fight with the Islamic State. He met with at least three undercover agents during the F.B.I.'s investigation.
Undercover activity also appears to have risen in the hundreds of Islamic State investigations run by the F.B.I. in the last two years, but it is not as sharp a spike as seen in those cases that led to formal charges, officials said.
Asked about The Times's data, F.B.I. officials said any increase in undercover activity probably reflected the emergence of what they believed to be a larger and more dangerous pool of Islamic State suspects. The officials said there had been no deliberate decision or policy change to rely more heavily on undercover agents.
Combing Social MediaOften, the targets in the stings first attracted the F.B.I.'s attention for espousing what agents saw as support for the Islamic State or violent extremism online, on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. The F.B.I. insists that its agents comb these sites not as ''thought police,'' but rather to look for people who are threatening acts of terrorism. Once the F.B.I. has identified someone as a potential threat, supervisors often have an undercover agent contact the suspect online.
In Northern Illinois, for instance, an undercover agent sent a friend request on Facebook to Hasan Edmonds, a National Guardsman who had published posts on social media that the F.B.I. had deemed alarming. Over the next several months, Mr. Edmonds and the undercover agent exchanged numerous online messages, discussing the possibility of traveling to the Middle East to help the Islamic State, or perhaps mounting an attack at the Illinois armory where Mr. Edmonds trained.
''Oaths have been given,'' Mr. Edmonds wrote to an informant in one online message in January 2015, according to a criminal complaint. ''When the time is right, we will strike.''
A few days later, Mr. Edmonds wrote that he and a cousin were eager to help the cause and ''would love to do something like the brother in Paris did'' '-- a reference to the terrorist attack a few weeks earlier on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
The undercover agent responded by suggesting to Mr. Edmonds that if he could not make it overseas to fight with the Islamic State, he could show his commitment and achieve martyrdom in the United States, court filings said.
The online messages led to a meeting in person in March 2015 between a second undercover operative and Mr. Edmonds's cousin, Jonas Edmonds, prosecutors said.
Weeks later, the cousins were arrested at Chicago Midway International Airport '-- with Hasan Edmonds apparently on his way to the Middle East '-- and charged with terrorism-related offenses. Both men have pleaded guilty and are facing long prison sentences.
In that case and in many others, F.B.I. undercover operatives have let plots play out until a suspect acquires a weapon, for instance, or buys a plane ticket to Turkey en route to Syria.
An investigation that ended last month in Miami followed this pattern, with the normal tableau of undercover operatives and talk of a bloody attack. The F.B.I. received word '-- exactly how is unclear '-- that James Gonzalo Medina, 40, a Muslim convert who also went by James Muhammad, might have been considering attacking a synagogue, according to court records.
Mr. Medina was arrested in April.
Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department, via Associated Press
It opened an investigation into Mr. Medina in March, but the initial evidence was spotty. At one meeting with an undercover informant and several other men, Mr. Medina accused a friend of wanting to blow up a synagogue; he seemed to distance himself from the idea.
Five days later, as Mr. Medina was driving with the F.B.I. informant in a suburb of Miami, he pointed out a synagogue with what he called ''David's triangle star'' on the outside. The F.B.I. informant suggested attacking the synagogue during a Jewish holiday two weeks later, according to court files.
''Now that'll be a good day to go and bomb them,'' Mr. Medina responded, according to the files.
The informant took the proposed plot a step further, introducing Mr. Medina to an acquaintance the informant said was experienced with explosives. The acquaintance was actually an undercover F.B.I. agent, who questioned Mr. Medina several times about why he wanted to bomb the synagogue.
Mr. Medina said he wanted to carry out a bombing and claim responsibility on behalf of ''ISIS in America.''
''You need to be sure, brother,'' the undercover agent told him, adding, ''You know you don't have to do any of this.'' Mr. Medina reaffirmed his commitment, according to the court files.
Finally, in late April, the agent met Mr. Medina in a parking lot and gave him the bomb, which was inert and ''posed no danger to the public,'' prosecutors said. The two men drove toward the synagogue a few miles away, and after Mr. Medina stepped out of the car with the bomb in hand, he was arrested.
Giving Suspects an 'Out'Officials said they were keenly aware that such cases would almost inevitably lead defense lawyers to charge that the F.B.I. had entrapped their clients. That is why, the officials said, they often gauge suspects' commitment to carrying out an attack and give them an ''out'' to back away.
F.B.I. officials are also quick to point out that, despite dozens of challenges to undercover terrorism cases brought since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, a judge has yet to throw one out on the grounds of entrapment. Not that some judges have not considered it.
''I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that there would have been no crime here, except the government instigated it, planned it and brought it to fruition,'' Judge Colleen McMahon of the United States District Court in Manhattan said in 2011 in a case involving four Muslim men in Newburgh, N.Y.
The F.B.I. planted an undercover informant inside a mosque in Newburgh as part of what became an elaborate, nearly yearlong plot to launch a Stinger surface-to-air missile at a local air base and two synagogues. The F.B.I. even built a fake Stinger missile and had it delivered to the men.
Judge McMahon said she was troubled by the F.B.I.'s conduct, but she upheld the charges. So did the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, finding that the F.B.I.'s conduct did not amount to entrapment.
The stings have left many Muslim leaders wary, even as the F.B.I. has sought to build bridges to Muslim Americans. At mosques in Oregon, imams sometimes warn of F.B.I. informants and caution ''that we have those among us who are not with us,'' said Tom Nelson, a Muslim lawyer in Portland who has represented a number of local men in terrorism-related cases.
His message for his Muslim friends, Mr. Nelson said, is blunt.
''Avoid the F.B.I. like the plague,'' he said. ''They're definitely not an ally. That's what the F.B.I. does '-- they infiltrate.''
Correction: June 7, 2016
An earlier version of this article misstated the job held by Michael German at New York University. He researches national security law at New York University's Brennan Center for Justice; he does not teach law at the university. The error was repeated in a picture caption.
Continue registering to vote in EU referendum, David Cameron says
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MPs plot to scupper UK referendum result as US State Dept reverses release of Clinton emails | The Slog.
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 09:19
Old lady's escape from EU disaster foiled by Piggie with lassoo
The Slog has been convinced for months that British referendum voters should see the Leave option as a Brexit from globalism, the Special Relationship, NATO, EU federalism and dangerous US-led geopolitics in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. That the stakes are high for US hegemonists is evidenced by dirty tricks both here and in the US Presidential Election. But disturbing new developments show a clear and continuous line from Hillary Clinton's emails about TTIP to a Parliamentary Establishment plot designed to reverse the 'wrong' referendum result.
I have a sense that a great many people will not have seen this piece at the BBC '' an institution which should now be renamed Bollocks Broadcast by Corporatists. My suspicion is that it's up there 'for the record'' pretty much the same way that grubby little posters put up in some Job Centres 'told' 1950s-born women they were going to have a year or two knocked off their pensions'...a delay that became six years. Also it's perhaps part of a gentle softening-up process' people time to get used to the idea that their votes are irrelevant.
The post includes several MPs talking openly about Parliament overruling the Brexit referendum result if the Leave campaign wins. As we have no Constitutional documents laying out the legality/sovereignty of referendums versus Parliament, the chances are that '' as Parliament IS clearly set out by Bagehot as the Sovereign power '' the ruse would be legal. It would be the rape of democracy and a foul spit in the face of British citizens, but it would be legal.
A couple of days ago '' as more polls emerged showing a lead for the Leave camp '' David Cameron was reported in the mainstream press to have had discussions with Labour, SNP and Liberal Democrat Remaindeers '' allegedly about ''presenting a more united front'' from the Establishment. The Slog has since contacted two legislators, and now believes that in fact Cameron wanted soundings on their support for overruling the result. The implication of the BBC piece also supports that view.
The idea is that Cameron would stay as Leader and call upon the House ''in a sham 'free vote''' to endorse the Brexit decision. Remaindeers outnumber Leavers in the Commons by 4 to 1. There would be a massive vote to Remain. This would be presented as all being part of the sound 'checks and balances' nature of democracy. It would be if we lived in the US, but we don't: and how many American citizens really imagine the College would ever overturn a popular Presidential win?
You may recall '' I certainly do, because it got me a lot of heat from Leavers '' a piece I wrote last January 11th. It was a multi-issue post, but in it were these paragraphs:
I have since been back to the two sources who told me how neither the Oval Office nor the State Department would allow a Brexit, and put the BBC story to them. The responses from both were ''I told you so''.
As Kate Hoey said at the outset of the referendum campaign, ''This isn't about our relationship with Europe, it's about the People versus the Establishment''. As usual, Hoey was spot-on: but I would also add that, from the viewpoint of mad geopolitics, it's about The free individual versus NATO corporatism.
Last April 16th I asked ''what are we Brexiting from'' and wrote:
The second source, by the way, is a Brussels middle-ranker.
On January 17th, The Slog posted as follows:
For some weeks now, it has become increasingly clear that the Euroarmy is being played down until after June 23rd. But it is impossible to play down the lunacy of an EU 'dedicated to Peace' having a standing army' the EC, ECB and Eurogroupe, accountable to nobody'...except perhaps NATO and the Pentagon. On March 2nd I posted this:
In truth, I doubt if even 1 in 10 Remaindeer voters really understand that the circumstances surrounding Brexit Black Arts are about NATO and US Foreign policy. Which brings us neatly onto the subject of Hillary Clinton.
Overnight European time, this pro-Sanders Tweet went up:
This is as clear a case as you'll see of the media trying to break the will of BernieorBust supporters by suggesting it's game-over already. I tend to think Hillary will not be allowed to lose (just as the Remaindeers must not be allowed to lose) but the defiant response of Sanders supporters is fully justified. Lynton Crosby tried to pull the same stunt in the Telegraph against the Leave campaign two weeks ago.
If Clinton beats Trump, I think '' given her State Department experience '' she will be a foreign affairs focused President. She has befriended Wall Street, supported Pentagon & CIA objectives in the Middle East and Europe, and is an allround colonialist hawk' short, a committed American Hegemonista. Here's a few pointers as to how her victory is being ensured by the US Establishment:
A virtual media blackout on reporting Sanders primary winsa non-stop tirade against multi-billionaire Donald Trumpthreatening Party pros with expulsion of they attend Sanders ralliesdirty campaign tricks in Iowa, New Hampshire & Nevada, and now' release of her emails until after the ElectionThis last one seals it, really. Yesterday, top International Business Times editor David Sirota reported that the State Department will now NOT release Hillary's State Department emails sent to the US Trade Representative about TIPP until after the November election. Sirota was palmed off with this garbage:
''Our office was recently informed that the search process has been completed and that the information located from that search is currently being prepared for the review process. The new estimated completion date for your request is November 31, 2016.''
Obama said the mails were to be released in April. Now they're not. The Black Dude has been mulling two considerations here: the effect that the TIPP clauses would have on the Brexit vote '' ie, the likelihood of the British Left coming face to face with what the trade deal is really about; and how bad it would look when the harsh proposals laid out by Clinton are known'....given that publicly she has reversed her stance on the deal.
As the Buddhists insist, ''Everything is connected''.
There is no other way for an informed mind to call these developments. Brexit, says the Labour Party, is nothing but a spat in the Tory Party. It is a spat: but it is far bigger than either Corbyn or Burnham would have us believe.
Brexit is just one obstacle in the way of an intercontinental coup being engineered by NATO, on behalf of those neoliberal corporate fascists who now own the political process. Under this r(C)gime, all signs of electoral rebellion will be stamped on, and then manipulation of the results rubber-stamped by political whores.
The last thing any decent democratic Brit should do is ease this process by either voting Remain, or abstaining.
You have the power to make any stunt they try to pull as difficult '' and as open to public contempt '' as possible. A great result would be a 55-45 win for Leave; a stunt-stopper would be 60-40.
Perhaps more than any other single group now, solidarity in stopping the seemingly inexorable rumble of the Corporatist tanks applies to those British 1950's-born women who are the victims of a heist by those leading the tank Blitzkrieg.
Yesterday, I made it clear on Twitter that I'm unable to deal any more with the Waspi Executive'....which purports to represent these women, but which has so far achieved zero recompense for blatant thievery. Frankly, I now have doubts as to their motives and competence.
But I would urge all victims of the State Pension Welch to vote solidly for Brexit. Success for the Remain camp will guarantee the failure of your cause.
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MPs 'considering using majority' to keep UK in single market - BBC News
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 09:19
Image copyrightReutersPro-Remain MPs are considering using their Commons majority to keep Britain inside the EU single market if there is a vote for Brexit, the BBC has learned.
The MPs fear a post-Brexit government might negotiate a limited free trade deal with the EU, which they say would damage the UK's economy.
There is a pro-Remain majority in the House of Commons of 454 MPs to 147.
A Vote Leave campaign spokesman said MPs will not be able to "defy the will of the electorate" on key issues.
The single market guarantees the free movement of goods, people, services and capital.
The BBC has learned pro-Remain MPs would use their voting power in the House of Commons to protect what they see as the economic benefits of a single market, which gives the UK access to 500 million consumers.
Staying inside the single market would mean Britain would have to keep its borders open to EU workers and continue paying into EU coffers.
Free trade area v single market - what's the difference?
Who has access to the single market?
How does Norway's relationship with the EU work?
Ministers have told the BBC they expect pro-EU MPs to conduct what one called a "reverse Maastricht" process - a reference to the long parliamentary campaign fought by Tory eurosceptic MPs in the 1990s against legislation deepening EU integration.
Like then as now, the Conservative government has a small working majority of just 17.
They say it would be legitimate for MPs to push for the UK to stay in the single market because the Leave campaign has refused to spell out what trading relationship it wants the UK to have with the EU in the future.
As such, a post-Brexit government could not claim it had a popular mandate for a particular model.
One minister said: "This is not fantasy. This is a huge probability.
"The longer we move away from the referendum, the more the economic pressures will grow to keep some links with the single market."
Another said: "We would accept the mandate of the people to leave the EU.
"But everything after that is negotiable and Parliament would have its say. The terms on which we leave are entirely within my remit as a parliamentarian and that is something for me to take a view on."
Image copyrightReutersImage caption Justice Secretary Michael Gove has said he wants the UK to leave the single market Labour frontbenchers say they have also been discussing the option.
One said it would be hard for pro-Brexit MPs to resist the Commons deciding Britain's future relationship with the EU, as it would demonstrate the principle of parliamentary sovereignty eurosceptics have been demanding for years.
One SNP frontbencher said: "Parliament is not going to let Boris Johnson and Michael Gove get away with murder. I just don't think people are going to roll over, particularly on our trading relationship with the EU."
