888: Dutch Trump

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 27m
December 22nd, 2016
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Executive Producers: Sir Richard Anonymous, Sir Hawnonymous Knight of the Haw River, Anthony Jenking, Zon Jr., Sir Isaac of Altadena, Sir Rodger Boots, Sir Francis of Roberts Bay, Dame Karen of Cimarron Hills, Sir Rob - Knight of the Filantropic Shareholders Federation, Sir Chris of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Michael Jonson, Jacob Sonnenberg, Sir Truman, Sir Nussbaum Arch Duke of the Southern US, Sir Kristoff Hering Knight of the Blockchain, Sir Dwayne Mellancon Arch Duke of the Pacific Northwest

Associate Executive Producers: Baronet Donald of the Fire Bottles, DJPowerBoy John Darius Soltes, Sir Otaku, K5VS Baron of North East Texas and the Red River Valley, Chad Nelson, John Tompkins, Jon Helmer, Katlyn Williams

Cover Artist: ComicStripBlogger

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How a TV Sitcom Triggered the Downfall of Western Civilization '' Medium
Sat, 17 Dec 2016 18:18
BY DAVID HOPKINS
I want to discuss a popular TV show my wife and I have been binge-watching on Netflix. It's the story of a family man, a man of science, a genius who fell in with the wrong crowd. He slowly descends into madness and desperation, lead by his own egotism. With one mishap after another, he becomes a monster. I'm talking, of course, about Friends and its tragic hero, Ross Geller.
You may see it as a comedy, but I cannot laugh with you. To me, Friends signals a harsh embrace of anti-intellectualism in America, where a gifted and intelligent man is persecuted by his idiot compatriots. And even if you see it from my point of view, it doesn't matter. The constant barrage of laughter from the live studio audience will remind us that our own reactions are unnecessary, redundant.
The theme song itself is filled with foreboding, telling us that life is inherently deceptive, career pursuits are laughable, poverty is right around the corner, and oh yeah, your love life's D.O.A. But you will always have the company of idiots. They will be there for you.
Don't I feel better?
Maybe I should unpack this, for the uninitiated. If you remember the 1990s and early 2000s, and you lived near a television set, then you remember Friends. Friends was the Thursday night primetime, ''must-see-TV'' event that featured the most likable ensemble ever assembled by a casting agent: all young, all middle class, all white, all straight, all attractive (but approachable), all morally and politically bland, and all equipped with easily digestible personas. Joey is the goofball. Chandler is the sarcastic one. Monica is obsessive-compulsive. Phoebe is the hippy. Rachel, hell, I don't know, Rachel likes to shop. Then there was Ross. Ross was the intellectual and the romantic.
Eventually, the Friends audience'Š'--'Šroughly 52.5 million people'Š'--'Šturned on Ross. But the characters of the show were pitted against him from the beginning (consider episode 1, when Joey says of Ross: ''This guy says hello, I wanna kill myself.'') In fact, any time Ross would say anything about his interests, his studies, his ideas, whenever he was mid-sentence, one of his ''friends'' was sure to groan and say how boring Ross was, how stupid it is to be smart, and that nobody cares. Cue the laughter of the live studio audience. This gag went on, pretty much every episode, for 10 seasons. Can you blame Ross for going crazy?
And like a Greek tragedy, our hero is caught in a prophecy that cannot be avoided. The show's producers, akin to the immutable voice of the gods, declared that Ross must end up with Rachel, the one who shops. Honestly, I think he could've done better.
Why such sympathy for Ross?
The show ended in 2004. The same year that Facebook began, the year that George W. Bush was re-elected to a second term, the year that reality television became a dominant force in pop culture, with American Idol starting an eight-year reign of terror as the No. 1 show in the U.S., the same year that Paris Hilton started her own ''lifestyle brand'' and released an autobiography. And Joey Tribbiani got a spin-off TV show. The year 2004 was when we completely gave up and embraced stupidity as a value. Just ask Green Day; their album American Idiot was released in 2004, and it won the Grammy for Best Rock Album. You can't get more timely. The rejection of Ross marked the moment when much of America groaned, mid-sentence, at the voice of reason.
Yes, my theory is that Friends may have triggered the downfall of western civilization. You might think I'm crazy. But to quote Ross: ''Oh, am I? Am I? Am I out of my mind? Am I losing my senses?'' Did you know the song that originally accompanied the Friends pilot episode was R.E.M.'s ''It's the End of the World as We Know (And I Feel Fine).'' A blissful song with an apocalyptic message that goes largely ignored.
I was a teacher in 2004. I coached our school's chess club. I saw how my students were picked on, bullied. I tried my best to defend them, but I couldn't be everywhere. My students were smart, huge nerds, and they were in hostile, unfriendly territory. Other students would be waiting outside my room to ambush the chess club members who met in my room every day at lunch. During my tenure as a teacher, I gained the reputation of being a slayer of bullies and defender of nerds. I promise you: bullies can be mean, but they knew Mr. Hopkins was much worse.
Maybe intellectuals have always been persecuted and shoved in lockers, but something in my gut tells me we're at a low point'Š'--'Šwhere social media interaction has replaced genuine debate and political discourse, where politicians are judged by whether we'd want to have a beer with them, where scientific consensus is rejected, where scientific research is underfunded, where journalism is drowning in celebrity gossip.
I see Kim Kardashian's ass at the top of CNN.com, and I am scared.
Maybe it's all harmless fun. Like the good-spirited laughter of a live studio audience? Maybe. But I am sincerely worried we have not done enough to cultivate intellectual curiosity within our culture.
Fortunately, there's a resistance forming. People with grit, who aren't afraid to begin a sentence with ''Did you know'...'' These are the Rosses of the world. I saw them in my chess club. And I see them in my city, hiding at the art museum, crouching at used book stores, exchanging sideways glances at the public libraries and coffee houses, and sneaking around at our schools, community colleges, and universities.
There was no hope for Ross. He went insane, and yeah, he did get annoying.
So, how do we retain our sanity in a dumb, dumb world? I wouldn't be a good teacher if I didn't come prepared with a few ideas.
No. 1: read a fucking book. Something special happens when you set aside the inane distractions of modern culture and immerse yourself in a novel. You open yourself up to new ideas, new experiences, new perspectives. It's an experiment in patience and mindfulness. The New School for Social Research in New York proved that reading literature improves empathy. It's true. Reading makes you less of a jerk. So, read often. Read difficult books. Read controversial books. Read a book that makes you cry. Read something fun. But read.
No. 2: learn something. Your brain is capable of so much. Feed it. Learn something new. The greatest threat to progress is the belief that something is too complex to fix. Poverty is permanent. Racism will always exist. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is too difficult to understand. The public education system is broken. Educate yourself, so you can be part of the conversation. Learn something scientific, something mathematic. Explore philosophy. Study paleontology. Try to learn a new language. You don't even have to make fluency your goal, just get a few more words in your head. Listen to an educational podcast. Professors from colleges'Š'--'Šsuch as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford'Š'--'Šare offering their lectures online for free. Think of what you could learn. One of my greatest challenges as a teacher was convincing students they were smart after someone had told them they were dumb.
No. 3: stop buying so much shit. This may seem like a non sequitur, but I'm convinced consumer culture and idiot culture are closely linked. Simplify your life. Idiocy dominates our cultural landscape because it sells more Nike tennis shoes and Big Macs. When we thoughtfully consider what we bring into our home, we are less likely to be manipulated by empty impulses.
And finally:protect the nerds. A computer programmer from Seattle is doing more to alleviate world poverty, hunger, and disease through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation than any other person in America right now. Nerds create vaccines. Nerds engineer bridges and roadways. Nerds become teachers and librarians. We need those obnoxiously smart people, because they make the world a better place. We can't have them cowering before a society that rolls their eyes at every word they say. Ross needs better friends.
An earlier version of this article was shared as a spoken essay forNaked Stagein Dallas, and then published on D Magazine'sFrontburnerblog.
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Fake news, yet no problem letting terrorsists use their platforms to promote Jihad
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Article about prop comic gag bit
Thu, 08 Dec 2016 21:57
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U.N. Security Council to Vote on Aleppo Resolution
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 23:05
Anti-government forces have been blamed for recent bus attacks that have delayed evacuations from eastern Aleppo.
The United Nations Security Council is set to vote on Monday on the text of a resolution proposing to send U.N. observers to eastern Aleppo, where thousands of civilians and anti-government militias are reportedly still trapped.
RELATED:Assad Blasts the West's Hypocrisy, Calls for Vigilance
Though it is a French-drafted resolution purportedly seeking to prevent ''mass atrocities'' by Syrian forces, Russia's input was crucial to its production. Russia had warned it would use its veto power, raising concerns about sending U.N. officials who were unprepared to monitor the protection of civilians, Reuters reported. Russia had also presented its own rival draft.
After more than three hours of negotiations before finally reaching ''common ground,'' according to French Ambassador Francois Delattre, a final draft was agreed upon.
The resolution calls for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to contact Syrian forces in order to discuss allowing U.N. and other international observers into the country and to monitor the evacuation and well-being of civilians. Among other things, it demands that they be allowed to leave voluntarily and ''to a final destination of their choice."
After agreeing to allow anti-government forces and their families to also be evacuated from the region, the efforts were halted on Sunday after a group of anti-government fighters burned five buses that were supposed to be used for an evacuation near Idlib in Syria. This not only stalled a deal to allow thousands to depart Aleppo, but left many other sick and injured evacuees crammed into buses for hours, waiting to move.
State media said "armed terrorists" from groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad, had carried out the attack.
RELATED:Anti-Govt Forces Blamed for Burning Civilian Buses near Aleppo
The Beirut-based Mayadeen television said the Nusra Front, which has ties to al-Qaida, was to blame for the attack on the buses. Other anti-government groups also blamed Nusra fighters and condemned the attack, Al-Arabiya reported. The incident cast doubts on the evacuation agreement as a whole.
Aleppo had been divided between government and anti-government areas in the nearly six-year-long war, but a rapid advance by the Syrian Arab Army and its allies began in mid-November following months of intense airstrikes, forcing them out of territory within a matter of weeks.
The U.N. Security Council is set to vote on the resolution at 9 a.m. Monday.
Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said, "I think we have a good text."
The six-year Syrian conflict has uprooted half of Syria's 22 million people and killed more than 400,000.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon would report back on implementation of the resolution within five days of adoption, the draft states.
Security Council Adopts Resolution 2328 (2016), Demanding Immediate, Unhindered Access for Observation of Monitoring Civilian Evacuations from Aleppo | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 23:06
Alarmed by the continued deterioration of the devastating humanitarian situation in the Syrian city of Aleppo, the Security Council today demanded all parties to provide the United Nations with safe, immediate and unhindered access to monitor evacuations from the eastern districts of Aleppo and the protection of civilians throughout Syria.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2328 (2016), the 15-nation organ requested that the United Nations and other relevant institutions carry out adequate, neutral and direct observation, and ensure further deployment of staff as needed. It further requested that the Secretary-General take urgent steps to make arrangements that would allow the observation by the Organization of the well-being of civilians, and to report on the text's implementation within five days.
Taking note of the efforts to evacuate civilians and fighters affected by the conflict, the Council stressed that they must be conducted in accordance with international humanitarian law and principles. It also stressed the importance of ensuring voluntary, safe and dignified passage of all civilians from the eastern districts of Aleppo to a destination of their choice, giving priority to the most vulnerable and seriously wounded.
Also by the text, it called on all parties to respect and protect all medical and humanitarian personnel, their means of transportation and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities throughout the country.
The meeting began at 09:04 a.m. and ended at 09:06 a.m.
Resolution
The full text of resolution 2328 (2016) reads as follows:
''The Security Council,
''Recalling all its relevant resolutions, especially 2139 (2014), 2165 (2014), 2191 (2014), 2258 (2015) and 2286 (2016);
''Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic;
''Alarmed by the continued deterioration of the devastating humanitarian situation in Aleppo and by the fact that urgent humanitarian evacuations and assistance are now needed by a large number of Aleppo inhabitants;
''Recalling the need for all parties to respect the relevant provisions of international humanitarian law and the United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian emergency assistance;
''1. Takes note of the efforts to carry out evacuations of civilians and fighters from the districts of the city of Aleppo affected by the conflict;
''2. Stresses that these evacuations must be conducted in accordance with international humanitarian law and principles, and emphasizes that the evacuations of civilians must be voluntary and to final destinations of their choice, and protection must be provided to all civilians who choose or who have been forced to be evacuated and those who opt to remain in their homes;
''3. Requests the United Nations and other relevant institutions to carry out adequate, neutral monitoring and direct observation on evacuations from the eastern districts of Aleppo and other districts of the city, and to report as appropriate thereon, to ensure further deployment of staff for these purposes as needed and demands all parties to provide these monitors with safe, immediate and unimpeded access;
''4. Stresses the importance to ensure the voluntary, safe and dignified passage of all civilians from the eastern districts of Aleppo or other areas, under the monitoring of and coordination by the United Nations and other relevant institutions, to a destination of their choice; stresses that in such circumstances, priority should be given to the most seriously wounded people and the most vulnerable and calls on all the parties to cooperate with the United Nations in this regard;
''5. Demands that all parties allow complete, immediate, unconditional, safe and unhindered access for the United Nations and its implementing partners, in order to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches people through the most direct route in order to meet basic needs, including the provision of medical care, consistent with the provisions of its resolution 2258 (2015) for the whole of Syria and respect and protect all civilians across Aleppo and throughout Syria; stresses that all parties must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law, and in particular, to respect and protect civilians and civilian objects;
''6 Calls on all parties to respect and protect all medical and humanitarian personnel, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities throughout the country, consistent with its resolution 2286 (2016);
''7. Requests the Secretary-General to take urgent steps to make arrangements, including security arrangements in consultation with interested parties, to allow the observation by the United Nations and other relevant institutions of the well-being of civilians, as well as the full respect of international humanitarian law, inside the eastern districts of the city of Aleppo; notify the Security Council about these arrangements and to carry out the above mentioned activity immediately thereupon,
''8. Further requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the implementation of this resolution, including by the parties on the ground, within 5 days of adoption of this resolution;
''9. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.''
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The Qatar-Russia energy deal that might lead the way to peace in Syria | Middle East Eye
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 07:27
The Qatar Investment Authority, along with commodities trader Glencore, recently bought a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft, Russia's largest oil company, for $11.5bn - injecting much needed capital into an economy decimated by sanctions.
Why did Qatar's state-owned investment authority feel compelled to potentially help Russian President Vladimir Putin claim a political win against the US?
Why did Qatar's state-owned investment authority (QIA) feel compelled to get involved in Russia's risky market and potentially help Russian President Vladimir Putin claim a political win against the US?
Although the QIA has previously been involved in the Russian market, this is the first time the investment fund has sought entry into Putin's inner oil circle. Russia's state-owned Pravda dismissed Qatar's involvement outright, saying that the QIA might be replaced with a Russian company.
Even given that possibility, Qatar is also the majority shareholder in Glencore, providing it with further leverage. Some form of a diplomatic compromise with Russia might be in the offing as Qatar, an outspoken critic of the Assad government, is beginning to realise that Assad might continue to have a future in Syria.
Diplomatic compromise?Qatar's foreign policy has shown pragmatism in times of change. In 2013, Qatar's emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani suprisingly handed the reins of power to his son Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. Although the hand-off was seen as a bit premature, it resolved two issues.
First, it put to rest the question of who would lead the country after the ailing emir who took the throne by overthrowing his own father in 1995.
Secondly and more importantly, it allowed for the dismissal of Qatar's powerful Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani who was also the prime minister and the head of the QIA.
Not only did Hamad bin Jassim hold key offices in government, but he also irked his Gulf neighbours with a Bismarckian foreign policy that was perceived by many to be too aggressive, meddlesome and a platform for hostile groups like the Afghan Taliban and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Although the Al-Thanis have pursued a foreign policy independent of Gulf neighbours - which will likely continue - a call for balance post-Arab Spring was necessary to avoid further rebuke.
With the recent recapture of Aleppo, the Syrian regime seems to have emerged from the throes of certain defeat thanks in large part to the Russia-Iran-Hezbollah axis dedicated to protecting its geopolitical interests.
Qatar has been a vocal opponent of the Assad regime and therefore an opponent of a Russian proxy government. Now the country has to reevaluate its position on the Syrian crisis to remain a relevant player by maintaining a balance between Gulf and Russian interests.
The Trump EffectPresident-elect Donald Trump's recent appointment of Exxon Chief Rex Tillerson as secretary of state has further confirmed Trump's close relationship with Putin who is accused of orchestrating an election hack that helped get him elected. Tillerson, who managed the company's operations in Russia before becoming CEO, also has close relations with both Putin and Rosneft chairman, Igor Sechin.
With the US possibly extricating itself from the Middle East and Russia seemingly taking its place, an ally in Qatar would prove an asset, if not a valuable commodity going forward
From Qatar's standpoint, a favourable Russia-US relationship presents not just economic opportunities, but also political opportunities that can only be leveraged by bolstering the heart of Russia's sputtering economy. Providing an $11bn cash injection into Russia's oil business is one way to do that and possibly buy influence in Moscow.