Many pro-Leave campaigners support a limited free trade relationship with the EU, based on the deal about to be signed between Canada and the EU.
It would reduce some barriers to trade in basic goods but other areas - such as services - are largely excluded.
One alternative option put forward by pro-EU MPs would be for the UK to stay part of the single market by continuing its membership of the European Economic Area.
The EEA includes all EU countries, as well as Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.
'Lose-lose situation'The advantages of EEA membership for non-EU countries - known by some as the "Norway model" - include access to the single market without having to agree agriculture or fishing quotas, to cooperate on justice or foreign affairs, or be a member of the eurozone or the Schengen border-free arrangement.
The disadvantages include having to make a contribution to the EU budget, accepting the free movement of people, and having little ability to influence EU rules.
Stephen Kinnock, the Labour MP for Aberavon, said: "If the British people voted to leave the EU that's one thing.
"But can we really say that they voted for the devastation and destruction of the entire exporting sector of our economy? I don't think you can necessarily say that there's a democratic mandate for that."
But he warned there could be a constitutional crisis if MPs voted to keep Britain's borders open, something people would have rejected in the referendum.
"In a sense it's a lose-lose situation. I don't see how you untie that Gordian knot because you're looking at a massive economic crisis going down the track of the Canada model and a constitutional crisis going down the track of the Norway model."
Image copyrightMatt CardyImage caption Iceland, alongside Liechtenstein and Norway, has negotiated access to the single market Pro-EU MPs could use their voting muscle later this year when a post-Brexit Tory government would be expected to put its negotiating plans to parliament.
The government would struggle to negotiate with the EU if it could not secure the support of the Commons.
MPs could also bring pressure to bear once the withdrawal agreement has been settled and a huge amount of legislation would have to be changed.
The European Communities Act 1972 that took Britain into the EU would have to be repealed.
New Acts of Parliament would be needed to implement the withdrawal agreement. Acts that implement EU directives would need to be repealed or amended.
Thousands of EU regulations - that were automatically transferred into UK law - would have to be reintroduced, amended or allowed to lapse. And secondary legislation dependent on the European Communities Act would also have to be given new enabling laws.
Ministers say this process could take years and would provide determined pro-EU MPs lots of opportunity to cause trouble.
Charles Grant, director of the pro-EU Centre for European Reform think tank, said: "I think it is quite possible that Parliament would vote to impose the Norway model on a post-Brexit Tory government.
"Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are free marketers down to their finger tips and might be quite happy to be beaten up by Parliament and have this model imposed on them. They might protest but secretly quite like it. The pressure for Britain to retain some linkage with the single market would be overwhelming."
'Enormous pressure'One senior Tory MP said: "There is all this talk of eurosceptics engaging in guerrilla warfare after a vote for Remain. It could be the other way round.
"The overwhelming majority of Labour, SNP, odds and sods and a hard core of Conservative MPs could make life very difficult."
Another said there would be "enormous pressure" from businesses to get "much better access to the single market".
One Labour MP added: "There will be as much fun and games as possible to stop it and block it and delay it."
Another said the government may try to get Labour to support an early general election being called, by voting to suspend the Fixed Term Parliament Act.
A newly-elected Tory government - potentially with a larger majority - would then have a mandate for its renegotiation plan.
Some pro-Leave campaigners also question how pro-EU parliament really is, suggesting that many MPs are backing Remain simply out of loyalty to David Cameron.
A spokesman for the Leave campaign said: "If you vote Leave, Britain will negotiate a British option which will end the supremacy of EU law and take back control of our borders and our democracy and our economy."
A spokesman for the Remain campaign said: "The Leave campaign can't tell us what would happen if we vote to leave. At every point, they have admitted they 'just don't know'. Leaving Europe would be a leap in the dark that would damage our economy, lead to price rises and job cuts. That's why we will be spending the next two and a half weeks campaigning for every vote to protect Britain's future."
Will TTIP be an 'economic NATO'? '' POLITICO
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 09:31
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Cooling ardor on both sides of the Atlantic threatens the very existence of trade deal.
ByPaul Ames
9/17/15, 4:28 PM CET
Updated 9/17/15, 4:30 PM CET
Back in 2012, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed a proposed transatlantic free trade pact as a job-creating, growth-boosting ''economic NATO'' that would forge new ties between old allies.
Three years later, hopeful presidential candidate Hillary Clinton appears less enthusiastic.
''Can you make it go away?'' was the only-half-joking response of her campaign chairman, John Podesta, to a recent question on the trade deal now being negotiated between the United States and European Union.
Cooling ardor on both sides of the Atlantic threatens the very existence of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which was launched in a series of promising talks between Brussels and Washington in 2013.
Since then, TTIP has lost some of its shine, as the trade talks attracted unprecedented levels of public opposition.
Over 2.6 million people across Europe have signed a petition to stop TTIP and a smaller EU deal with Canada.
Concern over the impact of TTIP has united disparate groups '-- from French farmers to German constitutional lawyers and politicians on the left and right.
''TTIP represents a monumental power grab by corporations and it must be stopped in its tracks,'' Keith Taylor, a British Green Party legislator told a recent European Parliament debate.
In the U.S., TTIP has been overshadowed by its Pacific counterpart, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Skeptics, who fear the impact of both deals on American jobs, include progressive Democrats, Tea Party protectionists and labor unions.
It's perhaps unsurprising the world's biggest trade negotiation should trigger such a king-sized reaction.
TTIP covers around a third of global trade. It would create an open market of 829 million consumers and expand a trade relationship that's already worth '‚¬2 billion every day.
Supporters say an agreement would make a yearly '‚¬300 billion-plus contribution to the world economy, create hundreds of thousands of export-based jobs and make the average European family '‚¬500-a-year richer.
EU officials also promote the geo-political benefits, saying free trade could inject new life into the Atlantic alliance and set benchmarks that China and other emerging powers would find hard to ignore in future trade deals.
And the energy Russia's international propaganda machine devotes to denouncing TTIP would suggest the Kremlin is worried by its potential to strengthen transatlantic ties.
Unlike traditional free trade treaties, TTIP is not primarily about cutting the tariffs and duties each side charges on imports from the other. They're already low '-- averaging just 3 percent on goods traded across the Atlantic.
Instead, TTIP is focused on removing ''non-tariff barriers'' '-- harmonizing standards, cutting red tape and boosting safeguards for investors.
Supporters say that will make it easier and cheaper for exporters, who'll no longer have to adapt to two sets of rules.
Not everybody's convinced. Opponents' long list of concerns range from the potential to erode public services and weaken environmental protection, to threats against cherished local food products.
American unions fear jobs could migrate to cheaper locations in eastern Europe. Consumer groups worry kids could be endangered by toys falling short of rigorous U.S. safety standards.
Many Europeans view with distaste the prospect of lower food quality controls forcing genetically modified grains, hormone-fed beef, chickens doused in chemicals and other American delicacies onto their dinner tables.
Campaigners on both sides of the pond fret that TTIP will empower multinational companies at the expense of parliaments and citizens, particularly through so-called Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses that enable corporations to challenge national laws in secretive arbitration courts.
U.S. and EU negotiators insist the fears are unfounded and that both sides' standards will be respected. The European Commission this week presented revised proposals for investor protection rules which it insisted would be ''transparent, fair and based on democratic principles.''
In public at least, both sides are hopeful a deal can be clinched before the Obama administration ends in January 2017.
In private, U.S. and EU officials are more guarded about the outcome as the battle over TTIP rages on.
TTIP VOX POP''I'm in favor of TTIP, but I'm not in favor of giving up European standards, European principles.''
'-- Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president
''The secrecy of the TTIP casts a shadow on the future of European democracy.''
'-- Julian Assange,WikiLeaks founder
''ISDS is now the most toxic acronym in Europe.''
'-- Cecilia Malmstr¶m, European commissioner for trade
''A clear signal of our resolve, to dismantle all trade barriers, and it would also provide important impetus for the development of the world economy,''
'-- Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor
''One of the greatest opportunities we have to turbocharge the global economy '... a deal that could be worth up to £10 billion pounds a year for Britain alone. It would help to secure our long-term economic success and generate a better future for hardworking families back at home.''
'-- David Cameron, British prime minister
''This treaty is a bomb. Our high quality agriculture in Europe would disappear if our small farmers were exposed to competition with the American agro-industry '... it would be another mortal [blow] for democracy.''
'-- Marine Le Pen, leader of France's National Front
''TTIP '-- Part of Grand U.S. Plan to Isolate Russia From Europe.''
'-- Headline in Russian news site Sputnik
''Can you make it go away?''
'-- John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman
''TTIP represents a land of opportunity for businesses.''
'-- David Caro, president of the European Small Business Alliance
''America and Europe have done extraordinary things together before. And I believe we can forge an economic alliance as strong as our diplomatic and security alliances.''
'-- Barack Obama, U.S. President
''TTIP represents a corporate power grab on a scale and depth never before imagined.''
'-- Vivienne Westwood, British fashion designer and member of Artists Against TTIP
''We can look at these trade bills over the years. Every one of them without exception causes American workers job losses. Millions of job losses. But yet they're going to try the same thing again and hope for a different result. That's insanity.''
'-- Harry Reid, Democratic Party leader in the U.S. Senate
''If both of us make up our minds that this will be a standard that the rest of the world has to meet, then we've done some good for everybody, including the workers.''
'-- Richard Trumka, president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
La Poste takes action after Brexit envelope confusion - The Local
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 06:28
The post office in the small town of Tessy sur Vire, in northwestern France. Photo: Steve Parker/Flickr
France's postal service La Poste has been forced to inform its branches across the country that they must accept envelopes containing postal votes for the EU referendum. It comes after reports of voters being told to buy stamps.
La Poste has told The Local that it has taken steps to remind staff at branches around the country that the special envelopes used to carry postal votes for the crucial EU referendum are valid and don't need stamps.
The move came after numerous expat voters reported issues on a local level with staff at La Poste apparently telling them the envelopes must have French stamps on them for them to be accepted.
That's despite the envelope clearly saying in both English and French "No stamp required" (Ne Pas Affranchir).
"I can confirm that the reply envelopes used by British citizens for the referendum have been taken into account and are properly integrated into our mail circuit for the UK," La Poste spokeswoman, Perrine Landry told The Local.
"If there is a fault with this at a post office, we are making sure to fix it as soon as possible.
"Furthermore, we are reminding post offices and the mail platforms the management of these envelopes," she said.
In recent days online expat threads have featured cries of complaints from people whose prepaid envelopes for their referendum postal votes have not been recognized by postal workers in France.
"I have tried to explain to (the Electoral Commission) that the problem is France-wide not just our d(C)partement in 53," wrote Lizzie Hale, who was told that a stamp was "definitely needed".
"Why should we effectively lose our vote for following the voting instructions to the letter?" she added, apparently worried that those who didn't add a stamp would see their votes disappear.
Patrick Bell added: "A friend tried to post her vote but the post office insisted it needed a stamp. She had heard that votes arriving with stamps were disallowed."
Others have reported concern that their vote won't be counted because they simply put the letter in a mailbox without checking with a postal worker first.
Some, such as Carryn Hayward, advised other expats to buy a "poste priorit(C)" stamp for one euro.
She said that she was advised that the envelopes without stamps "will be ignored by La Poste as they will not be paid for them".
"Why take the chance" of not adding a stamp, she asked other expats.
"I have been here 18 years, three of them as a civil servant and know only too well that public servants at local level make their own decisions. And I have seen them park in 'pending' anything they have not seen before to be dealt with at some time in the future. I can't vote but if I could and had taken the time to register I would put a stamp on the envelope to make certain my vote was counted."
The Electoral Commission in the UK said in a statement that it has "arranged for airmail postage to be paid for the return envelopes" during the referendum.
All voters need to do is drop the completed ballot into a postbox, there is no need to bring it in to the workers behind the desk.
The postal votes must be returned by June 23rd, it added.
Similar problems have been reported at local post offices in Belgium and Germany, but The Local's editions in other European countries including Spain and Sweden say that post offices there appear to be accepting the prepaid envelopes.
Today's headlines
Photo: AFP
A powerful French Cardinal is having to fight off allegations he covered up sex abuse by priests.
Photo: AFP
Thousands enjoy al fresco dining at Place Vendome.
Mourners outside Le Carillon bar after the November 13th terror attacks. All photos: AFP
Investigators found the woman had used fake pictures of burn victims among other ploys, in a failed attempt to get '‚¬20,000 in compensation.
File photo: BFM TV
France is taking no chances over the terror threat to the country and that means launching a new smartphone app.
Photo: Marcin Lachowicz/Flickr
A young Muslim bar tender was reportedly attacked at a bar in southern France because she served alcohol on the first day of Ramadan.
Photo: AFP
The first five months of this year have seen a rise in asylum figures in France.
Photo: AFP
While all eyes are on the UK a new survey suggests support for the EU in France is dwindling. Could the French be next to have an IN/OUT referendum?
Could it be time to become a French citizen? Photo: AFP
The tiny village of Eus. Photo: Les plus beaux villages de France
France has voted for its favourite village for 2016, but we avoid the crowds and list the ten best French villages you've never heard of, with the help of some French people in the know.
Photo: Tony Shertila/Flickr
For the second year in a row, a Brittany village has been named as France's favourite.
Fransen lanceren alert-app voor Euro 2016 |
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 16:23
woensdag 8 juni 2016, 13:16Frankrijk heeft woensdag, twee dagen voor het begin van het EK voetbal, een speciale app gelanceerd om voetbalfans te waarschuwen voor mogelijke aanslagen. Euro 2016 gaat vrijdag van start onder het gesternte van de noodtoestand die is uitgeroepen nadat militante islamisten vorig jaar november aanslagen hadden gepleegd in Parijs.
De app van het ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken, genaamd SAIP, knippert met een waarschuwingslichtje op het scherm van een gebruiker van een mobiele telefoon als er in de buurt een aanslag is gepleegd of een verdenking is van een dreigende aanslag. Gebruikers kunnen waarschuwingen aanvragen voor maximaal acht geografische gebieden, met inbegrip van districten in de hoofdstad.
De eerste indrukken op sociale media waren gemengd. 'žNiet erg geruststellend, maar het is nuttig'', aldus een Twitter-gebruiker.
Groot-Brittanni waarschuwde eerder deze week voetbalfans die naar het EK voetbal reizen dat stadions, bezoekerszones en verkeersknooppunten 'žpotentile doelwitten voor terreuraanslagen zijn''. Eerder lieten de Franse inlichtingendiensten en de Verenigde Staten soortgelijke geluiden horen.
Meer artikelen in Buitenland
French court fines Uber, executives for running illegal service
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 13:33
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Frenchman accused of amassing arsenal for Euro 2016 attacks
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 10:08
PARIS (AP) '-- A Frenchman with an arsenal of weapons and a grudge against his government's immigration policies was detained as he tried to leave Ukraine and launch an assault on the European Championship, Ukrainian officials said Monday, describing it as a thwarted plot for a "series of 15 terrorist attacks."
The announcement came as France promised unprecedented security for the soccer tournament's crowds and stadiums, which includes the French national stadium that was attacked by suicide bombers on Nov. 13.
The tournament begins Friday among Europe's top 24 national teams and mesmerizes the continent '-- and much of the world '-- for a month.
Ukrainian agents had been following the man since December, and allowed him to buy five machine guns, two rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 125 kilograms (275 pounds) of TNT, 100 detonators and other arms. He also bought 20 balaclavas before he was arrested at the Yahodyn border crossing between Ukraine and Poland last month, the Ukrainian Security Service said.
The intelligence agency, known as the SBU, "has managed to foil a series of 15 terrorist attacks which were planned to target France before and during" Euro 2016, said its chief, Vasyl Hrytsak.
Ukraine said the suspect wanted to protest his government's immigration policies and the spread of Islam. It said he planned attacks on bridges, railways and other infrastructure for the tournament.
One expert said the universe of potential attackers against Euro 2016 just expanded with the news from Ukraine.
"Just because you have stopped one group does not mean there's not another one elsewhere," David Benichou, a French antiterrorist judge, told RTL radio. "The security forces are largely focused on a menace that is known, is evident, that doesn't hide and that has threatened us specifically. But we cannot neglect the other potential sources of terrorism, like the extreme right."
The Paris prosecutor's office, which handles national terrorism cases, said no investigation had been opened yet. France's foreign ministry confirmed the arrest in Ukraine, but offered no further details.
Extremist attacks are a major concern for French authorities as they prepare to host the tournament at stadiums in the Paris area and eight French other cities through July 10. Islamic State extremists have threatened France during the tournament, but authorities haven't confirmed specific dangers.
France is deploying a 90,000-strong security force, and President Francois Hollande says the threat of attacks won't stop the tournament from being successful. The Paris police chief, Michel Cadot, has asked for more security personnel in the French capital, however.
Cadot declined to comment Monday on the information from Ukraine, saying only "there is no specific threat against any (Euro 2016) site."
French regional newspaper L'Est Republicain identified the man as Gregoire Moutaux and said investigators raided his home in Nant-le-Petit near the eastern city of Nancy in May. The source for the man's identity wasn't cited. French television network M6 reported that investigators found T-shirts promoting an extreme-right group.
Ukrainian authorities released photos of a fair-haired man, his face blurred, holding various weapons, as well as a video of the arrest, which showed special forces officers dragging him from a white minivan and putting him face down on the ground.
The Frenchman arrived in eastern Ukraine last year and was "trying to establish ties with Ukrainian troops under the guise of volunteering," the Ukrainian agency said.
Ukrainian troops and Russia-backed separatists have fought in eastern Ukraine since April 2014, killing nearly 9,400 people. It wasn't immediately clear which side of the conflict the Frenchman had been on.
Cadot said security measures tested since the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 victims have been adapted to fit Euro 2016, creating more access points, security checks, bag and ticket controls and some pat-downs.
"We needed to improve," Cadot told a press conference Monday. "We want to avoid the threat of having someone carrying (in) explosives."
He insisted on more fluidity at the stadiums' entrance after fans complained about severe overcrowding at security checkpoints at the Stade de France in Paris last month. Despite a two-meter (6 ½-foot) security wall surrounding the stadium and triple security checks, supporters smuggled flares into the venue and ignited fires in the stands. Some supporters also tried to invade the field.
Richard Walton, head of the Counter Terrorism Command at the London Metropolitan Police during the 2012 Summer Olympics, said France's challenge was enormous.
"Successful counterterrorism is ultimately only measured by the absence of a terrorist incident," Walton wrote in an analysis released Monday. "An attack anywhere in France during Euro 2016 is an attack on the event itself."
Samuel Petrequin in Paris contributed. Vasilyeva reported from Moscow.
Fenway wants volunteers for mock 'wide-scale' terror attack | Local News - Home
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 12:51
Published On: Jun 07 2016 06:31:08 AM EDT Updated On: Jun 07 2016 11:17:47 AM EDT
BOSTON -A simulated "large-scale terrorist attack" will be staged at Fenway Park this weekend.
On Sunday, the Boston Police Department, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security, the US Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center and Fenway Park will practice and prepare for an active shooter situation.
The exercise, which will run from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. Sunday, will include inaudible, simulated explosions and multiple rounds of realistic-sounding, simulated gunshots. During the drill various security technologies will be tested, including working dogs, metal detection and unmanned aerial systems.
"Fan safety is a topic we continually discuss and evaluate, and by participating in this exercise, led by Boston Police alongside state and federal agencies, we hope to gain valuable insight that may help enhance how we keep visitors safe at Fenway Park," said Red Sox Director of Security and Emergency Services Charlie Cellucci.
Officials said there are no threats or any security concerns, and the event is just a drill.
Boston police will put out a casting call for more than 100 volunteers to act as fans.
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War on Crazy
How racism came to be called a mental illness '-- and why that's a problem - The Washington Post
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 15:54
By W. Carson Byrd and James M. ThomasJune 7 at 7:00 AM
In 1981, Anthony Simon, an elderly white man in Kansas, shot his Chinese American neighbor Steffen Wong as Wong was entering his own home. In his trial, Simon's defense rested upon a claim of ''anxiety neurosis'': Simon said he was afraid of ''Orientals'' and their presumed martial arts capabilities, and this caused him to misjudge Wong's potential threat. Simon was acquitted on two counts of aggravated assault, and his case created a precedent for constructing a defense for racism centered on mental illness.
Since then, a number of incidents attest to the idea that racism stems from mental illness. In 2005, The Washington Post reported that California's Department of Corrections was treating some forms of racism with antipsychotic drugs.
More recently, high-profile celebrities who have made anti-Semitic or racist comments '-- Paula Deen, Mel Gibson and Michael Richards '-- have paired an official apology with a promise to seek ''professional help.''
[Born that way? ''Scientific" racism is creeping back into our thinking. Here's what to watch out for.]
Scholars have advanced this claim, as well. For example, the Harvard psychiatrist Alvin Poussaint was one of the original black psychiatrists who in 1969 petitioned to have racism included in the DSM. He has continued to make this argument, writing in 2015, ''It's time for mental health professionals to examine their resistance to accepting extreme racism as a symptom of serious mental illness. Such a focus in the future may prevent tragedies like the Charleston massacre'' that Dylann Roof is charged with committing. Racism's victims, too, have been treated as suffering from a psychopathology resulting from the painful conditions under which they must live.
[Justice Department will seek death penalty for accused Charleston church gunman Dylann Roof]
Of course, few would disagree that racism deserves condemnation, or that racist people shouldn't change their views. But arguing that racism constitutes an actual mental illness goes a step further. Racism has long been considered the product of economic, social and political forces, not a mental health disorder. What changed?
In our forthcoming article in the Du Bois Review, as well as in a new book co-authored by one of us, ''Are Racists Crazy?,'' we offer answers.
When did racism become a mental illness?
The mental health frame gained momentum in the 1930s, when social scientists sought to explain the extreme prejudice and bigotry manifest in Nazism and fascism. Some social scientists argued that these sentiments stemmed from what the psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich called '-- in a telling phrase '-- a ''deathly sick society.''
Others focused less on society and more on the individual. In 1950, ''The Authoritarian Personality'' gained widespread attention among academic and lay audiences alike for claiming racism and authoritarianism '-- like that in Nazi Germany '-- were not only psychological but rooted in childhood experiences, particularly the presence of a strong and overbearing father.
The book was widely criticized but was nevertheless influential. For example, in a speech before the annual conference of the National Urban League in 1958, psychologist Alfred J. Marrow argued that the psychological causes and consequences of extreme hatred were evident simply by scanning the daily newspapers. Marrow said ''the problem is primarily psychological in nature, [and] we must turn for guidance and help to the behavioral scientists.''
Was it at the same time as victims of racism began to be seen as needing treatment for the torments they'd endured?
The mental health frame was applied not only to racists themselves but to their victims. By the middle of the 20th century, many scholars believed that the country's long history of racism created an enduring psychopathological legacy.
For example, in historian Stanley Elkins's highly influential 1959 book, ''Slavery: A problem in American institutional and intellectual life,'' he argued that totalitarian environments like plantations and concentration camps inflicted child-like behaviors and retrogression on their victims. Without massive reformation, he further argued, these patterns would persist over generations. A similar argument can be found in Daniel Patrick Moynihan's infamous claim that the black family represented a ''tangle of pathology.''
Framing of racism as a mental health problem continued throughout the 1960s, as many (black) mental health workers declared that poverty, racism, and oppression required the engagement of psychologists, psychiatrists and other doctors. Civil rights activists demanded more resources for community-based health centers.
[Politicians play the race card. This is what helps neutralize it]
In 1963, the American Hospital Association and American Psychiatric Association, citing the disproportionate number of inner-city residents afflicted by mental illness, released a joint statement declaring mental illness America's No. 1 health problem. Their statement, coupled with the arguments of mental health workers and civil rights activists, were instrumental in the passage of the Community Mental Health Centers Act (CMHCA) that year. The CMHCA legitimated claims for racism as a mental health issue by acknowledging that mental illness was both cause and effect of racism.
What happens when you take a social phenomenon and define it as individual pathology?
This idea began to reverberate within the professional associations of behavioral and social scientists, leading Pouissant and others to petition the American Psychiatric Association to consider racism a mental illness. The APA rejected the petition, however, arguing that mental illnesses must deviate from normal behavior. Citing research showing prejudiced attitudes were relatively common among white Americans, the APA in effect argued that racism was normal, and not a fringe set of beliefs. Nevertheless, that same year the final report of the Joint Commission on Mental Health of Children acknowledged that racism was, for some, America's ''number one public health problem.''
Repeated efforts to classify racism as a mental illness would fail over the next several decades, but debates and discussions remained active. By the early 2000s, racism had several clinical names: prejudice personality, intolerant personality disorder and pathological bias. An entire chapter of the 2012 ''Oxford Handbook of Personality Disorders'' was devoted to the latter's assessment, with associated symptoms that included feelings of persecution by minorities, fantasies of violence against those who are culturally different, recurring fears of racial and ethnic minorities living in close proximity, paranoia toward non-English speakers, and perceptions that minorities were unclean, criminal and less than human.
That year, scientists at Oxford University discovered that giving people a common beta blocker used to treat heart conditions also lowered their levels of implicit racial bias. The finding led the researchers to proclaim that they may have uncovered a potential cure for individual racism.
Examining racism's shifting definition and subsequent treatment as cause and consequence of mental illness asks that we consider what psychologist Steven Bartlett terms the ''social consequences of disease labeling.'' Framing racism as a mental illness '-- and therefore an individual problem to be tackled psychologically '-- makes it harder for policymakers create effective policies to combat everyday social and political inequalities.
Consider, for example, the Black Lives Matter movement, which has helped to launch a national conversation about police brutality and violence toward minority communities. While much of the critique is social and structural, many of the proposed interventions focus on reducing individual law enforcement officers' implicit bias. Certainly, implicit bias shapes the encounters between police officers and the communities they serve. But the focus on treating individual police officers can ignore larger, more systemic issues: the increasing militarization of police departments, lack of oversight by law enforcement senior officials, and an approach to policing that often rewards unprovoked harassment rather than building community trust.
In other words, much of the conversation about how to best solve this issue often gets reduced to offering individualized training.
[How racial segregation and political mismanagement led to Flint's shocking water crisis]
Yet what consistently emerges from Justice Department reports investigating policing in Cleveland, Ferguson and elsewhere is that racial disparities result not from individual behavior but from official policing policies '-- including stop-and-frisk, ''broken windows'' crackdowns on minor offenses, lack of institutional oversight, lack of disciplinary action against excessive force cases, and the open encouragement of maximum force.
How will the ''mental illness'' frame help us cure those organizational problems?
James M. Thomas is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Mississippi. Find him on Twitter @Insurgent_Prof.
W. Carson Byrd is assistant professor of pan-African studies at the University of Louisville. Find him on Twitter @Prof_WCByrd.
OUTRAGEOUS: Veterans are now receiving letters prohibiting the purchase, possession, receipt, or transport of a firearm/ammunition... | RedFlag News
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 12:48
Written By Constitutional Attorney Michael Connelly, J.D.
How would you feel if you received a letter from the U.S. Government informing you that because of a physical or mental condition that the government says you have it is proposing to rule that you are incompetent to handle your own financial affairs? Suppose that letter also stated that the government is going to appoint a stranger to handle your affairs for you at your expense? That would certainly be scary enough but it gets worse.
What if that letter also stated: ''A determination of incompetency will prohibit you from purchasing, possessing, receiving, or transporting a firearm or ammunition. If you knowingly violate any of these prohibitions, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Pub.L.No. 103-159, as implemented at 18, United States Code 924(a)(2).''?
That makes is sound like something right from a documentary on a tyrannical dictatorship somewhere in the world. Yet, as I write this I have a copy of such a letter right in front of me. It is being sent by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of America's heroes. In my capacity as Executive Director of the United States Justice Foundation (USJF) I have been contacted by some of these veterans and the stories I am getting are appalling.
The letter provides no specifics on the reasons for the proposed finding of incompetency; just that is based on a determination by someone in the VA. In every state in the United States no one can be declared incompetent to administer their own affairs without due process of law and that usually requires a judicial hearing with evidence being offered to prove to a judge that the person is indeed incompetent. This is a requirement of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that states that no person shall '''... be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law'...''.
Obviously, the Department of Veterans Affairs can't be bothered by such impediments as the Constitution, particularly since they are clearly pushing to fulfill one of Obama's main goals, the disarming of the American people. Janet Napolitano has already warned law enforcement that some of the most dangerous among us are America's heroes, our veterans, and now according to this letter from the VA they can be prohibited from buying or even possessing a firearm because of a physical or mental disability.