The deal may also impact Qatar's relationships with other important players in the Middle East. More interestingly, right after the Qatar deal, Italian oil and gas major Eni agreed to sell Rosneft a 30 percent stake in Egypt's Zohr gas field, the largest natural gas discovery in the Mediterranean in the past decade. This means Qatar now has indirect access to Egypt's gas fields.
And this is the same Egypt whose leader President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi praised Trump's victory and backed a Russian draft resolution that stopped short of calling for a halt to the devastating bombing of Aleppo, a move that caused Saudi Arabia to suspend its oil aid to Egypt.
There is no doubt that tensions between Qatar and Egypt still simmer as recently exemplified by Egypt blaming Qatar for a church bombing carried out by the Islamic State. Yet given the changing external dynamics, Qatar's business moves could be an indication of indirectly inserting itself into an emerging Russian-US-Egypt nexus.
With the US possibly extricating itself from the Middle East and Russia seemingly taking its place, an ally in Qatar would prove an asset, if not a valuable commodity going forward.
Energy interestsDespite their political differences, both Russia and Qatar remain tied together as two of the world's leading energy producers and exporters, and as leading members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). Both also have an interest in continuing to supply natural gas to the European market which has historically resulted in competition.
It's not inconceivable that the country would cede its elaborate pipeline machinations for a seat at the table on Syria's future
Although Russia will remain a key player in Europe, given the extensive pipeline network that connects it to Ukraine, Europe will, over time, further diversify its LNG imports through Norway, the US and Qatar. Russia is aware of this eventuality and is diversifying its own markets by looking towards Asia most recently punctuated by a $400bn gas pipeline deal with China in 2014.
Qatar is unlikely to give up on penetrating the European market where it is looking to take a more aggressive stance, but it's not inconceivable that the country would cede its elaborate pipeline machinations for a seat at the table on Syria's future.
Business and politics may not always necessarily mix and, more often than not, occupy their own domains. In the case of Qatar and Russia, however, the stakes in Syria may be high enough to merit such consideration.
- Aurangzeb Qureshiis a political analyst who writes on energy geopolitics and social issues in the Middle East. He blogs at GeoPipelitics.com and his analysis and commentary have appeared in outlets such as Al Jazeera English, Al Arabiya English, Foreign Policy Journal and Business Insider, among others. He can be reached on Twitter @aqureshi80
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.
Photo: A gas flame is seen behind a barbed wire at a Rosneft production plant in Prirazlomnoye, western Siberia (AFP)
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George Clooney to make movie about Syria's White Helmets | Film | The Guardian
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 23:10
Humanitarian '... George Clooney and his wife Amal Clooney. Photograph: Giorgio Onorati/EPA
George Clooney is to make a fictional film about the White Helmets '' the Syria Civil Defence whose approximate 3,000 volunteers act as first responders in the war-torn country.
Clooney is said to be using as his source Netflix's documentary short The White Helmets, which was released in September and is on this year's Oscar shortlist.
Clooney and producing partner Grant Heslov are seeking a writer through their Smokehouse Pictures production company. CAA is representing the rights to the documentary.
The White Helmets, directed by Orlando von Einsiedel and produced by Joanna Natasegara, is on the documentary shorts Oscar shortlist.
The White Helmets, whose work has come to wider attention during the fallout from the civil war that began in 2011, is credited with saving around 60,000 people. The group has lost around 150 of their own members.
''In the White Helmets, we have a motto: to save one life is to save humanity,'' says one volunteer in the documentary.
Last year, Clooney told the BBC that he wanted to try and do more to help the people of Syria, but without moving formally into politics. In 2005, the actor won an Oscar for his role as a CIA operative in Syriana, which was set in an unnamed state in the Persian Gulf.
He and producing partner Heslov won the best picture Oscar for Argo in 2012.
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Forty-one people die in Irkutsk after drinking lotion containing alcohol
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 22:46
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The number of people who have died of poisoning after consuming a bath lotion called Boyaryshnik (Hawthorn) containing alcohol in East Siberia's Irkutsk has exceeded 40, Stanislav Zubovsky, prosecutor of the city's Leninsky district, told TASS on Dec. 19.
"A total of 57 people have been affected, 41 of them have died," he said.
Other patients remaining in hospitals are in a critical condition, the prosecutor added.
Late on Dec. 18, Russia's Investigative Committee and the regional Interior Ministry reported about 18 cases of alcohol poisoning, including eight deaths, in Irkutsk, one of the largest cities in Siberia.
Investigators say all the victims are the residents of one neighborhood Novo-Lenino. A criminal case has been opened into the sale of goods failing to meet safety requirements and resulting in the death of two or more people.
Source: TASS
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Trump Transition
Holy shit, the music lineup for Donald Trump's inauguration ball is hot garbage | Consequence of Sound
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 14:05
Donald Trump is having a hard enough time finding someone to perform at his inauguration. It appears the roster of acts willing to play an inauguration ball is equally bare.
Going down Thursday, January 19th at the Hyatt Regency, the All American Ball ''is a toast to American culture, featuring a stellar list of special guests, plus multiple areas of entertainment and attractions, which represent the diversity, energy and promise of America.''
Just who makes up this ''stellar list''? Well, they've got Nashville singer-songwriter Beau Davidson, who will be performing music from his latest album, The American Gentleman; The Reagan Years, ''one of the HOTTEST '80s cover bands'' who only perform music released during Ronald Regan's presidency; and a wedding band called The Mixx; plus DJ sets by DJ Romin, DJ Young Rye, DJ Flow, and '-- my personal fav '-- DJ Freedom. The Star Spangled Singers will also take the stage to serenade party-goers with ''uplifting, patriotic songs and instrumentals.
Tickets to the star-studded affair are priced at $350.00. For that amount of money, you could go to Coachella instead, but then again, does Coachella have a Paparazzi Photo Shoot Zone? Because the fucking All American Ball does.
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Andrea Bocelli Fans Beg Him Not to Sing 'For Fascist Trump'
Sun, 18 Dec 2016 22:29
Bob Dylan void at Nobel ceremony to be filled by Patti Smith, proxy
(C) Provided by TheWrap Andrea Bocelli Fans Beg Him Not to Sing 'For Fascist Trump'When word spread that Andrea Bocelli had been approached to sing at Donald Trump's inauguration, opera fans hit social media and have literally begged the tenor to consider otherwise.
Bocelli fans were serious about the issue, threatening to #BoycottBocelli if he chooses to perform at the Jan. 20 celebration.
"Dumped @AndreaBocelli CD's in trash, won't be buying tickets to Feb. Orlando concert after all. DONE with him. Will #boycottBocelli forever," @relevanne tweeted. And she's not the only one vowing to turn against Bocelli.
Facebook came down even harder on the world-renowned recording artist. Here are just a few of the hundreds of messages left for the Italian classical singer:
Dear Andrea Bocelli, you bring so much joy and beauty to the world that I was shocked to hear you might perform at Trumps inauguration!! I BEG OF YOU TO RECONSIDER! He is the opposite of everything you represent and this connection will forever be a stain in your image. I for one, will never look at you the same way again. Please, don't do it! -- Isa Kendall
Mr Bocelli, please do not sing for Donald Trump. He stands for racism, misogyny, and hatred of others. Music is beautiful, sacred. Don't let this man buy you and desecrate art, hope, and beauty. -- Alodiah Lunar
Dear Andrea: Music IS a beautiful thing. I believe you have been asked to sing for Donald Trump a man who has openly mocked disabled people. You are a disabled person. It is an ugly man who would openly mock disability. Why would you want to do something beautiful for someone who shows the world that ugliness is O.K.? -- Tom Armstrong
It doesn't look as if finding performers for the inaugural parade is any easier. According to NBC, "At least one D.C. public school marching band has participated in the past five inaugural parades, but none applied for consideration this year."
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Ottomania
Turkse overheid zet streep door kerstactiviteiten op middelbare school | NU - Het laatste nieuws het eerst op NU.nl
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 17:12
De Turkse autoriteiten hebben de kerstviering op een Duitse middelbare school in Istanbul verboden. Het is voor het eerst dat dit gebeurt."De Turkse schoolleiding heeft meegedeeld dat er in de lessen voortaan niet meer mag worden verteld over en gewerkt worden aan kerstgebruiken en het christelijke feest en dat er ook niet meer over gezongen mag worden", staat in een e-mail, die de Duitse afdeling van het Istanbul Lisesi heeft ontvangen.
Ook de deelname van het schoolkoor aan het traditionele kerstconcert bij het Duitse consulaat afgelopen dinsdag werd door de Turkse leiding kort onderbroken.
EliteschoolDe 35 Duitse leerkrachten op het Istanbul Lisesi zijn en worden betaald door de Bondsrepubliek. De traditionele eliteschool wordt uitsluitend door Turkse leerlingen bezocht en is een erkende Duitse school in het buitenland.
De school is voortgekomen uit een cultureel akkoord tussen Duitsland en Turkije, waarbij tachtig Duitse leraren zijn gedetacheerd op een aantal scholen in Turkije. Het Duitse personeel heeft zijn eigen afdelingshoofd, maar de Turkse schoolleiding heeft het laatste woord.
Door: ANP
Russian Ambassador to Turkey Fatally Shot in Ankara Terrorist Attack, Russia Says - The New York Times
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 18:20
PhotoA man, right, reported by The Associated Press to be the gunman, after the shooting of the Russian ambassador, on the floor, on Monday at a gallery in Ankara, the capital of Turkey.Credit Yavuz Alatan/Agence France-Presse '-- Getty ImagesISTANBUL '-- A lone gunman shot Russia's ambassador to Turkey and at least three others Monday evening at an art center in Ankara, the Turkish capital. Russia's Foreign Ministry said the envoy had died in a terrorist attack.
PhotoAndrey Karlov, the Russian ambassador to Turkey, speaking at the gallery in Ankara on Monday, moments before he was shot.Credit Burhan Ozbilici/Associated PressThe envoy, Andrey G. Karlov, was shot from behind while speaking at an exhibition, according to multiple accounts including one from The Associated Press, which cited one of its photographers, who was at the scene, the Contemporary Arts Center in the Cankaya area of Ankara.
Others said the ambassador immediately fell to the floor and that the gunman was killed after a shootout with Turkish Special Forces police.
PhotoPeople huddle during the shooting in the art gallery.Credit Burhan Ozbilici/Associated PressRussia's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, told the Rossiya 24 news channel that Mr. Karlov had died of his wounds in what she described as a terrorist attack.
CNN Turk published images showing several people lying on the floor of the gallery. The Turkish television news station NTV reported that at least three other people had been wounded.
PhotoThe gunman gestures after shooting the Russian ambassador.Credit Burhan Ozbilici/Associated PressRussia's Tass news agency initially quoted witnesses of the attack as saying that there had been an ''assassination attempt'' against Mr. Karlov, and that he had been shot from behind while finishing his opening remarks at the opening of exhibition called ''Russia through Turks' eyes.''
The attack came amid protests in Turkey over Russia's role in the Syria war. The Russian and Turkish governments, while backing different sides in the conflict, have been collaborating in efforts to evacuate civilians from the ravaged city of Aleppo.
Mr. Karlov, who started his career as a diplomat in 1976, worked extensively in North Korea over two decades, before moving to the region in 2007, according to a biography on the Russian Embassy's website. He became ambassador in July 2013.
Correction: December 19, 2016An earlier version of this article misidentified the government that has collaborated with Russia even though it backs a different side in the Syrian conflict. It is Turkey, not Syria.
Tim Arango reported from Istanbul, and Rick Gladstone from New York. Ivan Nechepurenko contributed reporting from Moscow, and Sewell Chan from London.
Continue reading the main story
Obama Hits The Golf Course After Learning About Turkey, Berlin Attacks
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 23:40
In the latest example of poor decision-making by the outgoing president, not to mention some truly troubling political optics, with the world on fire following three separate acts of apparent terrorism around the globe, including Ankara, Zurich and Berlin, White House pool reports showed that President Barack Obama was off to enjoy a game of golf shortly after learning of today's tragic events.
As Mediaite reports, the first email from the White House pool shows that Obama directed his staff to keep him updated on the situation in Turkey regarding the assassination of the Russian Ambassador.
Subject: Press Pool Report 4
From the White House, per Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz:
''This morning the President was briefed by his National Security Team on the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey in Ankara today. The President directed his team to provide updates as warranted.''
Meanwhile, at 10:10 a.m. in Kailua, the press van prepares to depart the rental house where we've been holding.
In a following email, we are informed that Obama is leaving the rental home to go play golf.
Subject: Pool report 5
The President and his motorcade departed the Kailua neighborhood where the First Family rents a vacation home at 10:21 a.m. Spectators on the street threw shakas and recorded photos or video on cell phones as the motorcade made the 10-minute drive to Mid-Pacific Country Club, where the President will be golfing under cloudy skies.
And here is AP's description of today's events in Hawaii:
During his vacation in Hawaii, President Barack Obama has been briefed by his national security team on the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Turkey.
The president on Monday directed his team to give him updates as warranted.
After a morning workout, Obama headed to Lanikai, where he will play golf at Mid Pacific Country Club.
Obama has played golf at the club during his annual vacations to the islands. Last year, he sunk an impressive 40-foot putt on the 18th green that drew cheers from those watching from the road outside the course.
The president is teeing off with friends Bobby Titcomb, Greg Orme and Joe Paulsen.
Despite his relaxing schedule, Obama did manage to squeeze in a record number of commutations, pardons, and sentence reductions. The Press Secretary's office did release a statement on the assassination at least.
Statement by NSC Spokesperson Ned Price on the Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov
The United States strongly condemns the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, in Ankara today, which reportedly also left others wounded. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of Ambassador Karlov and the other victims, and we offer our condolences to the Russian people and Government. This heinous attack on a member of the diplomatic corps is unacceptable, and we stand united with Russia and Turkey in our determination to confront terrorism in all of its forms.
With the global news dominated by both the assassination in Turkey, which will have significant implications on foreign policy and relations, and multiple deaths in Berlin via a truck driving through a market in an incident reminiscent of the Nice terror attack, Obama felt it was prudent to enjoy himself for the next few hours.
Fake News
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German Minister Seeks Jail Time, Fines In Criminal Crackdown Against Facebook ''Fake News''
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 06:09
ZeroHedge.com
With Facebook having announced last week the launch of measure to flag and eliminate fake news from appearing on its website, Germany does not think the process is fast enough, and according to Germany's Justice Minister Heiko Maas, German judges and state prosecutors need to crack down straight away on fake news disseminated through social media platforms such as Facebook. Interviewed by Bild am Sontag, Maas, a Social Democrat in conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition, has repeatedly warned the U.S. technology company to respect laws against defamation in Germany that are more rigid than in the United States and added that the newspaper the principle of free speech does not protect against slander.
Germany's Justice Minister Heiko Maas
''Defamation and malicious gossip are not covered under freedom of speech,'' Maas said cited by Reuters, just days after other top government officials called for legislation to tackle ''hate speech'' and fake news on Facebook and other social media platforms. He added that the government is keeping close tabs on how efficiently Facebook removes illegal content. If removal rates fail to grow, ''urgent legal consequences'' could follow.
Urging a criminal crackdown, the Justice Minister said ''authorities must prosecute [hate speech], even on the internet,'' noting that offenders could face up to five years in jail. ''Anyone who tries to manipulate the political discussion with lies needs to be aware (of the consequences).''
''We expect significant improvements in Facebook's removal practice. Thestandard for removals must be German law,'' Maas told SueddeutscheZeitung on Friday.
Under German law, which states that spreading information that encourages violence against people due to their ethnic or religious background, hate speech '' including online comments '' is punishable by up to three years in jail. Yet while more than 218,000 cases involving insults were filed with prosecutors in 2015 under Germany's strict libel and slander laws, few internet cases were prosecuted.
Maas said he wants to change that: ''We need to fully utilize all the legal authority at our disposal,'' he said.
Earlier in the week, the parliamentary chairman of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD), Thomas Oppermann, asserted that social media giants like Facebook should be required to remove fake news and illegal posts within 24 hours or face fines up to '‚¬500,000 ($522,000). ''Facebook has not used the opportunity to effectively regulate the issue of complaint management itself,'' Oppermann said in an interview with Der Spiegel on Friday. Therefore, ''market dominating platforms like Facebook will be legally required to build a legal protection office in Germany, available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,'' he added.
As reported previously, Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) party has acknowledged in a statement that, while social media platforms offer ''completely new possibilities of political communication,'' they also harbor some dangers. The CDU claimed on Friday that Facebook and other social media sites have increasingly become platforms for spreading 'fake news' and hate messages, citing manipulation of political discussions on the web as one of the greatest dangers. ''Companies are responsible for what happens on their platforms. That is why they have to react,'' Volker Kauder, a senior CDU member, noted.