Think about it, the men and women who have laid their lives on the line to defend us and our Constitution are now having their own Constitutional rights denied. There are no clear criteria for the VA to declare a veteran incompetent. It can be the loss of a limb in combat, a head injury, a diagnosis of PTSD, or even a soldier just telling someone at the VA that he or she is depressed over the loss of a buddy in combat. In none of these situations has the person been found to be a danger to themselves or others. If that was the case than all of the Americans who have suffered from PTSD following the loss of a loved one or from being in a car accident would also have to be disqualified from owning firearms. It would also mean that everyone who has ever been depressed for any reason should be disarmed. In fact, many of the veterans being deprived of their rights have no idea why it is happening.
The answer seems to be it is simply because they are veterans. At the USJF we intend to find the truth by filing a Freedom of Information Act request to the Department of Veterans Affairs to force them to disclose the criteria they are using to place veterans on the background check list that keeps them from exercising their Second Amendment rights. Then we will take whatever legal steps are necessary to protect our American warriors.
The reality is that Obama will not get all of the gun control measures he wants through Congress, and they wouldn't be enough for him anyway. He wants a totally disarmed America so there will be no resistance to his plans to rob us of our nation. That means we have to ask who will be next. If you are receiving a Social Security check will you get one of these letters? Will the government declare that you are incompetent because of your age and therefore banned from firearm ownership. It certainly fits in with the philosophy and plans of the Obama administration. It is also certain that our military veterans don't deserve this and neither do any other Americans.
-- Michael Connelly, J.D.
Executive Director, United States Justice Foundation
Follow Us: @redflagnews on Twitter
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Trains Good, Planes Bad
GPS NOTAM from Charlie
Here is my jet jocky pal's answer:
"If u lose GPS. U can lose AHRS & AP. EMB & Garmin is working on it"
Translated into English.....You can lose the attitude and heading reference system as well as the autopilot. Apparently a remedy is in the works.
As you really high altitudes (like 39,000 feet) the stall speed is only about 40 knots below cruise speed due to the thin air which increases required angle of attack.
So it's important to not have any aggressive pitch attitude maneuvers or throttle reduction. This is what doomed Air France 447.
GPS Interference Notam For Southwest - AVweb flash Article
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 20:07
By Russ Niles| June 6, 2016
A Notam (PDF) is warning operators of ''all aircraft relying on GPS'' of widespread GPS outages starting Tuesday throughout the Southwest and especially southern California. Although the FAA doesn't go into detail, it seems the military is testing something that can disrupt GPS over a huge area, centered on China Lake, California, home of the Navy's China Lake Naval Weapons Center. On Tuesday, June 7, the FAA is warning that GPS signals down to 50 feet AGL could be ''unreliable or unavailable'' between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. local time over a radius of 253 nautical miles, which includes the L.A. Basin, Bay area and Las Vegas. There will be further outages of similar potential duration June 9, 21,23, 28 and 30. The circles expand with altitude and at 40,000 feet the interference will affect a circular area of the Southwest 950 nautical miles across, reaching central Oregon, Colorado and New Mexico.
The tests will potentially knock out all GPS-reliant services including WAAS, GBAS and, notably, ADS-B. The FAA also doesn't want a lot of radio chatter about the outages and is urging pilots to report them if they need help from ATC. Operators of Embraer Phenom 300 business jets are being urged to avoid the area entirely. ''Due to GPS Interference impacts potentially affecting Embraer 300 aircraft flight stability controls, FAA recommends EMB Phenom pilots avoid the '... testing area and closely monitor flight control systems,'' the Notam reads.
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By Paul Bertorelli | June 5, 2016
Regardless of the amount or the terms, owners aren't likely to get a better offer. Anyone who has to fly in mandated airspace should get serious about equipping. More
Phenom 300 & GPS - PPRuNe Forums
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 12:46
Atakacs,I've had this situation occur with loss of GPS, specifically over White Sands New Mexico, USA. We were out of GPS signal for 200 miles. Fortunately only adjustment was to inform ATC, maintain a heading mode, and back up with VOR, if one happens to be along route.
Super pilot: Automatic realignment does occur, and return to NAV mode was uneventful. No flight control abnormality in this specific example.
Safe journies...Sushi
William Reville: Fraud is now the biggest enemy of science
Mon, 06 Jun 2016 19:44
A fecal transplant paper was retractedfor containing fraudulent data. Photograph: iStock
The recent announcement (April 27th 2016) by Julianna LeMieux in the American Council on Science and Health bulletin caught my eye: ''Full of shite: why a fecal transplant paper was retracted''. The paper was retracted because it contained fraudulent data.
The retraction is just one eye-catching example of the type of misconduct that is plaguing science. If this misconduct isn't confronted and eliminated, the entire scientific enterprise could crash.
Before I continue, a brief word about fecal transplants. The human gut is colonised by a large and complex mixture of micro-organisms, mostly bacteria (the average adult gut hosts about 1.2 kg of bacteria). This gut microbiome performs many vital functions for its human host, for example helping our digestion, training the immune system, producing vitamins and helping to regulate appetite.
Health problems can arise if the balance between the different types of bacteria in your gut gets disturbed. It is known that the bacterial spectrum in the gut of obese people is different to the spectrum in nonobese people. The question arises: are the bacteria in the obese gut causing the obesity or does obesity change the bacterial composition of the gut?
In the research in question, this was investigated by performing fecal transplants from obesity-prone and from obesity-resistant rats into rats that had no bacteria at all in their guts. This is now a particularly hot research area, and there is keen competition to publish papers. This work was published in Obesity (2014). The paper was retracted in May 2016 with the admission that one of the authors had forged data.
Misconduct in science is a huge problem. A review of the 2,047 biomedical and life science articles included in PubMed as retracted on May 3rd, 2012, revealed that only 21.3 per cent of the retractions were attributable to error. Sixty-seven per cent of retractions were attributable to misconduct, including fraud and suspected fraud (43.4 per cent), duplicate publication (14.2 per cent) and plagiarism (9.8 per cent). The percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud has risen tenfold since 1975 (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).
Such misconduct is not confined to physics, chemistry and biology but is also widespread across the ''softer'' sciences such as psychology. Misconduct in psychology is reviewed by Tom Farsides and Paul Sparks in an article in the Psychologist of May 2016 arrestingly called ''Buried in Bullshit''.
The cause of misconduct in science is ordinary human weakness. The product of scientific research is the scientific paper, and scientific success and consequent career prospects are measured in terms of numbers of papers published and the perceived prestige of the journals in which the papers appear. So there is intense pressure to keep publication numbers high and handsome. The problem is that nature does not reveal her secrets easily or at an even pace. So when, as often happens, the researcher hits a lengthy dry patch in the research, temptation sets in to help things along with dodgy data.
Also, we are producing far too many PhDs in Ireland relative to the availability of jobs appropriate to this level of qualification. This leads to intense pressure on young PhD graduates to publish papers in order to compete for the few available jobs. It also forces many PhD graduates into careers that are inappropriate for PhD-level qualifications. For example, a primary degree is a sufficient qualification to become a laboratory technician, and yet almost every new technician post that arises in Irish universities nowadays is filled by a candidate with a PhD.
When truth and honesty are not upheld in scientific research, the enterprise fails. Despite this fact, scientists are not required to subscribe to any universal code of ethics. This is in sharp contrast to medicine with its long-standing tradition of newly qualified graduates taking the Hippocratic Oath. Although this oath is no panacea for all ills, it does signal a strong professional commitment to ethical standards and its cultural effect in the profession is strong. We badly need a special Hippocratic Oath for science.
AP Exclusive: How candy makers shape nutrition science
Mon, 06 Jun 2016 19:45
NEW YORK (AP) '-- It was a startling scientific finding: Children who eat candy tend to weigh less than those who don't.
Less startling was how it came about. The paper, it turns out, was funded by a trade association representing the makers of Butterfingers, Hershey and Skittles. And its findings were touted by the group even though one of its authors didn't seem to think much of it.
"We're hoping they can do something with it '-- it's thin and clearly padded," a professor of nutrition at Louisiana State University wrote to her co-author in early 2011, with an abstract for the paper attached.
The paper nevertheless served the interests of the candy industry '-- and that's not unusual. The comment was found in thousands of pages of emails obtained by The Associated Press through records requests with public universities as part of an investigation into how food companies influence thinking about healthy eating.
One of the industry's most powerful tactics is the funding of nutrition research. It carries the weight of academic authority, becomes a part of scientific literature and generates headlines.
"Hot oatmeal breakfast keeps you fuller for longer," declared a Daily Mail article on a study funded by Quaker Oats.
"Study: Diet beverages better for losing weight than water," said a CBS Denver story about research funded by Coke and Pepsi's lobbying group.
The studies have their defenders.
Food companies say they follow guidelines to ensure scientific integrity, and that academics have the right to publish no matter what they find. Many in the research world also see industry funding as critical for advancing science as competition for government funding has intensified.
It's not surprising that companies would pay for research likely to show the benefits of their products. But critics say the worry is that they're hijacking science for marketing purposes, and that they cherry-pick or hype findings.
The thinner-children-ate-candy research is an example. It was drawn from a government database of surveys that asks people to recall what they ate in the past 24 hours. The data "may not reflect usual intake" and "cause and effect associations cannot be drawn," the candy paper authors wrote in a section about the study's limitations.
The candy association's press release did not mention that and declared, "New study shows children and adolescents who eat candy are less overweight or obese."
The headline at "Does candy keep kids from getting fat?"
Carol O'Neil, the LSU professor who made the "thin and clearly padded" remark, told The Associated Press through a university representative that data can be "publishable" even if it's thin. In a phone interview a week later, she said she did not recall why she made the remark, but that it was a reference to the abstract she had attached for her co-author to provide feedback on. She said she believed the full paper was "robust."
The flood of industry money in nutrition science partly reflects the field's challenges. Isolating the effect of any single food on a person's health can be difficult, as evidenced by the sea of conflicting findings.
The ambiguity and confusion has left the door open for marketers.
Since 2009, the authors of the candy paper have written more than two dozen papers funded by parties including Kellogg and industry groups for beef, milk and fruit juice.
Two are professors: O'Neil of LSU and Theresa Nicklas at the Baylor College of Medicine. The third is Victor Fulgoni, a former Kellogg executive and consultant whose website says he helps companies develop "aggressive, science-based claims about their products."
Their studies regularly delivered favorable conclusions for funders '-- or as they call them, "clients."
In a phone interview, Fulgoni said industry-funded studies show favorable results because companies invest in projects with the "best chance of success." He said any type of funding creates bias or pressure to deliver results.
"The same kind of questions you're asking me, you should be asking (National Institutes of Health) researchers," Fulgoni said.
It's true that industry-funded studies don't have a monopoly on the problems in scientific research. Still, Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University (and no relation to the food company) said unlike other research, industry-funded studies "are designed and produced to be useful in marketing. The hypotheses are market driven."
In the past year, 156 of the 168 industry-funded studies Nestle reviewed showed favorable results for sponsors. She said playing up nutritional perks has become a critical marketing tool in the competitive food industry.
"The only thing that moves sales," she said, "is health claims."
The documents show how researchers can be motivated by financial concerns. In 2010, Nicklas said in an email she decided against attending a General Mills health summit because she didn't want to "jeopardize" a proposal the group planned to submit to Kellogg. For another project, Fulgoni advised O'Neil against adding data.
"I suggest we focus on these first and 'hook' Kellogg for more funding before conducting more analyses," he wrote.
For the paper on candy-eating children, a disclosure says the funders had no role in the "design, analysis or writing of this manuscript." But emails obtained from LSU show the National Confectioners Association made a number of suggestions.
"You'll note I took most but not (all) their comments," Fulgoni wrote to O'Neil about the paper in 2010.
"I have finally waded through the comments from NCA. Attached is my attempt to edit based on their feedback," he wrote about a similar paper on candy consumption among adults.
The trumpeting of their research was also carefully timed. In June 2011, a candy association representative emailed O'Neil a critical article about a professor with industry ties.
"I'd like to monitor the fallout from this story, and give a little bit of distance to our research piece. I do not want to put you in the crossfire of a media on a rampage," wrote Laura Muma of FoodMinds, an agency that represented the candy association.
Fulgoni said the group runs manuscripts by clients to check for errors or omissions.
"It's more using them as a set of eyes to make sure we haven't forgotten something," he said.
O'Neil said she takes only "grammatical corrections from the clients '-- I can't speak for the others."
For the paper about candy and children, Chris Gindlesperger, a spokesman for the National Confectioners Association, said the group was given "the courtesy of reviewing the manuscript" and that its suggestions did not change results. He said other research not funded by industry came to the same conclusion, citing a paper that analyzed multiple studies.
O'Neil said she believed it was important to research foods such as nuts and milk to know whether they're good for you, and that it is difficult to get government funding for such studies. She said Fulgoni's consulting business, Nutrition Impact, gets most of the funding for their projects and that she receives reimbursements for costs such as travel, but no salary compensation. As research faculty, O'Neil is expected to publish.
A Baylor College of Medicine representative, Lori Williams, said all research funding goes through the college. She said the college did not receive payment from the candy association or Nutrition Impact for the paper on children and candy co-authored by Nicklas.
The records obtained by the AP show Nicklas sent Nutrition Impact an invoice for $11,500 for three manuscripts in 2011, including $2,500 for "candy." After being provided a copy of the invoice, Williams said the school began a review "surrounding funding and disclosures on this research."
"We take this very seriously, and your information is of significant concern to our leadership at the College," Williams wrote.
Papers co-authored by O'Neil and Nicklas also list support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture '-- general funding the two professors receive from the department through their respective universities for research work.
'--Another paper by the co-authors found a link between chickpeas and hummus and better nutrient intake. It was funded by Sabra Dipping Co. and a disclosure says funders had no input in drafting the manuscript.
But Sabra provided feedback that was incorporated. For a line on the benefits of "recipes made from chickpeas," for instance, it suggested tacking on, "such as hummus."
Sabra said it received a courtesy review for "providing clarifying notes and ensuring accuracy of product data."
The International Life Sciences Institute, which is funded by companies including McDonald's, Red Bull and Unilever, encourages scientific collaboration with industry. Eric Hentges, its executive director, said sponsors have long been able to provide comments to ensure excellency, but that authors have the final say.
Hentges said the goal is to improve quality '-- not change the results.
'--For a study comparing breakfasts for children, the American Egg Board asked a University of Arkansas researcher to explain in a progress report the implications of her study for the egg industry.
"This could lead to increase(d) sales and profits," wrote Jamie Baum, an assistant professor of nutrition.
In a statement, Baum said it is standard for funders to ask about industry implications. She said she applies the same scientific rigor regardless of the funder.
An egg board representative, Mitch Kanter, said opinions about industry implications are irrelevant to the integrity of the research.