Proposed legislation would oblige social media platforms to set up offices to respond to complaints from people affected by hateful messages. ''High penalties'' would await companies that fail to meet their responsibilities, he warned. On Thursday, Facebook said in a statement that, although it believes in ''giving people a voice,'' it is currently working on measures to prevent fake news from spreading on the platform, including ''several ways to make it easier to report a hoax if you see one on Facebook.''
Escalating the crackdown against the social network, last week the International Auschwitz Committee accused Facebook of ''poisoning the societal climate'' in Germany and overseas, warning that the social media giant's soft treatment and arrogance towards online hate speech is ''increasingly intolerable and dangerous.'' Facebook ''continues to massively participate in the poisoning of the social climate, not only in Germany,'' said Christoph Heubner, executive vice president of the International Auschwitz Committee (IAC), as quoted by German news agencies.''
''Obviously, the responsible persons at Facebook neither take the [German] justice minister nor the German legislator seriously,'' he added.
* * *
Ultimately, the reason behind the German urgency to crack down on Facebook likely stems from the German politicians' fear that hate speech and 'fake news' could influence public opinion ahead of the federal elections next year, with far-right parties gaining momentum on growing discontent with Angela Merkel's open-door refugee policy.
Fears of ''fake news'' ahead of the election have increased after the head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, reported a rise in Russian propaganda and disinformation campaigns aimed at destabilizing German society. As reported last week, ''German Politicians Are Worried About ''Striking Increase'' In Russian Propaganda And Fake News,'' and now that Russians have become the global scapegoat (and even Britain has joined in) for any potential political upheavals, it is reasonable that Germany will use US concerns about Russian interference to starwman potential Russian interference ahead of the 2017 elections, especially if the result is an ''unexpected'' one.
''Facebook is earning an awful lot of money with fake news,'' Maas told Bild am Sonntag. ''A company that earns billions from the internet also has a social responsibility. Prosecutable defamation must be deleted immediately, once reported. It needs to be made easier for users to report fake news.''
Which, ''under pressure'' from politicians, is precisely what Facebook has started, in a move that while some applaud, others see a major threat to freedom of speech around the globe as Facebook, and its ''fact checkers'', are gradually becoming the de facto arbiters of what is and isn't news in a process that, as presented, provides no checks and balances to ''check the fact checkers.''
___http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-18/german-minister-seeks-jail-time-fines-criminal-crackdown-against-facebook-fake-news
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Exclusive: Families of Orlando nightclub shooting victims sue Facebook, Twitter and Google | Fox News
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:20
Families of the victims of the Orlando gay nightclub shooting on Monday filed a federal civil suit against Twitter, Facebook and Google for allegedly providing ''material support'' to the Islamic State and helping to radicalize shooter Omar Mateen.
In a complaint filed in the Eastern District of Michigan, the families of Tevin Crosby, Javier Jorge-Reyes and Juan Ramon Guerrero argue that the three web platforms "provided the terrorist group ISIS with accounts they use to spread extremist propaganda, raise funds, and attract new recruits."
"Without Defendants Twitter, Facebook, and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible," the lawsuit states.
Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard who pledged allegiance to ISIS, opened fire inside Orlando's Pulse nightclub back in June; killing 49 people and wounding 53 others before being killed by a SWAT team to end the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
"Life has not been easy for me or my whole family," Juan Guerrero, the father of one of the victims, told FoxNews.com. "It is something I remember and have to live with every day."
ISIS quickly claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news agency, although further investigation found that Mateen was not a member of the terror group but had been inspired by them in part through what he saw on the Internet.
''Mateen was radicalized by ISIS using the defendants tools for that express purpose,'' Keith Altman, the lawyer representing the three families, told FoxNews.com.
ISIS maintains an active presence on both Facebook and Twitter and also relies heavily on the Google-owned YouTube to post propaganda messages and videos of executions.
At the heart of the lawsuit is the interpretation of a provision tucked deep inside the Communications Decency Act (CDA) of 1996 called Section 230.
The language of Section 230 states that ''No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." In layman's terms, this basically means that sites like Facebook or YouTube are not liable for what their users post on their sites.
''Section 230 is a free pass to online service providers as long as they act only as a pass-through,'' Mark Bartholomew, a professor at the University Of Buffalo School Of Law, told FoxNews.com. ''If you set up a place for people to talk, but don't communicate on it yourself, then you are basically immune from prosecution.''
Section 230 of the CDA has protected social media sites in the past, but some lawyers and academics have begun to argue sites like Facebook may be violating the provision with their heavily-guarded algorithms. Despite these algorithms having come under fire before '' from how Facebook curated its Trending Topics to accusations that YouTube was censoring people '' this lawsuit alleges something much more nefarious behind one of the tech world's most secretive processes.
This guy was radicalized by looking at Google, Facebook and Twitter.
- Keith Altman, the lawyer representing the victims' families, said of Mateen
''The defendants create unique content by matching ISIS postings with advertisements based upon information known about the viewer,'' Altman said. ''Furthermore, the defendants finance ISIS's activities by sharing advertising revenue.''
Representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google did not immediately reply to FoxNews.com's request for comment.
While these social platforms have cracked down and deactivated accounts affiliated with terrorist groups in the past, Altman argued that another account will almost immediately pop up and that companies think they're not responsible because they are not ones producing the content.
"I wish we could get some regulations put in place," Guerrero said. "They have to do something to prevent these people from doing things like this."
Experts on Internet law say that while in the past courts have been reluctant to hold these platforms responsible for content posted on their sites, if the suit filed by the Pulse victims' families is successful, it could drastically reshape the world of social media.
''It would be a big change because it would be the first crack at making these companies liable for what shows up on our feeds,'' Bartholomew said. ''It'll be interesting to see how big that crack is, because right now it's a door without many cracks.''
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Shut Up Slave!
First Amendment Defense Act Would Be 'Devastating' for LGBTQ Americans - NBC News
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:51
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump arrives to speak during a USA Thank You Tour event at Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, U.S., December 15, 2016. Lucas Jackson / Reuters
FADA would prohibit the federal government from taking "discriminatory action" against any business or person that discriminates against LGBTQ people. The act distinctly aims to protect the right of all entities to refuse service to LGBTQ people based on two sets of beliefs: "(1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage."
Ironically, the
language of the bill positions the right to discriminate against one class of Americans as a "first amendment" right, and bans the government from taking any form of action to curb such discrimination'--including withholding federal funds from institutions that discriminate. FADA allows individuals and businesses to sue the federal government for interfering in their right to discriminate against LGBTQ people and would mandate the Attorney General defend the businesses.On December 9, Sen. Lee's spokesperson, Conn Carroll, told
Buzzfeed the election of Trump had cleared a path for the passage of FADA."Hopefully November's results will give us the momentum we need to get this done next year," Carroll said. "We do plan to reintroduce FADA next Congress and we welcome Trump's positive words about the bill."
"During oral arguments in Obergfell, President Obama's solicitor general admitted that if a right to same-sex marriage were created, religious institutions, including many Catholic schools, could have their tax exempt status revoked by the IRS," Carroll told NBC Out on Wednesday. "The First Amendment Defense Act was created to make sure that does not happen."
But while Carroll claims "FADA in no way undermines federal or state civil rights laws," it would take away the government's recourse in terms of punishing businesses, institutions or individuals who break civil rights law by discriminating against LGBTQ people.
"If Congress were to pass the federal FADA as currently written, and the next president were to sign it into law, I'm confident heads would spin at how fast the constitutional challenges would fly into court."Jennifer Pizer, Law and Policy Director at Lambda Legal, told NBC Out FADA "invites widespread, devastating discrimination against LGBT people" and is a deeply unconstitutional bill.
"This proposed new law violates both Equal Protection and the Establishment Clause by elevating one set of religious beliefs above all others," Pizer said, "And by targeting LGBT Americans as a group, contrary to settled constitutional law."
Pizer warned that the bill's language also left room for individuals and businesses to discriminate against unwed heterosexual couples and single mothers, because of the clause stating that "sexual relations are properly reserved" to marriage between a man and a woman.
"There cannot be even one iota of doubt that this bill endorses one set of religious beliefs above others, and targets people in same-sex relationships, married or not, as well as unmarried heterosexual couples who live together," Pizer said. "It's an unconstitutional effort to turn the clock back to a time when unmarried mothers had to hide in shame, and LGBT people had to hide, period."
RELATED:
Opinion: First Amendment Defense Act Is Bad for BusinessFADA was first filed in the House and Senate in 2015, but was met with protests from Democrats and resulted in just one House hearing amid concerns that Obama would veto the bill. It is currently co-sponsored by 171 House Republicans and just one Democrat (Daniel Lipinski of Illinois.)
State-level legislation similar to FADA has failed in recent years, usually resulting from lawsuits and nationwide boycotts. When Vice President-elect Mike Pence passed a "religious freedom" bill as governor of Indiana in March 2015, it was met with
protests, financial losses from businesses that pulled operations from the state. It ultimately required an amendment issued in April to protect LGBTQ people from the bill's discrimination.Mississippi's
HB 1523 is nearly identical to FADA. The state law, passed in 2016 but quickly blocked by a judge, allows people and businesses in the state to refuse service to LGBTQ people based on three sets of religious beliefs: "Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman; sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual's immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth."A lawsuit brought by Mississippi religious leaders alleges the state law actually violates religious freedom by determining that religious belief necessitates anti-LGBTQ discrimination. The group of ordained ministers suing the state said in the lawsuit,
Barber v. Bryant, that Mississippi violates its right to freedom of religion "because persons who hold contrary religious beliefs are unprotected'--the State has put its thumb on the scale to favor some religious beliefs over others."Barber v. Bryant is currently at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, after a federal trial court ruled HB 1523 violates the federal Equal Protection and Establishment Clauses. Pizer said the case stands as an example of the legal explosion that would occur in reaction to FADA.
"If Congress were to pass the federal FADA as currently written, and the next president were to sign it into law, I'm confident heads would spin at how fast the constitutional challenges would fly into court," Pizer said, adding "we're likely to have a great many allies because these attempts to misuse religion for discrimination offend enormous numbers of Americans who cherish both religious liberty and equality for all."
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H.R.2802 - 114th Congress (2015-2016): First Amendment Defense Act | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:51
Tracker:This bill has the status Introduced
Here are the steps for Status of Legislation:
IntroducedArray ( [actionDate] => 2015-06-17 [displayText] => Introduced in House [externalActionCode] => 1000 [description] => Introduced )
Passed HousePassed SenateTo PresidentBecame LawShown Here:Introduced in House (06/17/2015)First Amendment Defense Act
Prohibits the federal government from taking discriminatory action against a person on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that: (1) marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or (2) sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.
Defines "discriminatory action" as any federal government action to discriminate against a person with such beliefs or convictions, including a federal government action to:
alter the federal tax treatment of, cause any tax, penalty, or payment to be assessed against, or deny, delay, or revoke certain tax exemptions of any such person;disallow a deduction of any charitable contribution made to or by such person;withhold, reduce, exclude, terminate, or otherwise deny any federal grant, contract, subcontract, cooperative agreement, loan, license, certification, accreditation, employment, or similar position or status from or to such person; orwithhold, reduce, exclude, terminate, or otherwise deny any benefit under a federal benefit program.Requires the federal government to consider to be accredited, licensed, or certified for purposes of federal law any person who would be accredited, licensed, or certified for such purposes but for a determination that the person believes or acts in accordance with such a religious belief or moral conviction.
Permits a person to assert an actual or threatened violation of this Act as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding and to obtain compensatory damages or other appropriate relief against the federal government.
Authorizes the Attorney General to bring an action to enforce this Act against the Government Accountability Office or an establishment in the executive branch, other than the U.S. Postal Service or the Postal Regulatory Commission, that is not an executive department, military department, or government corporation.
Defines "person" as any person regardless of religious affiliation, including corporations and other entities regardless of for-profit or nonprofit status.
Caliphate!
Berlin Truck Terror Suspect and the Curious Matter of ID Papers Left Behind - WhoWhatWhy
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 14:03
Today, WhoWhatWhy has seen heavy traffic coming from Google searches that point to a story we ran almost two years ago. Why the sudden interest? It took us only a moment to discover the connection: We had written about the odd phenomenon of terrorists repeatedly leaving ID papers behind at the scene. And now, with the Berlin truck attack, we see yet another such example.
We also see that, in a pattern we have previouslyreported on with other terror incidents, the suspect was already known to authorities '-- had even been in custody, but was released.
From CNN:
The Berlin truck attack suspect had been arrested in August with forged documents on his way to Italy but was released by a judge, a German security official tells CNN.
The suspect's identity papers were found inside the truck used in Monday's attack on a Christmas market, which left 12 people dead, German security officials said.
The suspect was known to German security services as someone in contact with radical Islamist groups, and had been assessed as posing a risk, Interior Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Ralf Jaeger told reporters.
The suspect was believed to have entered Germany in July 2015, Jaeger said. His asylum request was refused in June, and Tunisian authorities were informed when the deportation process started.
What does it all mean? That's for you to decide. You can start by reading the original article, below.
Original story:One intriguing'--if barely discussed'--aspect of the Paris massacre was the quick progress authorities made in their investigation.
According to CNN, this was thanks to a staggering error'--by one of the two now-dead alleged perpetrators. The man, Said Kouachi, reportedly left his identification card in the abandoned getaway vehicle. ''It was their only mistake,'' Dominique Rizet, police and justice consultant for CNN-affiliate BFMTV, opined.
Nonetheless, it was a most curious mistake.
After all, this is the same man who went to such trouble to seemingly hide his identity by wearing a mask.
***
Intriguingly, such apparent gaffes have marked other watershed violence. Consider these examples, and draw your own conclusion:
The Bundle of James Earl Ray: The accused killer of Martin Luther King escaped from a prison shortly before the attack, and left several items on the sidewalk near the assassination site'--in a bundle that included his rifle, binoculars, clothing, his prison radio, and a newspaper clipping revealing where King would be staying.
The Wallet of Lee Harvey Oswald: The alleged assassin of John F. Kennedy and killer of Officer J.D.Tippit purportedly dropped his wallet, which was found at the scene of Tippit's murder. To some, this appeared a little too neat. In any case, original law enforcement reports with this scenario were almost immediately replaced by another version: that the police took the wallet from him after he was arrested. (See ''Assignment: Oswald'' by former FBI agent James P. Hosty.)
The Visa of Satam al-Suqami: This identify document of one of the alleged 9/11 hijackers somehow survived unscathed a few blocks from the twin towers, though the plane itself was virtually obliterated.
The Passports belonging to Ziad Jarrah andSaeed al-Ghamdi: The passports of two alleged hijackers of United Airlines Flight 93 supposedly survived the fiery crash in Pennsylvania that left the aircraft itself charred and widely scattered'--with one passport entirely intact.
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EuroLand
Spain: 30,000 March in Anti-Austerity Labor Protest in Madrid
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 06:04
The protesters demand an increase in salaries and pensions and a rollback of austerity measures that have worsened poverty and inequality.
After years of depreciatory right-wing austerity, thousands of workers in Madrid took to the streets Sunday to protest the Spanish government's labor policies.
RELATED: Spain Rallies Against Conservative Government'‹
Nearly 30,000 people showed up to the marches organized by two of the country's biggest labor unions, the General Union of Workers or UGT and the Workers' Commissions or CCOO.
Under the banner of "People and their rights first,'' Sunday's march comes in the wake of nearly 60 smaller protests held by unions recently across the country.
"We won't allow the government to maintain the cuts of recent years," declared UGT leader Jose Maria Alvarez. ''These demonstrations will continue if necessary. It only depends on the government's ability not only to discuss, but also to negotiate and make agreements.''
Eva Garcia, a student protester, added,''We are in an unsustainable situation. Many people and students can't live like this anymore and that is why we are here protesting. We have to keep taking to the streets.''
"For people and their rights. More than 30,000 demonstrators in Madrid."
The protesters are demanding an increase in salaries and pensions and a rollback of the government's austerity measures that have contributed to poverty and inequality in the country.
The march has been backed by the left-wing Podemos party, the Socialist Workers' Party, also known as PSOE, as well as the United Left.
Spanish Labor Minister Fatima Banez came out to say that unions should negotiate with the government instead of marching.
"If the unions want a change, then they should agree to one with employers and we will consider it," Banez told Cope radio.
NA-Tech News
Babies made from three people approved in UK
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 23:21
SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
By James GallagherBBC
Babies made from two women and one man have been approved by the UK's fertility regulator.
The historic and controversial move is to prevent children being born with deadly genetic diseases.
Doctors in Newcastle '' who developed the advanced form of IVF '' are expected to be the first to offer the procedure and have already appealed for donor eggs.
The first such child could be born, at the earliest, by the end of 2017.
Some families have lost multiple children to incurable mitochondrial diseases, which can leave people with insufficient energy to keep their heart beating.
The diseases are passed down from only the mother so a technique using a donor egg as well as the mother's egg and father's sperm has been developed.
The resulting child has a tiny amount of their DNA from the donor, but the procedure is legal and reviews say it is ethical and scientifically ready.
'Historic'''It is a decision of historic importance,'' said Sally Cheshire, chairwoman of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).
''This is about cautious go ahead, not gung-ho go ahead, and there is a long way to go.
''I'm sure patients will be really pleased by what we've decided today.''
But some scientists have questioned the ethics of the technique, saying it could open the door to genetically-modified 'designer' babies.
The HFEA must approve every clinic and every patient before the procedure can take place.
Three-person babies have been allowed only in cases where the risk of a child developing mitochondrial disease is very high.
Clinics can now apply to the HFEA for a licence to conduct three-person IVF.
Donors neededThe team at Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University is expected to be the first to be granted a licence.
It aims to help 25 couples every year.
Prof Mary Herbert, from the Newcastle Fertility Centre, said: ''It is enormously gratifying that our many years of research in this area can finally be applied to help families affected by these devastating diseases.
''Now that that we are moving forward towards clinical treatments, we will also need donors to donate eggs for use in treatment to prevent affected women transmitting disease to their children.''
Prof Sir Doug Turnbull, the director of the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research at Newcastle University, said: ''We are delighted by today's decision.
''We will also provide long-term follow up of any children born.''
NHS England has agreed to fund the treatment costs of the first trial of three-person IVF for those women who meet the HFEA criteria, as long as they agree to long-term follow up of their children after they are born.
How does it work?Mitochondrial disease is caused by defective mitochondria '' the tiny structures in nearly every cell that convert food into useable energy.
One in 4,300 children are born with such severe symptoms they develop muscle weakness, blindness, deafness, seizures, learning disabilities, diabetes, heart and liver failure. It is often fatal.
The aim of the procedure is to get the healthy mitochondria from the donor.
But mitochondria have their own DNA, which is why resulting children have DNA from three people.
However, everything that defines physical and personality traits still comes from parents.
METHOD ONE: EMBRYO REPAIR '' 1) Two eggs are fertilised with sperm, creating an embryo from the intended parents and another from the donors 2) The pronuclei, which contain genetic information, are removed from both embryos but only the parents' are kept 3) A healthy embryo is created by adding the parents' pronuclei to the donor embryo, which is finally implanted into the womb* * *
METHOD TWO: 1) Eggs from a mother with damaged mitochondria and a donor with healthy mitochondria are collected 2) The majority of the genetic material is removed from both eggs 3) The mother's genetic material is inserted into the donor egg, which can be fertilised by sperm._Robert Meadowcroft, from the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: ''This historic decision will open the door to the first licensed treatments being offered.
''We know of many women who have faced heartache and tragedy and the sorrow of stillbirths, while trying to start their own family, and this decision gives them new hope and choice for the first time.''
Prof Frances Flinter, professor in clinical genetics at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, called the decision ''wonderful news''.
She added: ''It is infinitely preferable that the early clinical trials should be done in a tightly regulated system in the UK, with long term follow-up of any children born, rather than in countries where there is no regulation or oversight.''
Prof Sir Robert Lechler, president of the Academy of Medical Science, said that the decision means ''groundbreaking research can now be translated from theory into practice and transform lives in the clinic''.
However, the decision is not universally welcome.
Dr David King, from the campaign group Human Genetics Alert, said: ''This decision opens the door to the world of genetically-modified designer babies.
''Already, bioethicists have started to argue that allowing mitochondrial replacement means that there is no logical basis for resisting GM babies, which is exactly how slippery slopes work.''
However, the UK will not be the first country in the world to have children born through the three-person technique.
A Jordanian couple and doctors in New York performed the procedure in Mexico and the resulting baby is understood to be healthy.
___http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38328097
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Ovumphobia
Foodservice Put an egg on it?! - American Egg Board
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 05:14
That's the reaction I normally get when I mention the idea of eggs on oatmeal. Confused, incredulous, grimacing '' I've seen it all. One friend even said, Okay, I get it, eggs are great. But that's just wrong.
Well I disagree and so do a lot of others who love to explore foods. There even seems to be a movement afoot surrounding the idea and I feel downright vindicated in my discovery of savory oatmeal, or svoats, as a Huffington Post article called them. There are blogs aplenty espousing them and Martha Stewart has recipes for them, as do Real Simple, FoodNetwork and Food52 to name only a few.
I encountered it on a menu a few years ago at a diner on a business trip and have been enjoying my own creations ever since. I admit, I had mixed feelings about the one I ordered at the diner. But the warm oatmeal mixed with herbs, shredded cheese, and something crunchy (nuts? seeds?) and topped with a poached egg was a festival for the taste buds.
You likely run with the masses, assuming oatmeal should be sweet, topped with fruit, brown sugar, cream and/or some kind of syrup. The beauty is that its neutral flavor makes a terrific base for many creative flavor combinations.
Consider the following ideas:
Crumbled crispy bacon, soft eggs, maple syrup '' maybe some butter?Prosciutto, Cheddar, onion and poached eggAvocado, salsa and soft egg '' like a deconstructed omeletKimchi, nuts and fried eggScallions, Italian herbs, parmesan and poached eggOr how about mixing in some Sriracha, barbecued pork, garlic, salami or hollandaise sauce? The opportunities are endless and so is the potential for a great and easy-to-customize all-day menu item.
Civil War
Poll: Dems more likely to unfriend people due to political posts | TheHill
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 23:38
Democratic voters are almost three times as likely to have "blocked, unfriended, or stopped following someone on social media" after Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGingrich suggests Trump pardon advisers who break the lawTrump loses 2 electoral votes because of 'faithless' electorsTrump condemns assassination of Russia's ambassadorMORE's victory, according to a study released Monday.
The nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI ) found 24 percent of Democrats distanced themselves from people on social media because of a political postings. Nine percent of both Republicans and independents reported doing the same to those in social media circles.
Additionally, 28 percent of liberals surveyed said they removed someone from their social media circle because of the content that person posted, compared with 8 percent of conservatives.
For moderates, 11 percent said they blocked, unfriended or unfollowed someone due to what that person posted online.
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The survey shows considerable splits along gender lines as well.Women were "twice as likely as men to report removing people from their online social circle because of the political views they expressed online," 18 percent to 9 percent, according to the study conducted by Daniel Cox and Robert P. Jones.
Three in 10 Democratic women said they removed someone from a social media platform due to a political opinion shared. This compares to just 14 percent of Democratic men doing the same.
Republican men and women were about equal on this front, with 10 percent of GOP men saying they blocked, unfollowed, or unfriended someone on social media because of political postings and 8 percent of Republican women following suit.
Meanwhile, 5 percent of those polled said they will alter plans to spend less time with select members of their family because of their political views.
This, too, showed a partisan divide: 10 percent of Democrats said they planned to avoid certain family members, and 2 percent of Republicans said they would do likewise.
The PRRI survey was taken Dec. 7''11 among 1,004 adults with a 3.6 percentage point margin of error.
Out There
Russia's lunar rover will help stake a claim on the Moon
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 23:08
The Russian Academy of Sciences plans to revive the Moon research program begun by the Soviets, and hopes to set up a lunar base. A new lunar rover will be a crucial piece of equipment in this endeavor.
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A staff member in the department of spacecraft assembly at the Lavochkin Research and Production Association, in the Moscow region. Source: Alexey Filippov/RIA Novosti
The new lunar rover to help Russia build a base on the Moon will be developed by the same companies that created one in Soviet times: RAS Space Research Institute; TsNIIMash (the Central Research Institute of Machine Building), which is Roscosmos' lead scientific organization; NPO Lavochkin; and others.
Soviet roots"Scientists want to include lunar rovers in Russia's Federal Space Program for the years, 2026-2035,'' said Alexander Khokhlov, design engineer at the Central Scientific-Research and Experimental-Construction Institute of Robotics and Technical Cybernetics. ``With the right financing our rover will appear on the Moon by 2031.''
B. Borisov/ RIA NovostiLunar rover-1 - landed on the Moon on Nov. 17, 1970 and worked for more than ten Earth months.
RIA NovostiLunar rover-2 - arrived on the Moon on Jan. 15, 1973. Worked for four and a half months, but lunar dust covered the solar panel and the batteries stopped recharging.
Dzis-voynarovskiy/wikipedia.orgLunar rover-3 - was supposed to travel to the Moon in 1977, but the mission was cancelled. It is now in the NPO Lavochkin Museum. Lunar rovers will be a crucial step towards the creation of a lunar base. Development of the new lunar vehicle will cost about $300,000.
1/3
The Soviet Union sent its first lunar rover to the Moon in 1969. In total, there were three missions. These lunar rovers took photographs, studied the Moon's surface and the influence of solar rays, as well as analyzed the chemical composition of rocks, and much more.
The Soviet programs gathered much data about the lunar terrain and made geographical maps. Today, scientists are interested in geological maps because the Moon's mineralogical composition is not uniform, like the Earth's.
"The new lunar rovers will be lighter and have better tech," said Ivan Moiseev, director of the Institute of Space Policy. "They will continue the research started by the Soviets."
Robots lead the way Research of the Moon will begin with the help of automatic pilotless systems (the Luna Glob and Luna Resource projects). In the early 2030s it will be possible to conduct a piloted expedition to the Moon, followed by the establishment of a full-fledged base.
Luna Resource project. / Source: Vitaly V. Kuzmin (BY-SA)
In 2019, the Luna 25 (or the Luna Glob) probe will land on the Boguslavsky crater on the Moon's south polar region, where it will search for water, which is necessary for building the base and producing rocket fuel. According to data obtained by neutron detectors, there are traces of ice on the Moon.
Luna Glob project. / Source: Lavochkin Research and Production Association
"A lunar base is the logical next development after the ISS,'' said Moiseev. ``Russia, Europe, the U.S. and China see the Moon with this in mind. Just as these countries competed in exploring the Arctic, soon they will compete in exploring the Moon.''
The Russian Academy of Sciences plans that robots will lead and oversee operations at the Moon base. "It is very likely that by the end of the century it will be economically advantageous to produce rocket fuel and space materials on the base," said Moiseev, adding that even if water on the Moon is not found, Russia can still build a base. Oxygen, hydrogen and water can be extracted from the soil.
Exploring the MoonIn 2023, Luna 27 (or the Luna Resource-1 landing) is scheduled to land on the Moon's south polar region. It will contain up to 50 kilograms of equipment, such as the European auger for cryogenic drilling, which is necessary to prevent volatile substances from evaporating. If the 2023 mission is unsuccessful, it will be repeated in 2025.
A tug prototype with a vernier engine and a 10-ton cargo container is also expected to be launched to lunar orbit.
Luna 28 (Luna Resource-2, or Luna Grunt) is a lunar probe with a mass of up to three tons that will supply soil to the Moon's south polar regions. The last time scientists did something like this was in the 1970s. This time, however, the soil will be supplied in a vacuum. Then, Russian cosmonauts are expected to make a piloted flight around the Moon.
Read more: The Soviet Moon mission that took the mystery out of Earth's satellite>>>
CLIPS AND DOCS
VIDEO - Abolishing the Electoral College - YouTube
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 15:13
VIDEO - "No One Is Condoning White Supremacy!" "EXCEPT FOR BILL O'REILLY!" - YouTube
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 15:10
VIDEO - Bana Alabed: 7-year-old Aleppo girl meets Erdogan - CNN.com
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 14:16
The meeting at the presidential palace in the capital was captured on camera and appears to show Bana thanking Erdogan in English, saying: "Thank you for supporting the children of Aleppo and help us to get out from war. I love you."
Bana took to Twitter during the siege of eastern Aleppo to share her experiences, which were written by her mother, Fatemah, an English teacher.
She has nearly 360,000 followers on the social network and tweeted after the meeting of how happy she was to meet with the President.
Turkey's involvement in Syria is complicated. On one hand, the Turks are eager to help eradicate ISIS. On the other, Ankara has worked to drive Kurdish fighters from the Syrian side of the border, fearing that an entrenched Kurdish canton there would fuel momentum for an independent Kurdish state that could claim Turkish territory.The video of the meeting has been posted to the official Twitter account of Hasan Dogan, the chief of the cabinet of Erdogan.
Erdogan later tweeted: "I was pleased to host @AlabedBana and her family at the Presidential Complex today. Turkey will always stand with the people of Syria."Bana's mother had appealed directly to Turkey to end the siege of eastern Aleppo and help those trapped inside escape.
There are 172 Aleppo evacuees, including 68 children, now undergoing treatment at Turkish hospitals, Turkish state news agency Anadolu reports, quoting the Directorate General of Press and Information on Wednesday.
The injured, particularly those in critical condition, had been transported to hospitals in Turkey's southeastern Hatay province, Anadolu said. The ongoing evacuation of eastern Aleppo has been facing delays.
'Girl who announced Aleppo'
Describing Bana as the girl "who announced the Aleppo massacre to the world on social media", Cavusoglu told Anadolu that she and her family would be brought to Turkey earlier this month.Bana has two brothers -- Mohammed, 5, and Noor, 3 -- along with her mother and father. The young pig-tailed, gap-toothed girl kept a harrowing log of the conflict on Twitter with the help of her mother.
Following the evacuation, mother Fatemah spoke of her sadness at leaving Aleppo, saying she had "left her soul" in the besieged city.
"When we got out we had a lot of suffering because we stayed almost 24 hours in bus without water and food or anything ... like a prisoner," she told the pro-opposition media organization Qasioun News.
"But finally we arrived here and we thank God and all our friends who are supporting us."
Three months ago, Fatemah decided she wanted the world to hear her children's voices and see their faces, hoping that maybe she could galvanize global support for those in Aleppo.
Bana has since become an embodiment of the human toll this grinding conflict has had on the children of Syria.
Bana's family went into hiding after their home was reduced to rubble on November 27. More than three weeks later, on December 19, Bana tweeted that they had "escaped" from eastern Aleppo.
Sarah Sirgany in Abu Dhabi and Natalie Gallon in Atlanta also contributed to this report.
VIDEO - Gorka: 'You Should Be Tactically Aware Every Time You Leave The House' - YouTube
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 06:43
VIDEO - Loretta Lynch Regrets Meeting Bill Clinton at Phoenix Tarmac - YouTube
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 06:33
VIDEO - Bill Clinton Says Hillary Couldn't Prevail Over Russia and FBI...WAAAAAH! - YouTube
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 06:30
VIDEO - CNN Liberal Dolt Gets Frustrated and Confused After Jeffrey Lord Gives Her a Civics Lesson - YouTube
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 05:50
VIDEO - Obama Grants 78 Pardons! - YouTube
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 05:44
VIDEO - NEW Australian Report Says Searcher Looking For Missing Flight MH370 Been Searching The Wrong Area! - YouTube
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 05:37
VIDEO - Clinton Email Search Warrant to Be Unsealed - YouTube
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 05:28
VIDEO - Episode 1008 RT '-- Keiser Report
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 03:52
In this episode of the Keiser Report from Pensacola, Florida, Max and Stacy discuss the 'birthering' of the Democrats as Keith Olbermann turns xenophobe, and conspiracy theories flourish in the media. They also discuss Russia's latest gold purchases. In the second half, Max interviews former Assistant Treasury Secretary under Ronald Reagan, Paul Craig Roberts, about the attempted Electoral College coup on Trump, and the differences between the last Cold War and the new one.
Check Keiser Report website for more: http://www.maxkeiser.com/
VIDEO - Today's top trending video on Facebook is an absolute hoax
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:40
The YouTube celebrity who was kicked off a Delta flight did not have an amazing day today. But he definitely has a history of pulling pranks on airplanes.
To be clear, what allegedly happened to Adam Saleh seems suspect on its surface '-- according to Saleh, he was told to ''speak English'' by a fellow passenger while on the phone with his mother, who only speaks Arabic. After Saleh told the passenger he's free to speak whatever language he wants, the woman's husband allegedly stood up and screamed at Saleh.
Eventually, according to Saleh's account to CBS News, the pilot had to sheepishly tell Saleh to leave the plane, as roughly 20 passengers are said to have complained to flight staff that they felt uncomfortable being around him. Delta stated that it booked Saleh on another flight, and that the airline strives to respect people of all cultural backgrounds.
The video of the incident has over 21 million views and counting as of this writing. It's important to note that none of the accusations Saleh made of his fellow passengers are in this viral video, which only shows Saleh loudly berating white passengers and airport staff, and nearby passengers sympathizing with him.
We got kicked out of a Delta airplane because I spoke Arabic on the phone with my mom and to my friend slim'.... please help spread the word
Posted by Adam Saleh on Wednesday, December 21, 2016
However, as USA Today pointed out, Saleh is known for intentionally provoking people to intentionally show their discomfort around Muslims and Arabic-speaking people to his millions of viewers, casting doubt on the legitimacy of his story. In one video posted in February, Saleh, who is on a flight, suggests to his friend, Suleiman Albaher, that the two of them should count down in Arabic as a ''social experiment'' to see what happens. Albaher doesn't go along with it, but Saleh, who is smiling, loudly counts down from 10 to 1 in Arabic, then pans the camera over to a passenger, who looks obviously uncomfortable.