'--Coca-Cola's former chief science officer, Rhona Applebaum, referred to industry critics as "trolls" in one of her regular emails with company-backed researchers, according to documents obtained from West Virginia University, where one of the researchers is the dean of the school of public health.
The roles of scientists and marketers sometimes blurred.
In 2013, a University of South Carolina professor, Steven Blair, asked Coca-Cola to fund a "Research & Message Management Strategic Plan."
"We must prepare and publicize 'our message' rather than let the media and other forces control the perception of our work," the plan said. It noted an upcoming study that would "generate enormous press" because of its findings about mothers and obesity.
"In other words, if you're fat, blame your mother's inactivity," the plan explained.
The media strategy included online videos responding to critics, magazine articles and "a series of bylines (instead of op-eds)."
Blair has been criticized for emphasizing the role of physical activity in preventing obesity and shifting blame away from food and drinks. A university representative, Wes Hickman, said the school stands behind Blair's research and that any suggestion that Blair ignored diet implications "is simply false."
In a statement, Coca-Cola said it is evaluating how it approaches health projects so that it can be a more "helpful and credible partner."
In addition to studies that crunch data, companies pay for clinical trials that test the effects of food in humans. PepsiCo has funded and co-authored studies showing the benefits of oats as its Quaker empire has expanded to include oat-based treats like biscuits and "breakfast cookies."
In 2011, the company tested the hypothesis that its Quaker oatmeal and cold cereal would each be more filling than Honey Nut Cheerios, which is made by rival General Mills.
The oatmeal was more filling among the trial's 48 participants, but results were mixed for the cereal, Quaker Oatmeal Squares.
"I am sorry that the oat squares did not perform as well as hoped, but your hypotheses were validated with the oatmeal," wrote Frank Greenway, chief medical officer at Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center.
PepsiCo decided to publish only the results about its oatmeal. In statements, PepsiCo and the LSU researchers said the other half of the trial's results were not significant enough to merit publication.
Not everyone sees it that way.
Many researchers fear that the body of scientific literature is being distorted by withheld results. On its registry for clinical trials, the National Institutes of Health explains that reporting results reduces publication bias and facilitates systemic reviews.
"That's part of science. You publish the result you get. You don't just publish the results you want," said Deborah Zarin, who oversees the registry at NIH.
Follow Candice Choi at
Islamic State warns its members about fake Android apps that can spy on them
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 21:21
Opponents fighting the Islamic State (Isil) have stepped up their attempts to foil the group by creating fake versions of its apps and tricking members into downloading them, according to an intelligence researcher.
Worried that the apps could dupe followers into revealing information about themselves and their location, IS released a message urging its members verify the creator before downloading IS-related apps.
"Warning: dubious sources published a fake version of the Amaq Agency Android app, aimed at breaching security and spying," read the warning from IS, found by Rita Katz, director and co-founder of the Site Intelligence Group.
IS has released at least six Android apps designed for recruitment and information sharing, including a themed Arabic-learning app for children, and a news app. The former pairs Arabic letters with corresponding words, such as Sarokh (rocket) for "S" and Bundiqiya (rifle) for "B", according to Motherboard.
It is not clear who created the fake apps, or what exactly they were designed to do - be it to spy on IS members or mine data from their phones and other devices.
The group's use of tailor-made apps comes after public companies, including Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Telegram all stepped up attempts to stop it from using their technology as a way to communicate.
As well as major Silicon Valley companies, governments and cyber vigilantes have also vowed to target the IS online.
The US Government declared cyber war on the group back in April, in the first public mobilisation of its Cyber Command for warfare. Meanwhile Anonymous vowed to carry out "many cyber attacks" against IS as revenge after the Paris attacks last November.
"We will not rest as long as terrorists continue their actions around the world. We will strike back against them. We will keep hacking their websites, shutting down their Twitter accounts, and stealing their Bitcoins," it said.
Members of IS are known to have advanced cyber skills. The group released a security manual that revealed part of its cyber strategy in the week after the Paris attacks, including use of the Tor browser and secure email.
For a round-up of technology news and analysis, sign up to our weekly Tech Briefing here.
FBI wants email privacy act to allow warrantless access to browsing histories '' Naked Security
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 22:28
Fixing a ''typo'' in a law governing domestic surveillance is the top priority for the bureau this year, FBI Director James B. Comey has said.
A ''typo?'' Tech companies and privacy advocates are strenuously disagreeing with his characterization of the proposed amendment, which would give the FBI explicit authority to access a person's internet browser history and other electronic data without a warrant in terrorism and spy cases.
At the FBI's request, lawmakers have put forth legislation that would amend the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which Comey claims now lets some tech companies refuse to hand over data that, the government claims, Congress had intended for them to provide.
The proposed legislation would do away with the necessity to get a warrant for such data and would let the government get a national security letter (NSL) instead: a subpoena that doesn't require a judge's approval.
The Senate Intelligence Committee panel recently voted out an authorization bill with the NSL amendment, but it's since crept back, reintroduced in an amendment to the ECPA floated last week by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).
Cornyn's on-message with the FBI. As reported by The Washington Post, he referred to Comey's ''typo'' in the law as a ''scrivener's error'' that's ''needlessly hamstringing our counterintelligence and counterterrorism efforts.''
If the amendment passes, it would allow the FBI to access internet browsing records without a warrant in terrorism and spy cases. That doesn't mean they'd get at the content of email: rather, with an NSL, the Feds could access a host of online information, including IP addresses, routing and transmission information, session data, and more.
The bureau told The Washington Post that there's a limit to how specific the browsing history would be. For example, somebody could visit any part of the newspaper's website, but law enforcement would only see that they'd visited
Privacy advocates say that's bunk.
A letter signed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International USA, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Google, Facebook and Yahoo, among others, pointed out that a 2007 audit found that the FBI illegally used NSLs to collect information that wasn't permitted by NSL statutes.
This history of abusing NSLs compounds the civil liberties and human rights concerns brought up by expanding the use of the subpoenas, the letter said.
Free commercial-grade security for the home.
Learn MoreAs it is, even without email content, the Electronic Communication Transactional Records (ECTRs) the Feds are after would paint ''an incredibly intimate picture of an individual's life,'' the letter signers said.
ECTRs could include a person's browsing history, email metadata, location information, and the exact date and time a person signs in or out of a particular online account.
This information could reveal details about a person's political affiliation, medical conditions, religion, substance abuse history, sexual orientation, and, in spite of the exclusion of cell tower information in the Cornyn amendment, even his or her movements throughout the day.
According to The Hill, Cornyn's amendment was one of a few that delayed the Senate Judiciary Committee's consideration of the Email Privacy Act last week.
That bill, which the House of Representatives unanimously passed in April, would require investigators to get a warrant before they can force technology companies to hand over customers' email or other electronic communications, no matter how old.
The Senate committee's slated to mark the bill up on Thursday.
New Intelligence Bill Gives FBI More Secret Surveillance Power
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 22:33
A Senate billpublished late Monday night includes a new provision that would give the FBI more power to issue secret demands, known as national security letters, to technology, internet, communications, and banking companies for their customers' information.
The provision, tucked into the Senate Intelligence Authorization Act, would explicitly authorize the FBI to obtain ''electronic communication transactional records'' for individuals or entities '-- though it doesn't define what that means. The bill was passed by the Senate Intelligence Committee last week.
In the past, the FBI has considered ''electronic communication transactional records'' to be a broad category of information '-- including everything from browsing history, email header information, records of online purchases, IP addresses of contacts, and more.
The Justice Department told the FBI in 2008 that it was not authorized to receive this information from companies without a court order, although as The Interceptreported last week, the FBI has continued to demand such data anyway '-- insisting on a different legal interpretation.
The major technology companies have been fighting back since then by refusing to provide email metadata and online records '-- forcing the FBI to pursue a legislative solution.
Before the full text of the bill was published, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued a press release warning about the expansion of power.
Read the text of the amendment below:
Sec. 803. Counterintelligence Access to Telephone Toll and Transactional Records:
Subsection (b) of section 2709 of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:
''(b) REQUIRED CERTIFICATION.'--The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the designee of the Director in a position not lower that Deputy Assistant Director at Bureau headquarters or a Special Agent in Charge in a Bureau field office designated by the Director, may, using a term that specifically identifies a person, entity, telephone number, or account as the basis for a request, request the name, address, length of service, local and long distance toll billing records, and electronic communication transactional records of a person or entity, but not the contents of an electronic communication, if the Director (or the designee) certifies in writing to the wire or electronic communication service provider to which the request is made that the name, address, length of service, toll billing records, and electronic communication transactional records sought are relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such an investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely on the basis of activities protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.''.
Mother of Girl Who Lost Race to Transgender Athlete Speaks Out '-- and She's Furious |
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 12:16
In May, an Alaska high school student became the first transgender athlete to compete individually for a high school state championship. As TheBlaze previously reported, Nattaphon ''Ice'' Wangyot, who was born male but identifies as female, qualified and competed in the Class 3A girls' sprints at the Alaska state meet, taking home third place in the 200-meter dash (27.3 seconds) and fifth in the 100 (13.36 seconds).
Since the race, Wangyot's story has made national headlines, earning the 18-year-old Haines High School athlete widespread praise for contributions to the LGBT movement.
Image source: KTVA-TV
But not everyone was celebrating the high schooler's success. After the story was reported by KTVA-TV, Jennifer VanPelt, a mother of one of the girls who competed and lost, took to the comments section of the news station's article.
After one commenter named Stephanie Leigh Golman Williams noted with frustration that a runner named Aurora Waclowski, who ''has been top three since freshman'' year, was knocked off the awards podium by a male-born runner, VanPelt clarified that it was actually her daughter, not Aurora, who was cut.
''Actually Aurora was still given an award for 4th and was able to still stand up on the awards podium. It was my daughter who finished 5th that missed out,'' she wrote.
Wangyot, who goes by ''Katherine Ice'' on Facebook, later replied to the same thread of comments.
''If your kids have attitude and practice enough it gonna be more fun,'' Wangyot wrote.
Image via Facebook/KTVA-TV
Various commenters took sides on the issue, some defending Wangyot and some empathizing with VanPelt. But instead of counting on others to settle the dispute, VanPelt shot back with a personal message for Wangyot:
If you were directing your comments towards me and my daughter I think you need to reevaluate what you said Ice. She is a phenomenal runner for a female. She happens to be the fastest female in the MatSu Valley. And she's a freshman. Obviously she is at a disadvantage to you because she was not born with the physical attributes you were as a male. It's 100% science. Men are physically different than females. Your times would not allowed you to compete with the boys at state. So don't start casting stones telling me my daughter isn't good enough. Because she is.
After seeing VanPelt's comments, Rare News reached out to the angry mother. From Rare:
When asked how Wangyot's participation affected her daughter, VanPelt said 'it did not knock her out of contention, but it did take away a podium position,' and she was adamant that her daughter had competed against a male.
''At our state track and field meet they award medals and a spot on the podium to the top 4. Allison placed 5th. We had no idea she was running against a male until after the race was over,'' she said. ''She was upset. How do you explain to her that not only does she need to train to beat her fellow female athletes now she should also train to beat the males?''
''I believe parents and athletes alike should be worried. Transgender males being allowed to compete in female events are being afforded an unfair advantage,'' VanPelt continued. ''Males are physically different than females. That's a scientific fact. Hormones and body modification cannot change that. Today it's one transgender athlete. Tomorrow it could be half the field.''
NA-Tech News
Moore's Law from Sir Trevor
Hey Adam,
I’ve attached a reprint of the original “Moore’s Law” paper.
Gordon E. Moore, “Cramming More Components onto Integrated Circuits,” Electronics, pp. 114–117, April 19, 1965
Note the date of the original article was April 1965—almost exactly 50 years ago. So it (Moore’s Law) died at 50!
Most people look at the second graph on page 3. It shows that the the “number of components” increases by a factor of 2 each 1.5-2 yrs—let’s say every 2 yrs for the sake of argument. “number of components” can be equated to transistors / logic gates / a basic building block for a computer (pick your choice). The y-axis is in powers of 2. So, for example, 10 means 2^10 = 1024 (usually referred to as 1k). The graph shows an exponential growth with the exponent being powers of two, i.e. 2 times each 2yrs (or thereabouts). I hope I’m not talking down to you but I am not sure what your background is.
This graph says we get twice the computer/digital device every 2 yrs. This is what people zero in on and call Moore’s Law (not everyone, but the popular press).
The complete story is the first graph. It shows the COST of manufacturing integrated circuits.
I have highlighted it in the attached. Please send me questions. The point is the following: the cost for 2 times the componets has (had) remained constant between generations (see my ppt presentation). This observation has broken down. We lived in a virtuous world for 50 yrs. Now it costs more—we can certainly produce chips with more stuff on them but if they have 2x the stuff we will have to pay for it. This may be a design choice that people chose for some products— the screen is probably going cost much more so who cares? But at some point it get problematic.
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)
TwitLonger '-- When you talk too much for Twitter
Mon, 06 Jun 2016 18:59
Berlin, June 6, 2016
In the past few days, a calculated and targeted attack has been launched to spread vicious and spurious allegations against me. Given the way these accusations have been handled, I had little choice but to resign from my position as an advocate at the Tor Project and devote my full attention to completing my doctoral work on cryptography at the Technical University of Eindhoven.
Vague rumors and smear campaigns against me are nothing new. As a longtime public advocate for free speech and a secure internet, there have been plenty of attempts to undermine my work over the years.
Now, however, these unsubstantiated and unfounded attacks have become so aggressive that I feel it's necessary to set the record straight. Not only have I been the target of a fake website in my name that has falsely accused me of serious crimes, but I have also received death threats (including a Twitter handle entitled 'TimeToDieJake').
I think it's extremely damaging to the community that these character-assassination tactics are being deployed, especially given their ugly history of being used against fellow members of the LGBT community. It pains me to watch the community to which I've dedicated so much of my life engage in such self-destructive behavior. Nonetheless, I am prepared to use legal channels, if necessary, to defend my reputation from these libelous accusations.
I want to be clear: the accusations of criminal sexual misconduct against me are entirely false.
Inevitably, there may have been moments in my professional or private life when I may have inadvertently hurt or offended others' feelings. Whenever I was aware of these instances, I have, and will continue to, apologize to the friends and colleagues in question and to continually learn how to be a better person. Though the damage to my reputation caused by these allegations alone is impossible to undo, I nonetheless take the concerns of the Tor community seriously. To dispel any further rumors, to the best of my knowledge, the Tor network is not 'compromised.'
I've dedicated my life as a journalist, activist, and longtime member of the Tor Project to advocating for the transparency of public processes and to speaking out about the necessity of privacy, security, and anonymity. These are ideals that I will continue to uphold, despite the vicious campaign that is currently being waged against me.