In a 2013 video called ''SPEAKING ARABIC ON A PLANE!'' (Saleh's video titles are all in capital letters) Saleh starts singing a song in Arabic while on a flight from New York to Miami specifically to make his friend '-- an Arabic-speaking man named Sheikh Akbar, who was subjected to additional security screening '-- feel uncomfortable.
''Sheikh gets so scared if I speak Arabic at the airport,'' Saleh said, before proceeding to sing.
''You're going to get us in trouble,'' Akbar said, attempting to hold his hand over Saleh's mouth as he keeps singing.
In two other videos, Saleh surreptitiously dons traditional Islamic clothing just before boarding a plane (''ARABS ON A PLANE!!''), and while in the car on the way to the airport (''NEVER WEAR THIS ON A PLANE IN AMERICA!''). In the latter video, Saleh tells his audience he's on the way to board a flight to Doha, Qatar, and decided to wear his Thawb '-- a traditional garb for men in predominantly Muslim countries '-- upon arriving to the JFK Airport in New York, despite a friend of his pleading with him to not do it.
Saleh's YouTube page, which has over 2 million subscribers, features hundreds of videos in which he plays pranks on people, usually strangers, and sometimes strangers at airports, to see what their reaction will be. In one viral video, Saleh ''smuggles'' himself into a suitcase and boards the cargo area of the plane with the rest of the luggage. In another video, Saleh posts about how he was subjected to a ''random security check,'' and suggested it was due to him being a Muslim that he was scrutinized at a higher level.
Saleh also stages scenes of racial profiling in order to document how others in the area react. A video posted in June of this year shows Saleh pulling a hijab off of a willing volunteer to see if anyone in the surrounding area would intervene. Saleh said he did this because his mother once had her hijab removed by a stranger in public in 2004, while nobody came to her aid.
Before Saleh rose to stardom in the YouTube realm, his channel's earliest videos show Saleh's affinity for making bystanders feel uncomfortable in public, usually by propositioning women on the spot while they were with their significant others, and ignoring their polite requests for him to walk away.
''We went out for two weeks, and we broke up, and now you're going out with him? How fast do you move on?'' Saleh said to a girl he had never met.
''I'm so uncomfortable,'' the girl nervously said before walking away with her boyfriend.
Later in the same video, Saleh approaches two young girls and asks them for the ''directions to your heart.'' The man who was with them asked Saleh several times to ''keep walking,'' but Saleh continued to bother the group. On both occasions, the man present asked Saleh about the person standing off in the background filming the encounter, while Saleh continued filming.
In another video from 2012, Saleh is in Central Park, provoking groups of strangers at random. One segment of the video shows him confronting a group of African American men, asking for ''Deshawn,'' ignoring the group repeatedly telling him that nobody in their group was named Deshawn.
''That's my baby mama, boy! Her name's Shaniqua, not Jessica! That's my baby mama, boy. That's my baby mama,'' Saleh shouted.
While Delta certainly seems to have acted inappropriately in its treatment of Saleh according to his accounts, the professional YouTube troll at least knew that he would get an adverse reaction from people on the plane whom he knew would be provoked by his actions, leading to his overreaction to flight staff and fellow passengers.
Despite his experience at the airport, Saleh will likely see a lot more YouTube subscribers as a result of his viral outburst. Maybe that was the point all along.
Zach Cartwright is an activist and author from Richmond, Virginia. He enjoys writing about politics, government, and the media. Send him an email at [email protected]
VIDEO - Donald Trump Should Receive CIA's Daily Intelligence Briefings | Fortune.com
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 23:57
As a novelist and screenwriter'--someone who gets paid to entertain with my words'--I can almost sympathize with President-elect Donald Trump's assessment that the daily intelligence briefings the CIA keeps trying to foist on him might seem a bit dry and repetitive at times. Too much policy wonk and too little James Bond, compliments of a team of analysts who do their work immune to the tyranny of page view metrics and click through rates. In a world where Breitbart headlines can create lurid stories out of thin air, the daily brief's stubborn reliance on facts and expert analysis might seem positively archaic.
But I'm also a former CIA officer. From 2001 to 2011, I've worked on many of the issues that appear in those briefings, and I've traveled, lived, and worked in some of the places that pop up again and again, including Iraq and Afghanistan. More importantly, I have worked with many of the people who continue to quite literally risk their lives to obtain the information contained in those reports, whether or not Trump chooses to grant them an audience. And while we've heard a number of impassioned, highly persuasive pleas from senior-ranking intelligence and elected officials for Trump to reconsider his current brush-off of the CIA, I have not yet seen anyone address the issue on a more personal, individual level: the perspective of an actual spy on the ground.
The job of a CIA case officer is to spot and recruit ''assets,'' or people who have access to the information American policy makers need. By agreeing to cooperate with a clandestine representative of the United States government, assets must, by definition, commit an act of betrayal against the individual, the organization, or the nation that entrusted them with the sensitive information the CIA is asking them to give. In order to recruit assets, therefore, CIA officers must first identify what might motivate targets to commit treason against their own country, jeopardizing their livelihoods, their families, and their lives in the process. It is a lot to ask of an individual, and the moment of recruitment is a sobering one.
So given the risks, what motivates someone to become a spy? There's money, of course; the thrill of being part of something clandestine; a desire to see the world; revenge. There are as many reasons as there are assets. But more often than not, all of the other reasons and justifications pale in comparison to the overriding desire to play a role in making the world safer, freer, and better. To a person, every asset I ever recruited or worked with genuinely believed that, in providing information to the United States government, he or she was doing something that in the long run would help right wrongs, improve circumstances both locally and globally, and possibly avert large-scale tragedies.
As a fiction writer now, I remain keenly attuned to the concept of motivation. Specifically, I fear that Trump's rejection of both the content and the conclusions offered to him by the intelligence community will have a profound chilling effect on the recruitment of new assets, and the willingness of existing assets to continue to provide information.
Because, why should someone risk his or her life to provide sensitive information that the world now knows will go unread in our highest office? Why should assets continue to provide insight, data, access, or materials, when all of those things can be summarily dismissed in a blithe morning talk show comment? The why determines the what.
Skepticism is one thing. A blatant disregard for human intelligence collected at significant risk to both asset and officer is another. This disregard has consequences beyond Trump's own dearth of information, because once again, it serves to erode the motivation of those who might provide us with information we desperately need'--information that may include details of threats to American lives and infrastructure, for example'--small and, yes, sometimes repetitive details that cumulatively inform us of impending terrorist attacks, progress on covert weapons programs, cyberthreats, and countless other plots and dangers faced by our nation every day. But why should either potential assets or foreign intelligence services trust the CIA if our own president does not?
The recruitment of new sources is contingent upon a case officer's ability to look a well-placed source in the eye and say, truthfully, ''This matters. You can make a difference. The information that you provide will be heard and considered at the highest levels.'' And yet, any reader of Trump's Twitter (twtr) feed would now scoff at that notion. The world knows that, in the incoming administration, facts will be ignored, and reasoned analysis will be rejected.
If Trump continues to publicly scorn the CIA's briefings and conclusions, assets and cooperative foreign intelligence services will become increasingly disinclined to provide sensitive information. Without confidence that their cooperation will have any kind of positive effect, the risks quickly outweigh the results. On an individual level, the why determines the what, and without the motivation of knowing that their sacrifices will ultimately make a difference, CIA sources may choose, in Trump's parlance, to walk away from the deal.
J.C. Carleson is a former undercover CIA officer turned author. Her books include Work like a spy: Business tips from a former CIA officer, The Tyrant's Daughter and Placebo Junkies.
VIDEO - NPR CEO Bets on Podcasts
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 22:52
NPR CEO Bets on PodcastsWSJ Media Mix12/20/2016 9:15AM
NPR CEO Jarl Mohn talks about the future of the podcast industry, why terrestrial radio isn't dying and the role of public media in the news business.
TranscriptThis transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.
today I'm WS J media makes podcast we speak with NPR CEO y'all moan about the future of the podcast industry ... the role of public media in the news business and how NPR thinks about China platforms like Facebook thing meaning well done and WSJ median next podcast for new interviews and analysis with people that matter in the fast changing media business ... hello and welcome to WS J media makes podcast and Steven Perlberg and here is always with my colleague Jack Marshall it up ... the most even get on so easy to spot this is gonna the past few months come pretty well right I was says and I will we have someone with us today is going to really be the judge of our podcast attempts because ... we we we are ... joined by TRO MON he's the president and CEO of NPR ... we haven't really up a podcast on podcasting and ... a podcast on the radio so we're very manner is very matter we get internet and media topics often on the stock is the think this'll be the most ... on the one we've had so far so ... I you also long career in NDAQ this we are just speaking before and has a radio disc jockey ... TV executive as ENN TV in the past two years ... he then that an NPR so ... I guess maybe the best place to start is that is sort of the iam ... the evolution of of Audi Owen and podcasting we are ... experimenting in the year ALM so will will what has that been like over the past few years ... you really something joy comes right before her ... cereal and scraping podcasting boom though we're all enjoying so what um what hasn't been like how was your business change in the past two years is podcasting them ... will lose a lot to that question ... that that NPR has been involved in podcasting for all of them of much longer Priya time I think ... the ... the the launch of cereal in the incredible success and the IRA glass in this American life iPad with cereal ... I think ... really wanted to the if the forefront and a lot of people's minds we've been doing podcasts an NPR ... for ten years before ... then you're doing some really great work ... it's exciting I think it's it's remarkably exciting for many many reasons ... one it's a great business ... I think there's ... any credible Renaissance of creativity ... and storytelling across the board ... in our organization it and alot organizations I think people are doing ... really remarkable work ... I think ... the intimacy ... of Borneo in the intimacy of storytelling I think many people are listening ear buds or something ... I think even more oddly him from a tax standpoint put your life ... in their eighties I was never had enduring and I mean it's ... it's down from ... a little weird but I think it's I think there's something ... I really think there's something to that ... and I think all surges from a one up on a broader scale ... from the business to all the businesses that were in it including the network radio business ... we think podcasting is this is one for adjunct that we think it's wonderful entry point for a lot of people to discover our way ... of storytelling in the kinds of things we do ... so we're excited ... everything from accretive to that viewpoint ... two of the business viewpoint when we dissenters ... agree ... wonderful things happening ... Superman Doherty was perspective to what extent you think that's that if I aam buses sort of replacing people the maybe listen to NPR ... on radio for example ... what we know it's sad because you we get to ... be significant data across all of our platform soon ... the most recent month November we can look at ... what we can look at any one of the platforms were on is not just podcasting in the network has to do with NPR don't work we have three apps with the NPR news that we have NPR one we have NPR music ... when we look at ... you know the amount of usage that we have so many people download the app though many people are using on a regular basis ... how often are using it how and how long they're listening ... who were seen Greek root across everything so on the network nor primary business or are our legacy business if you well ... were up forty percent ... year over year which is terrific some of that of course I think is his election related ... but um ... it significantly more than our counterparts in commercial ... News Radio ... NPR dot org ... last February and I think I mentioned people are to rise or pleasing over with all these numbers ... I'll try to restrain myself ... but in February we had a record month of ... thirty six million unique hse November weary fifty eight point one million unique cement your job one ... can use the scenes stats on the podcasting ... Tau Last part track numbers that we get to read sixty nine million dollars in November nine point two million unique so ... every one of the platforms are seeing incredible group so I think it's that if my theory old one has been ... we create content we create programming we create stuff that people listen to you a great job ... across ... all the platforms in each one is different ... we should do well with all of ... then ... the duty guys are not like other serve legacy media business is when newspapers are for ... people ... that are trying to ... you know ... keep the sort of legacy business going and and and but also ... make sure they hear ... no positioning yourself or that the digital future and these are not but what's interesting is assumed that the podcasting boom are any of your ... affiliated remember stations in to what extent ... do they see you guys pushing into digital pushing in the podcast say hey ... you know what about us a mean this is aam ... it doesn't take away from from any of the the the ... the the stuff that they might be doing are they worried about their audiences may be migrating I think ... a couple of years ago that was this huge issue and I think ... the theory that we're espousing of the time ... that if we do great content we at the network and the stations on the local level ... that ... everything's can be fine it's it's very different than cable it's very different than the newspaper business is unit newspaper business uncertain economics of ... printing on paper and just or beating it by human beings to people's worst out ... in the cable business also you're you're talkin' of something where people have to pay ... a monthly fee see of this poll this cord cutting the goes on reviewer space it's a free service and ... ninety three percent of adults Wilson in the last seven days Somail people still use it ... to it's it's it's very differ in that regard but you think there was a great fear a couple years ago ... a number of things that happen in this year's a great example in terms of we've been able to demonstrate ... that it hasn't hurt their business we've grown this remarkable business ... at the same time that their audience our audience in their audience is growing ... and then some really interesting little experiments every week just started doing ... in the podcasts were telling people if you really love public radio and listening to this podcast ... what you make a contribution to your member station ... tell them you heard about it on this NPR podcast ... and are doing ... so the station's love that ... it's ... if you ask this question two years ago ... I probably would be giving you a different answer and said this we hope to prove ... what I'd I think we've done that ... did you see that trend will continue as down ... I guess his radio audience is perhaps age and younger audience is of apps are gravitating more towards ... digital distribution ... is that sort of the ... short to medium term trend of the house so to play out of the next ... twenty or thirty years ... could fall predicted to the day ... to get ... up go toilet to do with it the author was a thirty year media ... were there were four we get we get into the day well we may never done for them ... um ... my belief is that ... it ... it's not it's not a binary decision of ... the legacy media ... digital media ... radio podcast caps ... people are ... very complex and they consume media can all sorts of methodologies ... they may start reading let the reading newspaper less frequently or magazines less frequently ... get ... hit amazing still isn't a big really interesting ... the really interesting business ... some are doing another podcast summer doing it is certainly the smartphone is ... is a ... platform of choice these days ... radio still even a small annual summit there's this mythology in every bottle millennials was in two three we people ... in our realization ... that I deeply believe that ... if you look of the Nielsen data last week ... ninety two percent ... of American millennials ninety two percent ... listen to ... broadcast three ... they still use me in ... that was an Cosa Lolita not really realizing that more gentle Annie all we are driving in the middle of the country endorsements Hedson Radio NPR is that like what you think it it's not just the middle the country in Los Angeles to make New York this is the interesting thing in your this is in the news NEW YORK ASEAN no money in as New York is the anomaly how ... accurate is that when a lot of respect on the ... button is ever or I go and I travel I just drove across the country spent three weeks I drew from Washington DC Los Angeles and is a twenty one cities ... visited thirty two of our member stations I e unlike Cracker Barrel has been a bit at local DQ ... and ... you know that in some cities you'd be shocked does have ... the even of traffic problems Austin Texas a great example really great progressive interesting in ... town ... one of the biggest issues distracting to traffic there in many ways is ... almost as bad as if not as bad as ... you know ... in my hometown of Los Angeles ... so you're stuck in your car on ... the people to listen to the radio on ... and it's not an ... either or people of ... podcasts agreed ... to break medium ... radio can be a great medium ... people are using ... Spotfire Pandora and podcasts and I mean it's ... that's a great thing about technology soul destroy soak in thirty years who the hell notes the mean ... I don't know that anybody thirty years thirty measured as a ... myth in the morning on the remains and that ... but I do think alternately ... it's something ugly and I've been in ... I hate to say this is good so awful but I've been in the ... fifty years ... fifty ... and ... the thing I do believe is regardless of the platform ... really interesting content ... whether it's ... text ... whether it's for top or the weather is Gaudio with his music ... will perform people wanted people walk onto it ... I wanted to get quick break we'll have more with the all red assets ... I this is called the ghost of the Potomac Watch podcast join me in my colleagues every week as we dissect all of the latest happenings in Washington check this out and WSJ dot com slashed I can see and become a subscriber aam I'd tune stitcher spot if I am and who will play music ... WSJ podcast listen ambitiously ... now back to the show are a were back ... so ... and the ROTC looks different and and then some of the ... media competition state's Public ... Amen every few years of all it's the store is a prop up ... aam pressure from Congress about you know federal funding of of NPR and ... and ... you probably realize we just enlightened and I missed yet we have a ... new president like to ... it would seem this isn't really ... been in the news but ... is there sort of the year that down the new Trump administration might take a look at federal funding for anti army Scott ... Republican Congress aam is is so many guys think about ... we think about all the time but not necessarily related to this election specifically it's always an issue in its always something that we're concerned about ... federal funding for public review its usually import us the money to succumb to us there is a mythology ... a lot of people don't know this ... NPR we is an entity that I get ... less than we give ... percent than half of our budget from the federal government ... which is or a shocker ... however ... our member stations all across the country do get ... to get money from the government ... in in total it's about a hundred and ten million dollars to ... the stations ... though that the thing in the region were concerned about it is in the larger cities with her to be here in New York for someone like our member stationed of U N Y C ... for my alma mater in a lake EPCC or ... the BB warned Boston ... that federal money may help for ... tossing three or four percent of their budget ... to it or to go away ... it would be would be a ... nuisance to be a pain ... it wouldn't be irreparable they would find a way to make ... make it through ... here's the problem ... many small