Reply · Report Post
Tor Developer Jacob Appelbaum Resigns Amid Sex Abuse Claims | WIRED
Mon, 06 Jun 2016 18:59
Jacob Appelbaum has courted controversy throughout his career as a privacy and transparency activist, picking fights with several of the world's most powerful government agencies over surveillance and state secrecy. Now he's at the center of an entirely different sort of controversy: accused of rampant sexual and emotional abuse.
On Saturday, the privacy-focused non-profit Tor Project where Appelbaum held a position as a developer and activist released a statement explaining that Appelbaum had resigned from his position with the group as a result of a series of ''serious, public allegations of sexual mistreatment'' made by unnamed victims against 33-year-old Appelbaum. An anonymous website collecting testimonials from those alleged victims published the same day, with five victims detailing claims that range from uninvited groping and kissing to rape.
On Monday morning, Appelbaum responded to the accusations in a statement, calling them ''a calculated and targeted attack [that] has been launched to spread vicious and spurious allegations against me.'' He added, ''I want to be clear: the accusations of criminal sexual misconduct against me are entirely false.'' His publicist Claudia Tomassini responded to WIRED's request for comment from Appelbaum to say that his ''legal team is working on an injunction against these monstrous and factually incorrect accusations.''
WIRED couldn't independently verify the stories on the website created by Appelbaum's accusers, who used pseudonyms, nor determine the creator of the site itself. But Andrea Shepard, a Berlin-based developer co-worker of Appelbaum's at the Tor Project, says the site was created by a ''longtime member of the Tor community'' whom she knows and trusts. Shepard also says she's spoken directly with one of Appelbaum's alleged victims, who told Shepard in February of this year that Appelbaum had raped him or her. ''Sadly'...I think it's the damn truth. He's a charismatic, socially dominant manipulator,'' Shepard writes to WIRED. ''I absolutely believe the accusers.''
Shepard says that Tor's management had suspected Appelbaum of sexual misconduct for months. And the revelation of another alleged victim in recent weeks had accelerated calls to force his resignation from the organization, a push led by Tor's executive Director Shari Steele. The Tor Project's statement, written by Steele herself, echoed that timeline. ''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,'' Steele writes. ''We are deeply troubled by these accounts.''
Hacker EliteFor years, Appelbaum has held near-rockstar status within the hacker community. In 2010 he keynoted the HOPE hacker conference, outing himself as a collaborator with WikiLeaks'--its only publicly known American staffer'--just as it was ramping up its record-breaking Pentagon and State Department leaks. (A Rolling Stone magazine profile a couple of months later called him ''the most dangerous man in cyberspace.'')
Likely as a result of his WikiLeaks work, Google and his internet service provider received court orders demanding Appelbaum's communications as part of a grand jury investigation in 2011. Appelbaum wasn't indicted, but has said that he was repeatedly harassed and detained at U.S. border crossings by agents of the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection. To avoid run-ins with the American government, he moved to Berlin. As a hacker exile he's continued to work for Tor and also contributed to the analysis and publication of NSA leaker Edward Snowden's classified documents, as well as other surveillance investigations in the German newspaper Der Spiegel.1
But Shepard, who also lives in Berlin, says she could see a pattern of troubling behavior that led her to distance herself from Appelbaum. In 2013, she recalls, Appelbaum told Shepard in a bar in front of another colleague that he was going to have sex with her, using a misogynistic phrase. In late 2014, she says he aggressively snatched a phone out of her hands at a hacker conference. And in the spring of last year she says he was suspended from his position at Tor for two weeks without pay due to a harassment incident.
A Familiar PatternThe scandal's implications could go well beyond the Tor Project, which maintains the highly-regarded Tor anonymity software. It also highlights the broader hacker community's long-running problem with sexism and sexual harassment. The notion, as Tor's executive director Steele wrote, that rumors about Appelbaum weren't new but had been ignored, portrays a community that turns a blind eye to the inequality or even mistreatment of women. As University of Pennsylvania's well-known computer security professor Matt Blaze wrote on Twitter, ''our community (larger than Tor) failed badly here.''
Tor's executive director Steele, meanwhile, urged in her note about Appelbaum that anyone who thinks they may be a victim of criminal behavior should talk to law enforcement. ''Going forward, we want the Tor community to be a place where all participants can feel safe and supported in their work,'' she added. ''We are committed to doing better in the future.''
1Correction 6/6/2016 9:55am EST: An earlier version of the story said that Google and were subpoenaed for Appelbaum's data in 2011, when in fact they received a 2703(d) court order.
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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
Lexus RX350 2016 navigation error - YouTube
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 12:22
Congress Needs Its Say on Internet Governance... - TechFreedom
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 22:27
Bill Would Promote Greater Transparency, Accountability & Allow Resolution of Legal Problems
WASHINGTON D.C. '--­­ Today, Sen. Ted Cruz, along with co-sponsors Sens. Mike Lee and James Lankford, will introduce the Protecting Internet Freedom Act, which would require Congressional approval before the Department of Commerce may transfer oversight of the Internet domain name system to an international group.
Despite a Congressional appropriations rider explicitly barring it from doing so, the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is currently (and illegally) reviewing a proposal to give up control of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) by the end of September. IANA involves the global system of unique names and numbers used in Internet protocol.
Supporters of the bill have argued that the transition as currently proposed fails to ensure that ICANN would remain accountable to its stakeholders and would ultimately give greater control over the Internet to repressive foreign governments.
''The Internet is far too important to rush this transition,'' said Berin Sz"ka, President of TechFreedom. ''Unfortunately, the Administration has viewed this transition as a cheap way to recover the global political credibility it lost because of the Snowden revelations and its own stubborn resistance to real surveillance reforms. They simply haven't been willing to negotiate to protect ICANN's multistakeholder model. Most notably, ICANN ignored a clear consensus among its community that maintaining accountability of the organization required giving the stakeholders clear legal rights as members to approve budgets and review documents. Instead, the ICANN board has left its stakeholders with the ineffective remedy of removing Board members.''
''Congress has already told NTIA to cease further work, and has been ignored,'' continued Sz"ka. ''It's time to mandate Congressional approval of the transition. This would not only ensure more meaningful transparency and accountability mechanisms, it could also address two potentially catastrophic legal issues.
ICANN and Verisign, the company that administers IANA, have been shielded from antitrust liability by virtue of being government contractors. Take that away and they could be sued, which in turn would push ICANN into the arms of the International Telecommunications Union. This would re-establish antitrust immunity but also transfer control of the Internet to repressive foreign governments.''If a U.S. court rules that the IANA function constituted government property, the transition as planned would violate the Constitution's requirement that Congress authorize disposition of government assets. Unwinding the transition after the fact would cause enormous geopolitical blowback.###
We can be reached for comment at See more of our work on Internet governance, including:
Obama Nation
EWAO McDonalds To Close 700 Locations After Major Profit Losses
Mon, 06 Jun 2016 20:22
What are your thoughts on McDonald's? If you're a dedicated consumer, reading this article may expose you to some new information that may or may not change your mind about McDonalds.
According to the Washington Times, McDonald's will be closing a total of approximately 700 stores by the end of this year. The main reason is due to falling sales and continuous financial struggles. I also believe it has a lot to do with their food quality and the way that their menu's ingredients are used.
I'm sure we've all been exposed to the sickening videos that are exposed on the internet about McDonald's ingredients not being legit but instead them being dramatically altered to fit something that is not. For instance, I have personally read various articles about the chicken nuggets served at McDonald's. Apparently, the nuggets are not necessarily what McDonald's claims they are but instead they are composed of a pink substance that makes them. Below is a video so that you can see or yourself.
''After decades of aggressive expansion, the chain, now with 35,000 outlets worldwide, has been retrenching in recent years. Even before the turnaround plan was unveiled, the company said it would double the number of store closures this year to around 700.''
Skeptical right? Well obviously rumors will be rumors but who knows if this is true.
Also, aside from this issue, the call for non-GMO food has been demanded so long and it is only obvious that consumers no longer want processed foods that are genetically altered. Yes, it is indeed a fast food chain restaurant which means that the food should be fast right? Wrong. This does not mean consumers should be fed plastic or pure chemicals. Essentially, the chain is only profiting more and consumers are not even obtaining the nutrients they pay for. Despite McDonald's attempting to put out balanced meal options, consumers demand non-GMO foods.
In order to meet the consumers demands, farmers are being forced to import organic crops from international vendors.
Christina Sarich reported in February of this year for Natural Society:
''Over 20,000 stores now offer organic food products. A report has shown that in 2012, more than $28.4 million was spent on healthful organic food, and that number has grown since the report published such findings. According to Nutrition Business Journal, organic food sales will reach a startling $35 billion this year. For those of us who don't take our health for granted, this is just the beginning of a food revolution.''
The only thing left for McDoanld's to do is to frankly convince their customers that they really are using ingredients that are non-GMO just as the customers demand.
What did you think about this article? Let us know below and thank you for reading!
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Ebola / Zika / Vaccine$
Pregnant 'Today' anchor Savannah Guthrie will skip Olympics in Rio because of Zika concerns - LA Times
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 13:07
''Today'' anchor Savannah Guthrie is pregnant and as a result will bow out of covering the Olympic Games this summer in Rio de Janeiro because of concerns over the Zika virus.
Surrounded by her colleagues Tuesday on the NBC morning show, Guthrie, 44, revealed that she and husband Mike Feldman are expecting their second child in December. Their daughter, Vale Feldman, was born in August 2014.
Asked by co-anchor Matt Lauer about how this would affect her plans for the Olympic Games, Guthrie said she would not attend.
''The doctors say that we shouldn't [go] because of the Zika virus, so I'll miss it,'' Guthrie said, joking that Lauer would have to watch women's beach volleyball without her. ''Try to carry on.''
Brazil is among the countries hardest hit by the outbreak of Zika, a mosquito-borne virus that generally has a mild effect but has been linked to defects in children born to women who were infected during pregnancy.
The Games are a major platform and provide a reliable ratings boost to ''Today,'' which has been beating competitor ''Good Morning America'' in the 25-to-54 demographic this season. ''Today'' typically sets up shop in the host country throughout the 16 days of Olympic competition. Guthrie traveled to London in 2012 and Sochi in 2014.
The World Health Organization has classified Zika as a global health emergency but has said the Games should not be postponed or canceled. Olympic organizers also have repeatedly downplayed the risk.
In a blog post for ''Today,'' Guthrie shared her excitement over the baby news. ''The thought of getting to add to our family now is beyond every hope, dream and prayer I have ever had. It is not simply double the joy '-- it is joy multiplied infinitely,'' she wrote.
Though she is bowing out of the Games, Guthrie, a former White House correspondent for NBC News, will be available to cover the presidential election as it gears up in late summer following the party conventions.
NBCUniversal has said it will not require employees concerned about the virus to travel to Rio.
Billy Bush will join the 9 a.m. hour of NBC's 'Today'
'Today's Natalie Morales is moving to L.A. to join 'Access Hollywood'
'Today' takes an earlyratingslead over 'GMA' in new TV season
Follow me @MeredithBlake
VIDEO-Dr. David Allison Comments on Deceptive Editing by Katie Couric - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 13:34
VIDEO-Florida Cops Shoot and Kill Deaf Man For 'Talking Too Loud' - Counter Current News
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 13:28
A deaf man was shot by Volusia County sheriff's deputy Joel Hernandez and the excuse the killer cop gave boils down to the fact that he was talking too loud.
Now Deputy Hernandez was under investigation for fatally shooting Edward P. Miller, police sources say. But since then officials have decided to let him off the hook with no charges.
The Sheriff's department tells us that Hernandez was responding to an unrelated matter at Fryer's Towing when he over heard a verbal disagreement between Miller and an employee of Fryer's Towing.
Watch the local report from WESH Orlando below'...
Sheriff Ben Johnson said that Miller was in legal possession of a holstered firearm. This was not in violation of any law, and Hernandez has had to contend with that in developing his narrative of the events.
Our friends from The Free Thought Project reported last Fall that ''Edward Miller and his son Edward Jr. went to Fryer's towing Friday to settle a dispute about a towed vehicle.''
The police report explains the following details'...
Darice Podgorski-Beneddix, 44, an employee at Fryer's, reported to Daytona police officers that the elder Miller ''was being rude and yelling at her.''
The elder Miller said he ''may have been yelling due to him being hard of hearing however in no way was he trying to be rude.''
Employee Erik Stewart, 51, told Podgorski-Beneddix that the younger Miller ''had a gun holstered on his right side hip.''
Podgorski-Beneddix then called for police assistance ''out of fear for their safety,'' according to the report.
Officers determined the younger Miller had an up-to-date concealed weapons license to carry the gun, and it was returned to him.
The report goes on to state that the Millers were told that if they come back with the ''correct amount of money,'' their vehicle would be returned to them.
Free Thought reports that a Daytona Beach police report says that ''Miller was being rude and yelling because he was upset about the fees for his car.''
This is still not a crime.
But that's when the employees allegedly told the police they were ''in fear for their safety'' because Miller was legally armed, according to the police report.
The report even acknowledged that Miller told the officer the reason he was ''yelling'' was unintentional, and not because he was trying to be disorderly, but because he was deaf and could not gauge how loud he was being as well as the officer apparently demanded.
The police report notes that Miller had a valid license to carry the firearm and that he had not done anything to draw the weapon, or imply that he was going to draw it. In short, he broke no law other than the officer accusing him of being disorderly for ''talking too loudly''.
Eye-witnesses tell us that Miller was shot while sitting inside an SUV. They add that the windows were in fact rolled up when the deputy opened fire.
Have you heard about this in the national, mainstream media? Why do you think they are refusing to report on this case of police murder, even when the officer is being investigated for criminal wrong-doing?
(Article by M. David and Reagan Ali)
VIDEO- Uses New Device To Seize Money Used During The Commission Of -
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 12:47
You may have heard of civil asset forfeiture.
That's where police can seize your property and cash without first proving you committed a crime; without a warrant and without arresting you, as long as they suspect that your property is somehow tied to a crime.
Now, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has a device that also allows them to seize money in your bank account or on prepaid cards.
It's called an ERAD, or Electronic Recovery and Access to Data machine, and state police began using 16 of them last month.
Here's how it works. If a trooper suspects you may have money tied to some type of crime, the highway patrol can scan any cards you have and seize the money.
"We're gonna look for different factors in the way that you're acting,'' Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. John Vincent said. ''We're gonna look for if there's a difference in your story. If there's someway that we can prove that you're falsifying information to us about your business."