communities across the country really the small markets many of which I'd I'd I'd visited ... Abilene Texas Lawton Oklahoma ... Flagstaff Arizona ... the percentage of the money that they get all those small smaller dollars is representing a much bigger percentage of their budget ... it might be thirty percent might be thirty five percent ... that is in and those stations may be the only source of ... news and information ... on the radio in those communities ... here are the ones I worry about so yes ... we're always concerned but we're concerned about it at all times ... we've had a Republican Congress since two thousand can ... we have some great friends and supporters come ... in ... better Republicans in House and Senate ... and ... so we're always concerned but we think we've got a wonderful story and ... we where where were working hard to keep our fingers crossed ... what was said to calm down ... some and so has been told by law an immediate ladies so to the rise of fake news Sam ... and I guess in oversea we just had an election NPR's often size is one of the most ... so the ... reliable news sources out there ... I mean ... is it what does that mean episode of publicly funded news that meant using a sort of an appetite ... for these content of more than there has been no ... Baidu ... I really do and I appreciate you asking that question ... it's ... this whole prevalence of fake news and there's been much written about it lately it's it's really a sad commentary ... we think we're an antidote to that we did that ... the perception that we are ... and the reality that we're providing ... really solid fact based journalism ... is really important to who we are is a brand and our public service mission ... and ... it figures as part of it but there's also even news that his real but just headlines or you know ... a few hundred forty characters ... some people want to get their news that way we really think our place in the food chain ... it is ... to do the opposite ... and more in depth we do the more analysis we need more context we try to provide what is this mean what's the historical precedent ... we think it's really valuable ... and as the world which order ... in terms of its attention span what were we talking about ... and ... end ... up ... the more sensationalist to keep you will up or ideological ... we think more and more people not everybody were not can it be for everybody but a lot of people are going to gravitate to that because it's different and ... there are fewer and fewer places that you can get ... what do you see is the future of the of NPR news is ... likely ... like many of ... legacy businesses there has been the through the years in a some some turmoil and ... so on the news business of large ... struggles ... so I mean do you see that ... go in Florida as you know the real investment that you guys again a make or resort of gun ... you know of ... prioritizing other pockets the business more ... it served it's our mission ... is our primary mission we are committed to it ... we think we have the right ... economically news organizations journalists ... they not only have the the ... the debate this huge economic issues that ... that they're facing ... we've we actually think we've got a fabulous business model ... historically ... and your perhaps ... has not won the press hasn't optimizes as well as they should have ... and that's when things I hope ... we know this current management team we have ... is gonna be a boon to the WEF's resources to revenue ... we have ... we have our corporate sponsorship or underwriting ... that's one plot of ... journalistic organizations have that so in that its doors of the big powerhouses in the pillars of public broadcasting so ... theoretically yes she and they don't have to buy that big DME just won a bye ... week we don't tell me ... that ... I can imagine anybody doing that but ... it could ... show is on record to an extent which typically happens SOzol by the news magazines and then ... pre much everything else is all a car ... so are the ... top of the year to year business has changed mention ... underwriting ... um ... it seems like that ... you can call it a lot of different things for them the modern media space like ... things like going abroad to buy a ... house sponsored content ... and aam art is that is ... an area of your business they you ... are are trying to grow the sort of branded content sponsored content like a lot of media companies are these days we don't do that ... we know too that time ... we ... are very careful what we think a lot of our colleagues do it ... um ... but we think ... back to the question us Jack about credibility ... we think that that might put our friend and risk ... and before we can experiment with all the things we love to experiment with things we think innovation and trying things is important ... and we know when we innovate when we try things many of them will they help that's that's the price one pays ... we know what to do anything in the experimental field really appealed to his can put the brand of risk ... it's not to say we would never ever do that but we need it more we're watching other institutions that are doing and ... I am not a fan of that ... there are some people are done and done remarkably well ... we need someday I'd I think ... I think it's gonna be what you think that sort of blurs the line sold it for for ... listeners and readers ... I think it doesn't particularly hours we were thinking of really unique of early unique brand of ... of last year and consumer and they're very ... you know they're very careful and ... they ... pay to listen very carefully and ... they don't want us even ... to get even the slightest tinge of ... being affected ... by a quarter ... for corporate sponsors or war ... our institutional on ... foundations are that stupid supporters ... they're always be give our audience questions ... everything ... and so we only give them any reason to ... be more concerned than they might already be ... synergies agreed Arizona fundamentally different on The from the US is some sort of digital media companies for some pull on in terms of demand as companies who would you buy ... brand exploit Bligh's EU while reduced we do ... sponsorship we might not use that exact language yet we do have corporate sponsors um ... good to pay for and underwrite but the difference between ... it and make the pressure misunderstood the question is the difference between when was the spectrum and are against him ... but we do it is sponsorship its support for NPR comes from ... they can be any player was just in ... Indianapolis earlier this week Mrs toppled when Angie's List ... and they helped ... pay for ... you know the the the programming we produce ... but none of our copper for sponsors none of them say he wanted to do something about this ... war was to create this content for us ... and will give you money we don't do that ... when we talk a lot of honest I just about ... media company's relationships with some of the Big ... forums Facebook Google ... mean an increasingly Snapchat ... a lot of music degree Facebook ... media companies of ... the end their ... hopes on me and that the rise of things like Facebook video I know that some and then ... NPR experiments with better I'm curious do you feel ... as though ... you may be less reliant and other media companies are on your platforms in Heidi you think about things like ... Facebook live Snapchat some of these newer platforms that ensured ... knows you wanna be on to reach treat your desired audience but that ... in our ... town ... causing fear among media accepted as authentic ... well ... and we're not really fearful of them ... I really see all of those platforms is a really interesting way for us to connect with people and and and have people ... be exposed to in Trier content may be for the first time or get use to it ... I think one of the pieces of the we see from lots and lots of media companies ... is they may ... be sampled ... and you know occasionally through somebody posting an article from one of a magazine or a not for another ... media company ... and what our hope is soo we don't know whether ultimately this plays out or not we get a lot of traffic Facebook in in terms of our ... it does social platforms is far and with the number one I think something like forty five percent ... of ... the social traffic we get comes from Facebook to number two is ... a Twitter in its three percent in everything else is under one percent I mean it's ... it's a significant number we need to get a lot ... of people it ... coming from ... unit I'd be in the end your dog or will you were all work ... you know ... entering a story that they want to know more about her going on and you know ... they're lots of ways to get it but a good course proportion of car ... traffic comes from ... comes from Facebook ... I think it's a way for them to get exposed core brand will we do the way we create content what we do this very very different than other people ... and we hope that then they may want to try our podcasting went right listening to morning edition all things considered ... who knows ... but I'm not ... we can't be fearful of these things I don't think I think we have to find a way ... to real ... fear of massive distribution ... what's the best way for us to work with the answer we've got we've gotten really gray relationships were playing around with Facebook lies we don't know whether ... you know it will probably that's a good thing for a bad thing for us but we were playing with Rehman fun with it ... where doing things with global war in the connected car with Apple Anmuth who were on the Apple Watch ... like said ... you know and ... on the echoing more on the cool home runs Google's platform ... called the scenes are really interesting some will take off ... some will ... go if ... we want to be on every single one of ... to what extent you invest in video or more generally as well I mean you mention Facebook live ... I'm ... you know I'm on a big fan of the tiny desk ... as big as the does well is that sort of an opportunity to see it probably is I think it has to be in keeping with who we or ... historically we've defined ourselves ... as ... O'Neill storytelling ... company when you buy gas review Network radio ... but then we started doing tiny desk ... in those videos of the court to riffic and what a fun what a relief one idea and I think it is Phnom remarkable success ... he just started out as an experiment ... that and it turned into something really remarkable ... concern of the visual scheme we have a ... group of people with visual Steve who ... get a tiny desk ... they've been doing ... some new stuff up ... Stevens keeps been interviewing ... President Obama rescinded number times I think he's doing it today ... the visual scheme that does tiny desk concerts is the part that people are shooting at ... the scene can ... be seen it but the interviews that Steve does ... of which Paul Ryan or ... Brock Obama ... look different than they would if you're watching network TV never will have a very distinctive look ... we Copel alternately ... the NPR look so we ... were playing around with these things ... we we think there's something there ... wheel no words can lead ... with Edmonton this early Avici are here ... the ... old haunts and TV that you ... know you have some experience in the cable business ... aam ... we talk alot about that on this podcast someone who use to be a cable executive in its ... share observing the changes in that industry ... aam what what has happened like a mean you you been described as a turnaround specialist before if you had to go back and said ... the cable industry now what would you think down the future is there and what sort of that's would you be making if you are at the helm of an MTV ... well ... I can ... I'm I'm always careful not ... to to to to ... provide that kind of advice and ... guide the reason is that method the reason this ... up I don't have the final really has affected my fingertips and people love to criticize other organizations ago we know Wolf I was doing if I was running the place is what I would do ... and I think it's it's ... um ... I don't have the act or an axis to that information I don't know what they know I think ... all of these organizations are run by really creative smart people ... it's run or to second guess them ... I do think just how all speak generally ... de ... the solution any one of these Proms with Ericsson or that organization in TV or any other ... I think it's great ... content ... aam and being creative and being innovative in the greatest moments ... that MTV has had historically or even sadder VH one who you know companies I've worked for ... for NPR had been the smoothest Acree creativity experimenting with things ... whether it's ... you know ... I'm a tiny you creating tiny desk work reading podcast for ... creating a new show ... and aren't a plan I mean an end a business person can come up with those ideas generally speaking it's gonna be a producer or someone ... that comes into the office in one of my favorite MTV stories years ago ... Ted Demi who was a ... production assistant ... carry ... me was ... you know young weekend he started counting the desk and saying ... no we gotta do I want to do a special ... with work on rent using we've been playing some rent videos and TV uses ... her something going on we gonna do it now has to go into a half hour special ... eight created yo MTV raps unbeaten in any promotion and marketing ... stepping on the year in a tiny Peter Doherty ... both of them sadly has to ... have ... and yes ... it's that he said ... but they came in and ... the first week it was like he was so smashed successor can you do another one next week to go sure so they did another half by speaking to an hour week which insurers and even the nice if any can you do a half hour a day ago Scherrer ... and ... ultimately became an hour daily show we rented three times a day was a monster he added ... in the only reason to happen when someone ... a really great creative guy ... came into my office and basically all was to me against the wall into we have to do this ... an annuity its doors to guests ... Ares's history as ... one of one of the known as we allowed a seat us the podcast earlier I've ... we've ... been ... reported and talked about certain ... that ... larger maybe struggles in the podcast ad market as it seeks growing extremely fast but ... aam most of the ads that don't offer podcasts are ... direct response and in ... the square space is the casters Reverend there's this perception and least in some of the big marketers and ad buys the stock to that ... you know it's not necessarily prove in as a branding vehicle yet so you're not necessarily going a ... year ... income investor paid ... in cars or been P¶hl's sort of the big brands ... do you think that that's ... going to change or what you think podcasting is an media needs to do to really up there where they can secure more from the brand and budgets that happened that ... I think it will change ... I think podcasting is a remarkable ... way to reach people I think it can ... I think it's a ... self selected sample of people it is a I think it's an unusual group of people ... regardless of whether it's one of ours are losers are unusual ... I mean the really good way ... but these are people are seeking out think about it which you have to do it's not it's not really ... for us ... for years doing the right ... and it's easy but I think for a lot of people it's it's like what people in heaven ... you know ... the eighty percent in heaven or glistening every month ... um ... I do think ... they're couple things going on in the same thing happened that ... you know kind of beginning of up to where ... can ... people creating want everybody and have one ... and now podcast everybody ... has one guy Ross told me the other day the city here are the numbers ... that are worth three hundred and twenty thousand weekly podcasts ... I mean it's a crazy number ... most of them or not any good motion will not be will get any traction but there are there are some remarkable people ... across the universe doing disgraced outsourcing ... couple things happened ... the pie gets bigger ... I love the fact that are so many great people making podcasts ... the field for some people are free Prudential are too afraid you're going to lose market share while ... we're trying to grow up I'd rather have a smaller percentage ... of the much much bigger pie something it's really healthy with a lot of people are ... ninety percent of the population are listening to podcasts ... and we've got a great measurement tool ... that ... mean of packaged goods in automobiles and ... all the major sponsors can use to buy ... sponsorship or underwriting for ... advertising on ... story think it's gonna go that way ... it's happened with almost every I remember the unit ... to sign a really old old got her into the early days of the analyst ... was on the board of senior ... and ... those executives were deeply involved with the inert Interactive Advertising Bureau remember the days when ... the dollar's going to win advertising really really really small like ... him someday there's going to be ... a universal measurement to someday there's going to be ... you know a universal way of the ads being program and it didn't of course ... you know we know we know much money is spent ... in on those platforms East is an interesting things can happen ... the contents too good ... they're such great content everywhere what what's your deal unlike with Apple because so much consumption of of podcast come through that the Apple app ... has been written before but it seems that they have a ... sort of passing interest in in ... podcasting they obviously like helped ... that ... the name podcast the ... intimate they help give it that name and ... but it seems like it's not ... something that they're really interested in ... cashing in on necessarily right now they have sold the most of so much data ... and that that the non SOEs forthcoming all the time with that with that data so what is the light beam ... through the Big podcast producer and ... and dealing with them and shone like a daily basis well there are great partners first on a lot of things ... they reach so many people are devices we know this is going this ... is now and is going more and more to being a smartphone world ... where we are consuming so much of what we ... Pe±a we consume me he was with this music podcast news ... text ... video ... of voted for charter fee ... so they're ... remarkable partners and more on the Apple Watch were going to be in you know there ... Apple can act for the cars ... were trying to be everywhere that ... Apple isn't what are experimenting with we love working with them ... they are as you know the ¼ber the number one distributor number one platform for the distribution of podcast content ... the reason they have not been forthcoming with data is their their concerns about privacy ... and ... I've had conversations with Tim Cook that you know it's great ... if he is a key to ... unlock these huge NPR fan which were brewery happy about ... the local partnership with us ... we hope to do more ... we are trying to find a way to get access to that data in a way that doesn't filing any of their principles about privacy ... that said there are other ways we are going to be distributing the content ... where we can get access to that data because as you guys know the more we know about ... who's listening to the better job or to be able to Mana ties it ... the more money ... that comes into the system ... the fund's better and more interesting and more unique content for you for us for everybody in the sector ... sanded it makes it ... much more sustainable and backed year the previous question ... I think it's can happen and I think a lot ... you know who knows thirty years down the road ... what Connor early Greek will stop the spinnaker pole hobby back on thirty years will see a ... fertility only in the ideal plan to be here in thirty years St ... yell thank so much for course was great fun things really appreciate it ... um thanks everyone for listening will catch you next time I'm WS J media next podcast the WSJ's podcast listen ambitiously ...
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Investor Caution Amid Higher Global Markets12/21/2016 12:37PMWorkers Get Overtime Pay Despite Court Ruling12/21/2016 12:30AMThe Younger Boss/Older Worker Dynamic12/20/2016 3:54PMTulip Retail Helps Walk-In Stores Battle Amazon12/20/2016 1:59PMAll Episodes '†'Last-Minute Obama Rules and Terror in Europe12/21/2016 12:46PMJames Freeman, Joe Rago and Paul Gigot on last-minute Obama rules, Mick Mulvaney and terror in Europe.
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VIDEO - NPR CEO Explains Radio Broadcaster's Bet on Podcasts - WSJ
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 22:50
Dec. 20, 2016 1:10 p.m. ET The podcast industry has been on the rise for the past few years, but some big brand advertisers still have their doubts about whether on-demand audio will become a more mainstream medium.
For his part, the CEO of NPR thinks it will.
''The same thing happened during the beginning of the web and people creating blogs'--everyone had to have one. And now podcasts: everybody has one,'' NPR Chief Executive Jarl Mohn said on the latest episode of the WSJ Media Mix podcast. (Yes, it's a podcast episode about podcasts.)
Mr. Mohn, a former disc jockey and cable TV executive at the E! network and MTV, said he welcomes more competition in the podcasting world.
''I'd rather have a smaller percentage of a much, much bigger pie. Something that's really healthy, where 90% of the population is listening to podcasts and we've got a great measurement tool that packaged goods, automobiles and all the major sponsors can use to buy sponsorship, underwriting or advertising,'' he said.
But Mr. Mohn said that there was a ''mythology'' that young people aren't listening to traditional radio. Rather, he said podcasts are a ''wonderful adjunct'' to NPR's core business of selling shows to local affiliates.
Apple reigns as the biggest distributor of podcasts, but one frequent complaint among producers is that the tech giant keeps precious listener data to itself.
''We are trying to find a way to get access to that data in a way that doesn't violate any of their principles about privacy,'' Mr. Mohn said. ''The more we know about who's listening, the better a job we are going to be able to do to monetize it.''
While NPR often faces political pressure over the federal funding of public radio, Mr. Mohn said he isn't necessarily more concerned about it now that Donald Trump has been elected president.
''We think about it all the time, but not necessarily related to this election specifically. It's always an issue and it's always something we're concerned about,'' Mr. Mohn said.
He added that, given the rise of more partisan news sources, NPR sees itself as ''an antidote to that.''
On the business side, Mr. Mohn and NPR have eschewed the sponsored content business, where media companies help fashion articles and videos on behalf of marketers. ''We think that that might put our brand at risk,'' he said.
For more with Mr. Mohn, check out the episode and subscribe to the WSJ Media Mix podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music, Spotify or Stitcher.
Write to Steven Perlberg at steven.perlberg@wsj.com
VIDEO - The Dumbest Most Racist Video Ever....Debunked! >> Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 22:48
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VIDEO - Whoopi Goldberg: I'm More Qualified to Be President than Trump
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 21:25
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''Here's the difference, when I speak, at least you know that I've actually looked stuff up, so people think that I might be more aware,'' Goldberg said. ''People know that I've had a wide variety of lives, so they think I might know some stuff.''
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Trump, Goldberg says, is a man that ''doesn't seem to do the homework, who doesn't seem to have any idea how things actually run.''
''When you bring up Hillary, I can only think to myself she may not have been the best candidate for people, but I know she knew what she was doing,'' Goldberg said of the former Democratic presidential nominee.
Co-host Jedediah Bila suggested Clinton wasn't qualified to be president because she put America's national security at risk when she used a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State.
Clinton ''didn't do her homework,'' Goldberg responded.
While the co-hosts of The View argued which candidate was qualified to be president, voting was underway in the Electoral College as state electors cast their ballots for the presidency.
At press time, Trump had 304 votes, securing his place in history as America's 45th president.
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson
VIDEO - Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid Get Into an Argument Live on Air | Good Morning Britain - YouTube
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 15:59
VIDEO - Samantha Bee And Glenn Beck Form Unholy Alliance Against Trumpism | Crooks and Liars
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:35
The two might not agree on much, but both know that Trump is bad news for everybody.
Source: The Guardian
Samantha Bee and Glenn Beck sat down to discuss the Trump tenure, with the former rightwing Fox host admitting he had made mistakes and that he didn't want to do any more damage.
On the latest episode of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, the comedian and Beck talked through the changes they thought were needed in order to help Americans get through the next four years.
Top of the list was a thawing of the relationship between those on the left and right of the political discussion, who might actually both agree ''Trumpism'' could do serious damage to the country.
VIDEO - CNN Commentator Shares Video Of TSA Pat-down, Bursts Into Tears
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:33
"... this is alarming."
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CNN political commentator Angela Rye posted a controversial video on her Twitter account last week which shows her undergoing an aggressive pat-down from a TSA agent.
I asked the police officer to film this so I can send to @TSA. I'm hoping my humiliation will fix the system. #TSAVaginaMonologuespic.twitter.com/lypkkcpZCW
'-- Angela Rye! (@angela_rye) December 16, 2016
Rye set off the full body scanner after she was randomly selected for additional screening at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The video shows a female TSA officer patting down Rye in what some might consider an intrusive inspection. At the end of the clip, Rye begins to cry as embarrassment and humiliation set in.
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''I fly several times a week and this has never happened, so this is alarming,'' Rye tells an officer off-camera before the pat-down begins.
Rye had the option of the additional search being performed in private, but she instead chose to do it in public.
''I wouldn't have felt safer or less violated in 'private,''' she tweeted. ''I didn't want my vagina patted down in a back room anymore than in public.''
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The officer off-screen pointed out that it could be Rye's dress which is causing the full body scanner do detect an anomaly. As the female officer goes through her procedure, Rye begins to tear up.
In an op-ed published after the incident, the political commentator said she let the TSA officers know she had a Homeland Security background, and the check was a ''severe violation of my privacy and civil liberties.''
''I didn't care about anything but one place on my body,'' Rye wrote.
She originally protested the pat-down, but a security manager claimed she would be escorted out of the airport if she refused it.
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''They won't allow me because of security protocol. I say I have every intention to escalate this to the TSA administrator,'' the CNN commentator wrote.
Rye received numerous support from Twitter users after she uploaded the video.
@redlianak@angela_rye@TSA Holy crap, that's bone-chilling.
'-- Jason Fuller (@BlueLightsShine) December 16, 2016
@josemarquez@dharma69@angela_rye I hope the screener is reprimanded if not fired !!
'-- Gail Heath (@gailmarieheath) December 16, 2016
@ryent23@ReaganGomez@angela_rye@ReignOfApril@TSA getting groped in an airport should not be standard procedure
'-- Krombopulos Michael (@xJohnx24) December 17, 2016
Rye claims she shared the video, even though it was humiliating to her, because she wanted to bring awareness to an issue which many people might have a problem with '-- particularly those who have been sexually abused in the past.
''I initially recorded the video so I could send it to TSA to raise questions about the process and challenge the agency on whether these incidents of violation truly prevent terrorist attacks,'' Rye wrote.
''I began to think about friends of mine who are victims of sexual assault,'' she added. ''I worried that if they were subjected to the same kind of search it could have disastrous emotional impact.''
What do you think?Scroll down to comment below.
VIDEO - Trump's Sons Behind Non Profit Group Selling Access To The White House | Crooks and Liars
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:30
During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump attacked Hillary Clinton, based on a discredited book, as being corrupt for allegedly selling access to the White House so the Clinton Foundation could turn a profit.
But as soon as he became the president-elect, it appears like his family is already selling out the oval office in exchange for millions of dollars. And it's happening the day after the inauguration!
The Center for Public Integrity is reporting,"A new Texas nonprofit led by Donald Trump's grown sons is offering access to the freshly-minted president during inauguration weekend '-- all in exchange for million-dollar donations to unnamed ''conservation'' charities, according to interviews and documents reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity. And the donors' identities may never be known."
Wow, just wow.
MSNBC's Hallie Jackson did a segment on this breaking story earlier today with reporter Katy Tur.
Tur said, "TMZ first uncovered a brochure for this event and the Center for Public Integrity went further, digging into it and they found Donald trump's sons and a few others are offering donors who give more than a million dollars, two things. One, a private reception with 16 guests with president-elect Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., the day after the inauguration and second, a multi day hunting trip with his two sons."
The Trump family is wasting no time in cashing in.
The brochure is saying that all the proceeds are going to conservation charities, but they will remain anonymous because it's not a Super PAC.
She continued, "Is the Trump family selling access to the president-elect with a charitable donation? It's exactly what Donald Trump accused Hillary Clinton of doing on the campaign trail. He campaigned against this saying the Clinton Foundation was selling access to Hillary Clinton while she was in the state department. He called it corrupt."
Tur then hit the nail on the head and said, "It seems that when it's done by the other side it's not okay, but when done by Donald Trump and ostensibly the GOP, it is okay."
'†' Story continues below '†'
IOKIYAR or IOKIYAT (It's OK if you are Trump)
Naturally, Katy. Trur always shows no fear even after being bullied during the campaign. Just be careful when you're out there covering Trump and his many lies.
As you well know, his supporters are not fooling around and he's made the media one of his central targets.
Is it any wonder that Trump keeps cancelling his press conferences?
Trump probably would say since he's so rich, nobody can influence him so he can sell access all day long without being compromised and his supporters will be fine with it.
But you know, Donald did pay off his lawsuits with money that came from his own charity!
And don't forget, it's fundraiser time!
You can hit the donate button above, or send a check to us here:
Crooksandliars.comP.O. BOX 66310Los Angeles, CA 90066
So please, donate whatever you can.
And if you can afford it, a recurring payment of ten to twenty five dollars a month would be awesome too.
VIDEO - Vladimir Putin Issues Statement on Assassination of Russian Ambassador (Video and Transcript)'... | The Last Refuge
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:28
Reading from partly prepared remarks, Russia's President Vladimir Putin spoke briefly to state media in advance of a meeting with key officials of the Russian government.
Worth noting is how, within the remarks, President Putin verbally places Turkey between Russia and Iran regarding the Syrian conflict. Structurally, this is not accidental.
(TRANSCRIPT) ''News came today from Turkey where the ambassador of Russia was cowardly killed, Karlov Andrea Genadievich.
First of all I would like to give my sincere condolences to the family and friends of our fallen comrade. I request the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to award him posthumous and offer proposals for making a memorial. He died on duty.
He was a brilliant diplomat, who was widely respected in the country where he was posted. He had a good relationship, both with the Turkish government as well as other political forces. He was respected among them.
Andrey Genadievich was also a very intelligent and gentle man '' kind. I know this first-hand because I knew him personally, and during my last trip to Turkey in the autumn of this year he was accompanying me during the whole trip.
This murder is clearly a provocation aimed at derailing the normalization of Russo-Turkish relationship, and also the peace in Syria, which is actively promoted by Russia, Turkey, Iran and other countries interested in peace settlement of the Syrian conflict.
There could only be one response, escalation of war on terror; and the bandits will feel this.
The Investigative Committee of Russia has already launched an investigation into the murder.
They are tasked with forming a work group which shall immediately leave for Ankara to take part, along with Turkish partners, an investigation of this crime.
This agreement has been reached just now in a phone call with the Turkish President. We must know who guided the hand of the killer. We must reinforce the security of the diplomatic missions and consulates of Russia in Turkey.
Also, we must get guarantees from the Turkish side about the security of Russian diplomatic missions in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. And I request you to present your coordinated offers for strengthening the security measures of Russian diplomatic missions abroad''. (end transcript)
VIDEO - Photographer Who Saw Russian Ambassador Assassination: Only There Since It Was On Way Home from Work - YouTube
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:21
VIDEO - Peters on Berlin Christmas Market Attack: German Police 'Really Screwed This One Up' - YouTube
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:16
VIDEO - Cyber firm says Russian 'Methbot' scam is defrauding digital advertisers
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 22:31
A cybersecurity firm says it has uncovered a massive online scam that employs an army of automated web browsers to siphon millions of dollars of advertising per day away from U.S. media companies and brand-name advertisers.
The firm, New York-based White Ops, has dubbed the operation "Methbot," because of references to meth buried in the computer code underlying the scam, and says it is the largest and most profitable fraud operation yet to strike digital advertising. The company says the scam, which it believes originated in Russia, is using a so-called bot net to fake views of as many as 300 million video ads per day and trick advertisers to pay for views that were never seen by humans.
With Russian government hacking dominating headlines around the world, White Ops CEO Michael Tiffany said this scam is probably not being run by the Kremlin even though it has enormous size and sophistication.
Source: Vogue.com
Sample of a Methbot Generated URL for Vogue.com video advertisement.
"We really see no signs of state sponsorship, it looks to us like this is really a private criminal group," Tiffany said. "They're just bada---s."
Tiffany said someone with a deep understanding of the industry is likely behind the scam. "This shows an incredible, absolutely insider's mastery of digital advertising," he said. "It requires multiple skills."
To be sure, the White Ops report is an allegation from a single cybersecurity firm and cannot be independently verified by CNBC. Confirmation of the allegation will depend on other security firms, possibly the U.S. government, and the online advertising industry itself. If true, the allegation means that there is significant fraud at the heart of the global online video industry.
A "bot net" is a network of computers infected with malicious code that is controlled by hackers for a purpose that can be unknown to the actual owners of the computers. They are frequently used by online scammers to ramp up the scale of a cyberattack and hide the perpetrators.
The company said the scam works because of the fragmented nature of the online advertising marketplace, in which buyers and sellers of advertising no longer know each other, or even communicate with one another. "At this point the Methbot operation has become so embedded in the layers of the advertising ecosystem [that] the only way to shut it down is to make the details public to help affected parties take action," White Ops said in a paper released Tuesday. Tiffany told CNBC he is optimistic that the scam, which has been ongoing at high volume for several months, could be stopped by a coordinated ad industry effort. "I think we're going to respond and take away their ability to profit in record time," he said.
By farming out the operations across a wide network, Methbot has been able to avoid some typical detection methods, White Ops said, adding that the scam "marks an innovation that transcends beyond traditional bot nets allowing Methbot to scale beyond anything the industry has seen before and placing it in a new class of bot fraud."
Here's how it allegedly works:
The online advertising market depends on an automated auction system in order to match media companies with advertisers. Advertisers hire a vast array of ad buyers to purchase advertising time on websites across the internet. That process has been automated through software exchanges that match buyers and sellers of online video, with hundreds of transactions taking place in fractions of seconds. It's that process itself that is being attacked: The Methbot group offers fake advertising inventory into the system, and then generates phony views of the ads in an effort to collect money from the unwitting ad buyers.
According to White Ops, the Methbot scammers were able to generate fake records of a user's activity online, making the bots appear to be human, even down to the level of detail of phony cursor movements and bogus social media login information. White Ops also says the Methbot operators used dedicated servers to run proxies so it would not be clear that all of this traffic was coming from one entity. And they used falsified documents to gain access to 571,904 real IP addresses, the company said, making it appear that the fraudulent ad traffic came from real Internet providers.
What's more, the fraudsters were able to fool the advertising exchanges by offering data specifically designed to slip past known fraud detection efforts. White Ops said the Methbot operators used code specifically designed to defeat viewability measurement for both specific vendors and for spoofing industry standard measurements.
White Ops calculated that the 200 million to 300 million fake impressions per day generated between $3 million and $5 million per day for whoever operated the scam. In an effort to combat the fraud, White Ops said that it will release known IP addresses affiliated with Methbot, so that advertisers and their agencies can block them. And the company says it will release a falsified domain name and full URL list to show where this phony activity has been taking place.
The company also said it has been in contact with federal law enforcement about the scam.
One industry group said it was scheduling a briefing for representatives of 100 companies on Tuesday, to provide them with the details in the White Ops report. "This is like our Superbowl," said Mike Zaneis, CEO of the Trustworthy Accountability Group, a non-profit coalition that works to combat digital ad fraud. "Unfortunately, with an issue like this, these things crop up all the time, so you have multiple Super Bowls because there are constant threats."
Zaneis said the advertising industry inadvertently opened the opportunity for cyber criminals as it moved to a fractured, anonymous and instant online exchange system that did not prioritize verification efforts. "You should know where your ads are going and who you're doing business with," Zaneis said. "We need to fix this problem, because an industry can't stand on the basis of fraud."
UPDATED: This story was updated to include comment from the CEO of the Trustworthy Accountability Group.
VIDEO - Day 58 - Where is Eric Braverman? - YouTube
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 22:22
VIDEO - Theresa May refuses to guarantee MPs a vote on final Brexit plan
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 18:11
Theresa May has refused to guarantee MPs will get a vote on the final Brexit deal to be thrashed out with the 27 EU leaders.
The Prime Minister was repeatedly asked whether the deal would be put to Parliament, as it will to the European Parliament, in her "end of term" appearance in front of the Liaison Committee.
The furthest Mrs May would go was to say that Parliament would have "ample opportunity to comment on and discuss the aspects of the arrangements that we are putting in place".
:: AS IT HAPPENED: MPs may not get vote on Brexit plan
When pushed by the chairman of the committee, Andrew Tyrie, to answer yes or no on a final deal vote for MPs, the Prime Minister simply said: "The answer I gave is the answer I gave".
She added: "There seems to be this idea that somehow we are not letting Parliament do anything.
"We have made statements to Parliament, we are having debates in Parliament, there will be the Great Repeal Bill, there is a whole variety of commitments we have given to Parliament.
"We will make sure that Parliament has the opportunity to discuss these matters as we go through thenegotiations."
:: Bad Brexit deal could trigger new Scotland referendum
Brexit select committee chairman Hilary Benn also came up against a brick wall and later tweeted: "Why can't the PM commit to MPs voting on the final Brexit deal when David Davis has said that it would be 'inconceivable' for them not to?"
The committee hearing came against a backdrop of increasing frustration from MPs over the Prime Minister's refusal to give "a running commentary" on Brexit.
Mrs May said she would be making a speech "early in the new year" setting out further Brexit details.
She said she would publish a Brexit plan before MPs voted on triggering Article 50 at the end of March, but would not give a date on when those proposals would be released.
During the question session, there were testy scenes with the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Labour's Yvette Cooper, over migration figures and how Mrs May would tackle them.
Ms Cooper asked the Prime Minister how she would reach her net migration target of "tens of thousands" and asked if she would be putting forward immigration measures with the Brexit plan.
She said Mrs May would need to cut EU net migration from 189,000 to around 50,000 and asked her if she would be prepared to stick to her targets even if it was at the expense of British interests in terms of business.
The Prime Minister said she was not expected to extend the Article 50 negotiating period beyond two years.
However, she admitted that if the European Parliament voted against the final deal then EU leaders would have to ask to extend the deadline - if they wanted negotiations to continue.
But she dismissed claims by the UK ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers, that it could take 10 years to reach a trade deal.
The Prime Minister said Government departments were preparing for the "worse case scenario" of the UK leaving the EU with no deal.