Troopers insist this isn't just about seizing cash.
"I know that a lot of people are just going to focus on the seizing money. That's a very small thing that' s happening now. The largest part that we have found ... the biggest benefit has been the identity theft," Vincent said.
"If you can prove can prove that you have a legitimate reason to have that money it will be given back to you. And we've done that in the past," Vincent said about any money seized.
State Sen. Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, said that removes due process and the belief that a suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty. He said we've already seen cases in Oklahoma where police are abusing the system.
"We've seen single mom's stuff be taken, a cancer survivor his drugs taken, we saw a Christian band being taken. We've seen innocent people's stuff being taken. We've seen where the money goes and how it's been misspent," Loveless said.
Loveless plans to introduce legislation next session that would require a conviction before any assets could be seized.
"If I had to err on the side of one side versus the other, I would err on the side of the Constitution,'' Loveless said. ''And I think that's what we need to do."
News 9 obtained a copy of the contract with the state.
It shows the state is paying ERAD Group Inc., $5,000 for the software and scanners, then 7.7 percent of all the cash the highway patrol seizes.
VIDEO-No jail for 'illegal' migrants, says EU court's chief legal advisor | euronews, world news
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 06:30
EU member states may not imprison undocumented refugees and migrants for merely entering the Schengen zone. That's according to the European Court of Justice.
It's chief advisor said on Tuesday that under EU rules, non-EU nationals can only be imprisoned if they've already been given a deportation order and have refused to go.
The court's opinion came in the case of a woman from Ghana who was caught by French police on a coach from Belgium to London using somebody else's passport.
The Ghanaian was detained under French law while police were arranging her re-admittance to Belgium.
The court said that breaches the EU Return Directive which says so-called illegal migrants must be invited to go home voluntarily first within a specific time-frame.
VIDEO-UK extends voter registration deadline for Brexit referendum | euronews, world news
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 06:25
Britain is extending the voter registration period for its June 23 referendum on EU membership after a government website crashed following a last-minute surge in application before Tuesday night's (June 7) deadline.
Several senior politicians and the Electoral Commission watchdog had earlier called for the deadline to be extended by 48 hours to midnight Thursday night into Friday morning.
The UK's Guardian newspaper reported thousands of postal votes from Britons in Germany may have got lost in the post after confusion about the type of pre-paid envelope supplied.
VIDEO-Labour law protests threaten to disrupt Euro 2016 | euronews, world news
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 06:21
A standoff between trade unionists and the French government is threatening to disrupt the Euro 2016 football tournament.
Anger over a controversial labour reform bill has produced weeks of industrial action with no sign of any acceptable compromise on either side.
Rail strikes are continuing, Air France are planning their own walkout this weekend and stoppages now extend to refuse collections.
''We will paralyse the country '...if we don't get the law withdrawn,'' said on rail worker
Millions of foreign visitors and football fans are due to arrive for the month-long tournament which kicks off on Friday.
Organisers of the football feste, the biggest sporting event this year, second only to the Olympics, are concerned.
Jacques Lambert, President of Euro 2016 Organising Committee said when asked about the strikes:''About the development of the strikes, we don't have any more information than you. It's an issue that unfortunately we can't control. We of course would like mobility to be as fluid as possible.''
Even so, the football teams have been arriving this week '' Spain, the current European Champions are the latest. Training and tactics may be their main priority, but if the strikes paralyse French transport, there'll be no one to see them play.
VIDEO-Byron Tau Questions Earnest on White House Striking Question From Transcript - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 06:15
VIDEO-White House can't explain omission of damaging line about Iran deal deceit from transcript - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 06:08
VIDEO-NYT Reporter Asks Sanders If It's Sexist For Him To Continue Running Against Clinton - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 05:56
VIDEO-Half of Morning Joe panel hasn't seen deceptively edited scene in Couric gun documentary - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 05:40
VIDEO-Audio Shows Katie Couric Gun Documentary Misrepresents Pro-Gun Voices - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 05:34
VIDEO-State Department Grilled on 75-Year Wait Time for RNC FOIA Request - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 05:23
VIDEO-Toner Defends Not Releasing Clinton's TPP Emails Until November 31 - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 05:14
VIDEO-State: Kerry Wants to 'Dive Deeper' Into Video Editing Investigation - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 05:12
VIDEO-Prosecutor Says NO CHARGES Against Parents That Allowed Child To Enter Gorilla Cage - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 05:10
VIDEO-Hillary Clinton Pressed On If She Used State Dept To Extract Donations From Foreign Entities! - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 05:05
VIDEO-Terrorists or rebels? "I think we've answered." 06 June 2016 - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 04:55
VIDEO-Terrorists or rebels? "We're going to move on." 06 June 2016 - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 04:54
VIDEO-Nuland elucidates disinformation Russia programming. 07 June 2016 - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 04:44
VIDEO-Nuland Statement on Russia Policy at SFRC. 07 June 2016 - YouTube
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 04:23
VIDEO-On ABC, Clinton Refuses to Say Second Amendment Is an Individual Right | MRCTV
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 04:17
[See NewsBusters for more.] Every time Donald Trump makes what is perceived as a gaffe or a controversial comment, the networks don't hesitate to cover it. Yet, when Hilary Clinton on Sunday refused to agree that the Second Amendment is an individual right, the comment was ignored on the evening newscasts and Monday's morning shows. Appearing on ABC's This Week, George Stephanopoulos eventually pressed Clinton. He started out offering cover: ''Donald Trump has been out on the stump talking about the Second Amendment saying you want to abolish the Second Amendment. I know you reject that.'' But then the anchor demanded, ''But I want to ask you a specific question. Do you believe that an individual's right to bear arms is a constitutional right, that it's not linked to service in a militia?''
VIDEO-IRS Finally Lists Tea Party Groups It Targeted | MRCTV
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 04:10
Crossposted on NewsBusters.
On Monday morning FNC's Melissa Francis and Doug McKelway covered the IRS's release of their list of targeted groups. The following exchange is from the June 6 edition of FNC's Happening Now:
MELISSA FRANCIS: New information on the story we've been following from the very beginning. The IRS finally coming clean on the list of Tea Party groups it targeted for extra scrutiny. This coming more than the years after the scandal first broke and only after federal judges became fed up with the agency dragging its feet. Doug McKelway is live in Washington with more on this story. Doug?
DOUG MCKELWAY: Hi Melissa. A federal appeals court has succeeded in doing what congressional Republicans have long tried to do, to force the IRS to produce a list of the groups that were unfairly and perhaps illegally targeted for scrutiny. The document production came in response to a class-action lawsuit by NorCal Tea Party patriots but only after a group of frustrated federal judges lost all patience with the stonewalling of the IRS and the Justice Department lawyers representing it. In a March 22 opinion from the sixth circuit of appeals, Judge Raymond Kethledge wrote this. ''At every turn the IRS has resisted the plaintiffs request
VIDEO-Tapper Hammers State Dept. Stonewalling FOIA Request on Hillary, Trade Deal for Post-Election | MRCTV
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 04:02
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
CNN's The Lead host Jake Tapper devoted a segment for the second time in a week to blasting the State Department's persistent issues with transparency on Monday as this one dealt with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request concerning Hillary Clinton that won't be fulfilled until after the November presidential election.
The topic involves International Business Times reporter David Sirota requesting documents pertaining to Clinton's role in brokering and supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) while secretary of state (which she's since flip-flopped on) and how the requests original fulfillment date of April 2016 was now bumped until November 30.
VIDEO-Nets Urge Sanders to Get Out: 'He's Like Gum on Your Shoe' | MRCTV
Thu, 09 Jun 2016 03:43
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
While the networks basked in the ''history'' of Hillary Clinton becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee on Tuesday, all three morning show broadcasts still fretted over Bernie Sanders remaining in the Democratic race and demanded he get out of Clinton's way. On Today, Guthrie asked: ''Bernie Sanders, what is his rationale for saying he needs to take this to the convention? Even President Obama is calling him. We don't know what that conversation was, but it seems to be nudging him through the stages of grief so that the Democratic Party can move on.''
Political analyst Nicolle Wallace asserted: ''You can nudge him all you want, there has been no rationale for Bernie Sanders' political effort since March 15th. There has been no mathematical path for Bernie Sanders to topple Hillary Clinton for months now.''
VIDEO-Here's Why Scientists Are Not Afraid of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes - NBC News
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 23:30
This is the first installment of a new series on called SCIENTIFICUS, where we'll lighten up the dark mysteries of science and medicine.
The Food and Drug Administration has said OK in principle to the release of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes in Florida.
What could go wrong?
Aren't GM mosquitoes a big suspect in all those birth defect cases in Brazil? A company called Oxitec released a bunch of those mosquitoes right before thousands of cases of a birth defect called microcephaly started showing up.
But the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other experts are not worried about the little flies.
Related: What's Behind Those Bogus Zika Rumors?
They say the mosquitoes couldn't possibly have caused birth defects. For one thing, the mosquitoes being genetically engineered by Oxitec are male. Male mosquitoes don't bite. It's the female mosquitoes that bite.
For another, the genetic changes are in the DNA of the mosquito '-- inside their sperm and eggs cells, not in their saliva.
Simple organisms such as bacteria can pass DNA back and forth directly. But it's a lot harder for complex organisms to exchange DNA. That's what sex is for. And scientists working to perfect gene therapy '-- a medical field aimed at correcting faulty DNA to cure disease '-- can attest to how difficult it is to get new DNA to take up residence in the human body.
The DNA change makes the mosquitoes die before they mature. So the GM male mosquitoes mate with females, which lay eggs that hatch, but the larvae die before they grow up.
The effect? A reduction of up to 90 percent in the local mosquito population.
Related: Natural Mosquito Repellents Don't Last
Another piece of evidence against the Zika rumors: The mosquitoes were released 600 miles from where the Zika outbreak started. Mosquitoes can only fly about 600 feet in their lifetimes.
Genetically modified Aedes Aegypti mosquito pupae emerge, engineered by Oxitec. Oxitec
It's the normal mosquitoes that are to blame for the
horrendous birth defects. They're the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carrying Zika. Medical science has established how viruses like rubella cause birth defects and Zika is pretty clearly doing the same thing.But what about the risk to the environment? Polls show that
residents of the Florida Keys, where Oxitec wants to test its mosquitoes, worry that getting rid of mosquitoes will somehow damage the food chain.Many experts argue that targeting only the harmful mosquitoes, the Aedes species that spread not only Zika but also the dengue and chikungunya viruses, is safer for the environment than overusing insecticides.And insecticides kill good insects, such as bees.
Plus mosquitoes can develop resistance to pesticides.
CDC Watches Pregnant Women Infected With ZikaNot only that -there are 80 species of mosquitoes in Florida, so reducing populations of one of them isn't going to starve any animals. In addition, Aedes mosquitoes are an invasive species, imported from Africa more than 100 years ago.
None of the experts believes GM mosquitoes are the only answer to controlling mosquitoes. But given the risks to human health - mosquito-borne illnesses kill 725,000 people every year - they argue it's worth adding them to the arsenal.
VIDEO-State Dept Defends Claim It Will Take 75 Years to Process Clinton Emails: 'It's Not An Outlandish Estimation' - Leah Barkoukis
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 21:42
State Department spokesman Mark Toner defended its estimate that it would take 75 years to release the emails from Hillary Clinton's top aides during her time as secretary of state on Tuesday. He noted that the RNC's court filing contained an ''enormous amount of FOIA requests'' that are ''very complex.''
''It's a very broad range involving a number of people over a period of four years,'' he said. ''It's not an outlandish estimation believe it or not.''
In March, the RNC filed a pair of lawsuits seeking the emails after having failed to receive the documents from State in requests filed last October and December.
''The Obama administration has failed to comply with records requests in a timely manner as required by law,'' Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement at the time.
The RNC's FOIA request is seeking emails from three of Clinton's former aides: Cheryl Mills, Jacob Sullivan and Patrick Kennedy.
"Given the Department's current [Freedom of Information Act] workload and the complexity of these documents, it can process about 500 pages a month, meaning it would take approximately 16-and-2/3 years to complete the review of the Mills documents, 33-and-1/3 years to finish the review of the Sullivan documents, and 25 years to wrap up the review of the Kennedy documents '-- or 75 years in total," the State Department argued in the filing.
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VIDEO-'–¶ audioBoom / Anakonda 16 on the Russian Frontier. Stephen F. Cohen. NYU, Princeton,
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 20:40
(Photo: ... Road to Anakonda 16 | by U.S. Army Europe: Jedną z form zacieśniania wsp"łpracy w ramach struktur NATO są tzw. detachmenty, czyli szkolenia miÄdzynarodowe w Polsce. W ubiegłym roku w tej formie ...
Twitter: @
Anakonda 16 on the Russian Frontier. Stephen F. Cohen. NYU, Princeton,
"...The general said Russia was needed in the international community; however, this was impossible at the moment due to the country's "sole respect for power."
"He emphasised that about 7,000 Russian troops were stationed in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two territories viewed by the international community as Georgian regions occupied by Russia.
"In Hodges' words, about 20,000 Russian troops are currently present in the Crimea peninsula occupied by Russia, and about 20 Ukrainian soldiers were last week killed during clashes with Moscow-supported separatists in Eastern Ukraine regardless of ceasefire agreements.
"This is a serious challenge; this is not an academic exercise and the only way we keep it from becoming a real crisis is if we stick together, the Alliance stick together and demonstrate that we are committed," the US general noted.
"He added that Lithuania had been precisely meeting the commitments assumed during the last NATO Summit in Wales by not only boosting defense spending but also by organising exercises and developing its Armed Forces.
"Ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, the three Baltic States seek deployment of an international Allied battalion of about 1,000 soldiers in each of their territories. NATO's Military Committee has given a green light to stationing of the units in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland...."
VIDEO-How the White House Was Caught Scrubbing An Official Transcript And Refused To Fix It - Breitbart
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 20:37
Should the White House be allowed to scrub an embarrassing moment for the press secretary from the public record of the briefing?That's the question that rises over a battle between the White House press corps and the Obama White House over two words said by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
''No Kevin,'' Earnest replied, after he was asked by Fox News reporter Kevin Corke if he could ''state categorically that no senior official in this administration has ever lied publicly about any aspect of the Iran nuclear deal.''
After ABC News caught the White House scrubbing the record, White House reporters Kevin Corke, Byron Tau, and James Rosen challenged Earnest on the issue.
But the press secretary has remained defiant after insisting falsely that the moment was inaudible due to crosstalk. When pressed on the issue, he finally admitted that no, he would not restore the transcript to reflect the truth of what happened during the briefing.
Watch the video below for the tale of the deleted transcript:
VIDEO-City Employs Garbage Cops to Search Through Trash and Ticket People for Not Recycling '' The Free Thought Project
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 18:20
Brooklyn, NY '-- In a heroic attempt to save humanity from the dangers of someone forgetting to recycle, New York has deployed garbage police to sift through residents' discarded household items.
New York City sanitation police are seen going from house to house, tearing open garbage bags, looking for recyclable items and then citing residents who failed to comply.
This move by the city is ostensibly for the environment. However, instead of simply asking the residents to move the recyclable items out of the trash, they have turned it into a revenue collection scheme '-- not to mention the Orwellian nightmare that is police searching your trash.
A video uploaded to Facebook this week shows how angry this process is making some residents.
When a man finds officers tearing open garbage on his street, he pulls out his phone and begins recording.
''Ma'am, can you tell me why you're taking out garbage from people's houses in order to give tickets?''
''Can you tell me why, officer, are you giving out tickets?
''You are not recycling properly,'' responded the officer.
The man recording then snaps and gives them a piece of his mind as the bureaucratic sanitation officer stands there in disbelief.
''Now you took out garbage from a residents' house where I have a few witnesses behind you [who saw] that you took out garbage in order to give summonses. I want to know how you dare do something like that. I think you have the nerve to do something like this. You go from one resident to another in order to take out [their] garbage because you want to give out summonses. You have some nerve. You better get out of here, because this is going all over social media. You have some nerve. Are you a human person?''
After letting the male officer have it, the man filming then turns to the female officer and lets loose on her.
''Could you do me a favor? Make sure that everybody on social media should know what you have done. We have witnesses on this block who know what you have done. I want to know if you want to continue doing this type of garbage. You are taking out garbage from people's trash bags in order to give out tickets. How dare you do that?''
''Please stop screaming,'' says the male officer.
''I don't want to stop screaming. I want to continue screaming because you have everybody on the block upset. You have the nerve. And you consider yourself an officer? Are you a human person? How dare you do this? All over social media? Everybody is going to know who you are.''
The man's predictions about this video going all over social media were right and as of Sunday, the video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
As for concerns about police searching your garbage, the law states that is no expectation of privacy in the trash that you put out by the curb.
Your right to privacy in your property extends to the area immediately surrounding your home. This area, however, does not include trash that is left outside your home on the curb for pickup. Since courts have decided you have no expectation of privacy in trash left out on the street, police can and will dig through your waste without probable cause or a warrant.
VIDEO-Richard Simmons rep denies fitness guru is transitioning into a woman | Fox News
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 18:17
A tabloid report made waves on Wednesday with claims Richard Simmons' recent self-imposed withdrawal from the public eye is because he has transitioned into a woman, but a rep for the fitness guru told FOX411 the report is bogus.
''Not true and a complete fabrication,'' Simmons' publicist said of the claims.
The National Enquirer's cover featured a photo they claimed showed Simmons wearing women's clothes. The report also claimed he goes by the name Fiona.
Simmons was hospitalized over the weekend for what the fitness guru said was exhaustion. On Tuesday, TMZ published grainy paparazzi pics of someone they said was Simmons leaving the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles sporting a full beard.
FOX411 reached out to Simmons' camp earlier this week after he was hospitalized and his rep said Simmons was ''just fine'' and had been released from the hospital on Saturday.
Simmons, 67, has not been seen in public in over two years. After reports surfaced that he was being held in his home against his will earlier this year, Simmons told Entertainment Tonight "I am not kidnapped. I am just in my house right now," adding "no one should be worried about me. The people that surround me are wonderful people who take great care of me."
VIDEO-British police use tea as analogy for sexual consent - YouTube
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 15:53
VIDEO-White House Lies About Scrubbing Press Briefing Transcript
Wed, 08 Jun 2016 13:21
''Can you state categorically that no senior official in this administration has ever lied publicly about any aspect of the Iran nuclear deal?''That question to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked by Fox News reporter Kevin Corke during the White House Press Briefing on May 9, 2016.
''No Kevin,'' Earnest replied, followed by about five seconds of silence.
The awkward exchange was not reflected on the White House public record of the press briefing, scrubbing Earnest's embarrassing moment.
Here is what the White House version of the transcript looks like:
View post on
Why didn't the White House include the exchange?
According to ABC News, a White House official told them that the line was not included because it was inaudible.
Watch the video of the exchange taken from the official White House video:
Earnest was pressed on the White House description of the ''inaudible'' audio by Wall Street Journal reporter Byron Tau.
''I was in that briefing, and I recall the question and it seemed pretty audible to me,'' he said. ''The video also makes it pretty clear. I heard what was being said. Is the White House going to restore that line?''
Earnest replied, ''Well, Byron, I think what was true at the time is that there was a little cross-talk.''
It is unclear what ''cross-talk'' Earnest was referring to.
Watch the video below:
VIDEO-Neil Degrasse Tyson takes on anti-science Liberals - Reaction Video - YouTube
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 21:29
VIDEO-Documents reveal feds' effort to discredit Snowden, reveal CIA ties | Fox News
Tue, 07 Jun 2016 15:57
Newly declassified NSA documents provide official confirmation that Edward Snowden was a CIA asset, and show the extent to which the government went to discredit him after he told lawmakers in Europe that he tried to blow the whistle on a secret federal program that snooped on private citizens.
The documents, obtained by Vice News, do not conclusively confirm claims by Snowden, then a private contractor working for the NSA, that he tried to alert supervisors of what he believed to be illegal spying before going public. They do show that following a flurry of claims by Snowden in early 2014 that his supposed concerns the agency was violating the constitutional rights of citizens were ignored, Obama administration officials sought to discredit him with his own words.
That effort centered around discussing the eventual May 2014 release of an April 2013 email from Snowden to the agency's Office of General Counsel asking whether an Obama executive order allowing the snooping program could supersede federal statute. Officials largely viewed the query as simply a question about a test administered to contract workers.
''I'm not entirely certain, but this does not seem correct, as it seems to imply Executive Orders have the same precedence as law,'' Snowden writes in the email after reposting a section of ''the training.''
''My understanding is that EOs may be superseded by federal statute, but EOs may not override statute. Am I incorrect in this? Between EOs and laws, which have precedence?''
Snowden had contacted reporter Glenn Greenwald, who later used Snowden's stolen NSA documents in several stories, four months before he wrote the email.
The email was forwarded to the Signals Intelligence Oversight and Compliance training group '' the designers of the test '' back to the OGC and then to two attorneys as the offices apparently sought to figure out who should answer the question. One of the lawyers ended up responding to Snowden.
''Executive Orders (E.O.s) have the 'force and effect of law,''' the email said. ''That said, you are correct that E.O.s cannot override a statute.''
The released documents contain no further written correspondence with Snowden regarding the issue. The files, however, do show a back-and-forth debate over the merits of releasing the Snowden email, a seemingly innocuous communication that does not appear to show an employee deeply troubled by domestic and foreign spying. The discussion centered on how NSA employees viewed the email, and how others might spin it.
Less than six weeks after he sent the April 2013 email, Snowden fled to Hong Kong with thousands of classified government documents. He is now in Russia.
''To the extent Snowden was saying he raised his concerns internally within NSA, no rational person could read this as being anything other than a question about an unclear single page of training,'' Robert Litt, the general counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, told Vice News.
The newly released emails also provide the first official confirmation that Snowden worked with the CIA, Vice News reported. An email from the NSA to all agency employees sent on June 10, 2013, identified Snowden as a ''current NSA contractor and former CIA affiliate.''
VIDEO-Trump's African-American: 'I Am Not A Trump Supporter' : The Two-Way : NPR
Mon, 06 Jun 2016 18:42
Gregory Cheadle, the black man singled out by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at a Redding, Calif., rally on Friday, said he took no offense when the billionaire urged the crowd, "Look at my African-American over here."
"I was not offended by it because he had been speaking positively about black people prior to that statement," Cheadle told NPR when reached at his home for comment over the weekend. "People around me were laughing [at the fact] that he noticed me, and everybody was happy. It was a jovial thing."
Trump's use of the possessive "my" touched off a fresh wave of criticism of the candidate, with some saying it came across as racist or at the very least tone deaf.
The remarks came as the real estate mogul interrupted his own meandering remarks to recall an incident from a March rally in Arizona where a black Trump supporter assaulted a protester being escorted out of the venue by police.
In an attempt to show he, as Trump put it, enjoys "tremendous African-American support," the candidate said the black man from the Arizona rally was a "great fan" of his. The businessman added that his supporter "cold-cocked" the protester who Trump said was wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit. The black supporter, who was also escorted from the venue by police, was, according to Trump, initially portrayed by some as being anti-Trump '-- presumably just because he was African-American.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally at the Redding Municipal Airport last Friday in Redding, Calif. Rich Pedroncelli/APhide caption
toggle captionRich Pedroncelli/APRepublican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally at the Redding Municipal Airport last Friday in Redding, Calif.
Rich Pedroncelli/APIn between the telling of that anecdote, Trump pointed in Cheadle's direction to add, "Look at him. Aren't you the greatest?"
Cheadle, a Republican candidate who is running for California's 1st Congressional district, called the moment "surreal." Cheadle was holding a sign that said "Veterans for Trump" and said he was using it to shield the sun from his head.
"Trump talked about the racism, the stereotypical racism targeted against black men by bringing that incident out. He said the people near where the incident took place were about to jump on the black man because they thought he was a protester, when in reality he was a supporter."
Cheadle said he took Trump's comments toward him in a positive way. But Cheadle also noted that Trump's choice of words left many uncertain as to his meaning.
"Had he said, 'Here's my African-American friend,' or 'my African-American supporter' or something like that, then there would be less ambiguity," Cheadle said.
"Had he said, 'Here's my African-American' and then after that said, 'What's up, dawg,' or 'boy' or even the N-word as they use it today, I really would have been offended."
Cheadle says his interaction with Trump has raised his profile heading into the California primary on Tuesday. But one thing Cheadle wants to be clear about is that Trump does not yet have his vote.
"I am not a Trump supporter," Cheadle said. "I went to go hear Donald Trump because I have an open mind."
Cheadle says he also went to a rally for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders last week in Chico, Calif., but did not go in.
"I am a free man. I am not chained to any particular party, and I refuse to be chained to any particular party."

Clips & Documents

Brock Turner's dad asked for leniency in rape case.mp3
Female-Only Pool Hours Dive Into Controversy.mp3
TREND-Prosecutor Says NO CHARGES Against Parents That Allowed Child To Enter Gorilla Cage.mp3
UK extends voter registration deadline for Brexit referendum.mp3
Elections 2016
ABC-Clinton Refuses to Say Second Amendment Is an Individual Right.mp3
Anti Clinton Ad-Mashup with Bill.mp3
CBS Bob Schieffer-Bernie is like Gum on your shoe.mp3
Gary Johnson blows Trump a kiss.mp3
New Hillary Attack Ad on FaceBag-Sounds like Trump.mp3
NYT Reporter Asks Sanders If It's Sexist For Him To Continue Running Against Clinton.mp3
Pooper presses Hillary Clinton If She Used State Dept To Extract Donations From Foreign Entities.mp3
REUTERS-Hillary Clinton wore a $12,495 Armani jacket during a speech about inequality.mp3
Hot RT Chick-1-with Elizabeth Knneedy Trudeau about US separating Rebels from Terrorists.mp3
Hot RT Chick-2-with Elizabeth Knneedy Trudeau about US separating Rebels from Terrorists.mp3
Nuland elucidates disinformation Russia programming. 07 June 2016-MINISTRY OF TRUTH.mp3
Nuland leaked-F the EU.mp3
Nuland Statement on Russia Policy at SFRC. 07 June 2016.mp3
Prof Stephen Cohen on ALL ABOUT ARMS SALES.mp3
Prof Stephen Cohen on spectre of war with Russia-ANACONDA16-MISSLES ON BORDERS-CUBA.mp3
JCD Clips
7-15-15 laughing over trump.mp3
airbnb in berling.mp3
BERNIE -- AP announcement night before.mp3
Bernie -- Norman Soloman intro.mp3
bernie -clinton is a pro war candidate.mp3
Bernie Guy -- Hilary is a neo-con.mp3
Brazil weirdness worsens'.mp3
BREXIT and the city of London.mp3
Buzzfeed story misleading.mp3
chrysler pacifica ad WTF.mp3
DM visits south Dakota to talk with supporters.mp3
espn twitter 2.mp3
espn twitter one.mp3
hillary clinches CBS ONE.mp3
Hillary clinches CBS TWO.mp3
Hillary Clinches DN summary.mp3
hillary clinches DWS last clip.mp3
Hillary clinches PBS.mp3
Hillary VP on CBS.mp3
ishmail reed part one.mp3
ishmail reed part two.mp3
mexisco violence.mp3
Migrants and the mafia.mp3
MISS USA booing over querstions.mp3
MISS USA final question.mp3
MISS USA shouting.mp3
MIss USA shoutng 2.mp3
MISS USA THE fiasco.mp3
MISS USA Women supporting women new rules.mp3
MODI in USA.mp3
PBS NH Judy Grills Hillary she throws president under bus.mp3
Storms in Germany CC.mp3
unreported china meetings.mp3
unreported war games.mp3
Ministry of Truth
Clinton 75 year FOIA filing.pdf
Half of Morning Joe panel hasn't seen deceptively edited scene in Couric gun documentary.mp3
Josh Earnest-MAY 6-Does Not Answer Directly When Asked if Any Senior Official Ever Lied About Iran Nuclear Deal.mp3
Katie Couric decptive edit piece.mp3
Mark Toner-State- Kerry Wants to 'Dive Deeper' Into Video Editing Investigation.mp3
Matt Lee & MArk Toner Defends Not Releasing Clinton's TPP Emails Until November 31.mp3
Matt Lee & Mark Toner State Department Grilled on 75-Year Wait Time for RNC FOIA Request.mp3
OPENER-Byron Tau Questions Earnest on White House Striking Question From Transcript.mp3
Tapper Hammers State Dept. Stonewalling FOIA Request on Hillary, Trade Deal for Post-Election.mp3
White House can't explain omission of damaging line about Iran deal deceit from transcript.mp3
NA-Tech News
moorespaper copy.pdf
Obama Nation
IRS Finally Lists Tea Party Groups It Targeted.mp3
Shut Up Slave!
Brooklyn-City Employs Garbage Cops to Search Through Trash and Ticket People for Not Recycling.mp3
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