She said: "We are looking at a variety of scenarios that could come forward in relation to the negotiation, the deal, the timing and what other opportunities would be there."
Mrs May also said there would likely be an "implementation period" after Brexit to give businesses a chance to adapt but she stressed this would not be a delay of Brexit.
VIDEO - President Obama Will Focus On Developing The Democratic Bench After Leaving Office : NPR
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 15:28
President Obama sees a role for himself in rebuilding the Democratic Party after he leaves office '-- coach.
"What I am interested in is just developing a whole new generation of talent," Obama told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview on Morning Edition.
"There are such incredible young people who not only worked on my campaign, but I've seen in advocacy groups," Obama said. "I've seen passionate about issues like climate change, or conservation, criminal justice reform. You know, campaigns to '-- for a livable wage, or health insurance. And making sure that whatever resources, credibility, spotlight that I can bring to help them rise up. That's something that I think I can do well, I think Michelle can do well."
There are clearly, though, failures on our part to give people in rural areas or in ex-urban areas, a sense day-to-day that we're fighting for them or connected to them."
President Obama
The Democrats' deep hole
They'll have their work cut out for them. Republicans will control the House, Senate and White House when President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in Jan. 20. That's a reversal of the situation Obama found himself in when he took office eight years ago '-- the peak of massive Democratic electoral gains at the end of the Bush administration.
And on the state level, Republicans head into 2017 with 33 out of 50 governors '-- more than in nearly 100 years. The GOP will have complete control of the governors' offices and state legislatures in 25 states, while Democrats will hold complete control in just six states. Republicans solidified gains that started in 2010 by drawing favorable congressional and statehouse districts in many states during the redistricting process.
Democrats find themselves in a deep hole after an election that most party officials expected to win.
Obama told NPR that he disagreed with suggestions the party should change its policy platforms, instead attributing losses to messaging and strategy.
"I don't think there's something wrong with the core argument that the Democratic Party has made for years," the president said. "And the reason we know that is because on the individual issues that Democrats talk about there's strong support. For example, the minimum wage. In every survey across the country, people support a higher minimum wage. There are clearly, though, failures on our part to give people in rural areas or in ex-urban areas, a sense day-to-day that we're fighting for them or connected to them."
The president said his party has "ceded too much territory" to Republicans in local races. "I am a proud Democrat," he said, "but I do think that we have a bias towards national issues and international issues."
It's the economy
Obama blamed part of that on the political conversation, and what topics are magnified during campaigns. Voters, he said, "may know less about the work that my administration did on trying to promote collective bargaining or overtime rules. But they know a lot about the controversy around transgender bathrooms. Because it's more controversial, it attracts more attention."
On strategy, Obama acknowledged that it was apparent soon after he entered the White House in 2009 that the successful campaign structure that got him elected to the presidency wasn't going to work for candidates down the ballot, but that the economic crash at the time meant the political spade work didn't receive enough attention.
"We were in a huge crisis situation, and so a lot of the organizing work that we did during the campaign, we started to see right away didn't immediately translate to, wasn't immediately transferable to congressional candidates," Obama said. "More work would have needed to be done to just build up that structure."
Republicans made significant gains during midterm years when Obama's name was not on the ballot and his campaign wasn't in the field, taking control of the House in 2010 and the Senate in 2014.
Competing for rural voters
As he's done before, though, Obama also faulted Democrats for failing to compete '-- or even show up, at times '-- in rural areas. He talked about campaigning in rural Illinois while running for Senate and making repeated visits to Republican-friendly corners of Iowa during the 2008 campaign, "and just sitting down in people's living rooms and VFW halls and at fish fries and listening to people."
"Which meant that in 2012," the president continued, "I might still lose the overall vote and some of these counties or some of these voting districts but I might lose 55-45 or 60-40, rather than 80-20."
They may know less about the work that my administration did on trying to promote collective bargaining or overtime rules. But they know a lot about the controversy around transgender bathrooms."
President Obama
Narrower losses in just a handful of rural counties could have put Hillary Clinton in the White House, as she lost Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan each by less than 1 percent.
While Clinton has been criticized for not keeping up a busier campaign schedule, particularly in those industrial Midwestern states, she spent much of the early part of her campaign holding listening sessions with voters, and immediately following the Democratic National Convention, she went on a bus tour through the very parts of Ohio and Pennsylvania she has been criticized for not giving enough attention. Many of those conversations informed the issues and messages Clinton's campaign focused on, most notably opioid addiction and a plan to help people in coal country affected by job losses. But after that bus tour she didn't again put in a sustained effort to win over white, working class voters.
Critical to the Democratic playbook in industrial states involves running up voting margins in urban areas. When turnout dropped in urban areas, but rose in rural counties, those key states flipped Republican for the first time in decades.
Also in his conversation with NPR, Obama spoke of the need for Americans to pin their hopes for the country to more than who wins the White House every four years.
"If we either celebrate or despair just around presidential elections, without spending enough time focusing on how, in our day-to-day lives, in our local civic lives, in our media, in our culture," Obama said. "If we're not spending enough time reflecting on, 'What am I doing to be part of the solution as opposed to being part of the problem?' Then we'll get better presidents and worse presidents, but we're not going to get to where we need to go."
VIDEO - Bill would block computers bought in S.C. from accessing porn | The Charlotte Observer
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 13:59
People buying computers in South Carolina would be limited in their access to porn online under newly proposed legislation.
A bill pre-filed this month by state Rep. Bill Chumley would require sellers to install digital blocking capabilities on computers and other devices that access the internet to prevent the viewing of obscene content.
The proposal also would prohibit access to any online hub that facilities prostitution and would require manufacturers or sellers to block any websites that facilitate trafficking.
Both sellers and buyers could get around the limitation, for a fee. The bill would fine manufacturers that sell a device without the blocking system, but they could opt out by paying $20 per device sold. Buyers could also verify their age and pay $20 to remove the filter.
Money collected would go toward the Attorney General Office's human trafficking task force.
Chumley's bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
Associated Press
VIDEO - DN! Peofwsssor Cohen
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 06:21
AMYGOODMAN: With the aid of Russian airstrikes, Syria has taken near full control of the city of Aleppo in a major defeat for forces hoping to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Before fighting began in 2012, Aleppo was Syria's largest city, with a population of over 2 million. Some of the first major peaceful protests against Assad's rule broke out in Aleppo in March 2011. But today the city is in shambles, after four years of fighting between Syria and rebel groups. A turning point in the battle of Aleppo occurred in September 2015, when Russia began carrying out airstrikes to aid the Syrian government. Negotiations are now ongoing for a truce to allow the evacuation of civilians living in the areas once held by rebel forces. An initial truce collapsed earlier today. Ismail Alabdullah, a volunteer with the Syrian Civil Defense, or White Helmets, said civilians had been executed by government forces.
ISMAILALABDULLAH: When Assad's forces captured al-Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood and al-Fardos neighborhood, Assad's forces, when they entered'--when they entered these neighborhoods, they executed 82 people. And the relatives of the victims, who are now with us, told us they were executed, including like 13 kids and seven women. All of them were executed. And what we are now'--and what we worry about, about our [inaudible], that maybe the genocide'--that genocide will happen in the coming days, if nothing will stop them in the coming hours.
AMYGOODMAN: Russia described the fall of Aleppo as a victory against terrorists and jihadists, but the United States has decried the Russian-backed offensive. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said, quote, "Aleppo will join the ranks of those events in world history that define modern evil, that stain our conscience decades later'--Halabja, Rwanda, Srebrenica and now Aleppo," unquote. The U.N. said at least 82 civilians, including women and children, have been shot on sight by Syrian government troops in recent days.
To talk more about Syria, as well as how the fall of Aleppo impacts U.S.-Russian relations, we're joined by two guests. Kenneth Roth is with us, executive director of Human Rights Watch. His new article for The New York Review of Books is headlined "What Trump Should Do in Syria." And Stephen Cohen also joins us, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. He's a contributing editor at The Nation magazine.
Welcome, both, to Democracy Now! Ken Roth, let's begin with you. What's happened in Syria? And talk about Russia's role.
KENNETHROTH: Well, we're all focused on Aleppo right now. And I think, as you mentioned earlier, Aleppo has been the victim of several months of siege, basically a starvation of everybody there, not simply the fighters, but up to 250,000 civilians. It also has been the victim of ongoing bombardment by Syrian and Russian forces. And what's notable about the way this war has been fought'--and Aleppo is no exception to this'--is that the Syrian-Russian combination have not simply aimed at fighters on the other side, which is what you're supposed to do in war, but they have deliberately targeted civilians and civilian institutions, like hospitals or markets and the like. And the aim is to make life so miserable that people either flee or the enclave ultimately topples. That's been this tactic in other areas, and now that has been successful in Aleppo. This is an overt war crime strategy, and it's been Assad's method of fighting the war from the outset. And Russia very much joined it, when, a little over year ago, in September 2015, it joined in. We had all hoped at that stage that the greater precision that Russian Air Force brought to the fighting would enable a more targeted approach. In fact, they just continued the policy of targeting civilians.
Now, we had hoped, as of last night, that for the remaining civilians in Aleppo'--as well as the fighters, apparently'--that there would be an evacuation. That had been arranged. But this morning, Shia militia, backed by Iran, blocked that deal and resumed shelling the area. This is of deep concern because, as you heard from the White Helmet individual, there have been executions in Aleppo when pro-government forces have entered. They, in particular, have been targeting the families of fighters. These are well known, and they're going door to door and executing women and children, as well as others who are there. So there's deep concern that if the people who remain in eastern Aleppo cannot get out, that they, too, may face these kinds of summary executions.
AMYGOODMAN: So, are you accusing Russia and Syria of war crimes here?
KENNETHROTH: Absolutely. In other words, I mean, the fighters on the ground today are principally either Syrian or'--I mean, the other major forces that have been backing Syria on the ground have been Iran and Hezbollah. Russia has been playing mainly an aerial role. But it'--and often you can't tell which plane is which. You know, there are various efforts. But the combination of the Assad-Putin air forces have been deliberately bombing civilians and civilian institutions, time and time again. You speak to people in hospitals who report being targeted over and over again, until ultimately the hospital is destroyed. And this, you know, sadly, has been the strategy that Putin and Assad have pursued in Syria. This is a blatant war crime. The Geneva Conventions require that you take all feasible precautions to spare civilians. In this case, the deliberate purpose has been to target civilians. It's a blatant war crime.
AMYGOODMAN: Professor Stephen Cohen?
STEPHENCOHEN: Is anybody here old enough to remember the expression "fog of war"? I think it may have originated in World War I. I'm not sure. But then, when you get a war, you have a very difficult time getting reliable information about what's going on.
There are several narratives about the Syrian civil proxy war'--and that's what it is, a lot of great powers, or would-be great powers, involved in Syria. The United States and Russia are involved in a proxy war there. It's a civil war. The account Mr. Roth just gave is only one of two or three competing narratives. One narrative is'--and in war, innocents die. That's why we're all antiwar. He says that the Russians joined with the Syrians in deliberate war crimes. This is based on very selective reports that come from sources that cannot be verified. For example, the White Helmet man, that you had testify to this, didn't tell us how he knew that, how he observed it, how he escaped with his own life. Moreover, there are people who doubt the reports that come from the White Helmets, that they have an agenda. So the rest of us are left here trying to weigh the different narratives. Mr. Roth's is a very extreme set of accusations. What Samantha Power has said at the United Nations, over a long period of time, can't be taken at face value, because she has performed there not as an ambassador, but as a propagandist for a certain point of view.
The problem here is, is that what's the alternative to ending the siege of Aleppo? Now, you, Amy, Mr. Roth and The New York Times have dropped the word "jihadist" and "terrorist" from your narrative. I don't know if you're aware you've done that. You may have done this because The New York Times, until September'--why was September important? Because President Obama had proposed to join with President Putin in what Mr. Roth now calls war crimes'--that is, a military alliance against the people who are holding Aleppo captive. And they called them terrorists. When our Department of Defense sabotaged that potential Russian-American alliance in Aleppo, in Syria, suddenly the narrative'--and we're back to the fog of war'--changed. The New York Times, for example, and many of us who depend on the Times or The Washington Post for our information, suddenly changed their narrative. There were no longer any terrorists in Aleppo, no longer any jihadists, but people called rebels. And since our nation began in rebellion against Great Britain, rebels have a rather positive connotation. The reality is, I think'--at least this is what the United States government told us until September'--that terrorists were holding large parts of eastern Aleppo. They were not letting innocent civilians use the multiple corridors out of the city that the Russians'--yes, there's plenty of testimony to this'--had opened up and guaranteed, that people could not escape the city because of these terrorists. Then, suddenly, when the American-Russian'--Obama's plan to cooperate with Putin there disappeared, apparently all the jihadists and the terrorists disappeared.
So we're left today in a fog of war. Perhaps Mr. Roth is correct, but I don't think he's fully correct. And we have two narratives. Either we have witnessed the liberation of Aleppo, and then we would say this is a good thing, or we're witnessing war crimes by the Russians and the Syrians in Aleppo, which is a bad thing. So, I would ask Mr. Roth: If the Russians hadn't done what he alleged they would do, what was the alternative to setting the people of Aleppo free?
AMYGOODMAN: Ken Roth?
KENNETHROTH: Let me begin with this fog of war argument, because, you know, when there's nothing to say, when there's nothing to defend, let's resort to the fog of war. I mean, I've heard this argument many, many times. This is not fog of war. We know exactly what is going on. Human Rights Watch has teams on the ground, based in Beirut, occasionally going into Syria, in regular communication with people in Aleppo, in other places. We don't publish until we know exactly what is going on, until we corroborate and we're certain. So this is not a matter of just, you know, taking some jihadist propagandist and repeating it. We know exactly what is happening. And there is no question that the bombardment has been targeting civilians and civilian institutions. There is no question that the siege was starving everybody, including a quarter of a million civilians. So, you know, fog of war? Please. You know, this is the reality.
Now, what'--you know, what could have been done? We speak about terrorists, and so let's get specific here. When people use that term, they generally refer to two groups. One is the Islamic State, or ISIS. ISIS is actually not in Aleppo at all. The U.S., working with its Kurdish allies, is fighting ISIS, you know, in Iraq around Mosul and in Syria around Raqqa. And Russia, for the most part, and Assad have largely been ignoring that fight. They've been focusing on Aleppo. Now, in Aleppo, there are what are known as sort of the moderate rebels, and then there's a group that the United States agrees is a terrorist, is an al-Qaeda affiliate'--until very recently, when it supposedly distanced itself from al-Qaeda'--traditionally known as Jabhat al-Nusra. The Jabhat al-Nusra forces are a relatively small component of the people in Aleppo, but the U.S. has agreed with Russia that it would like to see those people defeated.
Now, you know, however you feel about that, however you feel about the other rebels, the issue is'--here, is not who wins. The issue is the method of warfare. And the right way to proceed is you shoot at the combatants on the other side. That's what the laws of war are all about. Unfortunately, Putin and Assad have chosen to target the civilians who also live there. It's a very deliberate strategy: make life so miserable that ultimately the city has no choice but to capitulate.
Now, you know, there is tremendous fear on the part of civilians in all of these enclaves who are targeted, and they'--on the one hand, they fear staying there, because they're facing the bombardment by the Russian and the Syrian troops; on the other hand, they fear going over into Syrian hands, because, you know, we know what happens in Syrian prisons. We've seen extensive torture and execution. We have photos of, you know, thousands of people who have died in those prisons. And so, if you're a young man, for example, you basically are facing a choice: You know, do you either risk your life in Assad's detention facilities, or'--you know, what they're increasingly doing is forcing you to just get into the Syrian military and go to the front line'--you know, essentially a suicide mission there. So, it is, you know, a very poor possibility. Now, many families are staying with their relatives who are fighters, and these are the people who are being first targeted by the pro-government forces that are coming in. So, we are'--you know, this is not about how do you defeat terrorists. This is about slaughter of civilians. And we should keep that focus.
AMYGOODMAN: Slaughter of civilians. The United Nations calls it a meltdown of humanity. Stephen Cohen?
STEPHENCOHEN: Well, the United Nations has issued conflicting reports. There's a bit of a struggle at the United Nations about what to say about all this.
Look, Mr. Roth's organization does God's work. No question about it. But for millennia, we've argued exactly what God's work is. One can support what Human Rights Watch does, with great enthusiasm, make a donation, urge Mr. Roth on, and still question his narrative. He has, he asserts, absolutely verifiable sources. The reality is, he doesn't. He criticizes me for saying fog of war, but there are other reports that have to be taken into account. The charge that Russia deliberately targets civilian facilities and centers is, of course, a part of the growing anti-Russian line that's captured our politics and has led to this scandal in Washington.
I think we need to step back for a minute. And I won't speak of my own involvement in human rights or civil liberties, because I'm older than both of you, and I would have you at a disadvantage, because I'm not sure you even remember these struggles'--you do, but I'm not talking about only in the South, but in Russia and elsewhere. Putin said, prior to sending his Air Force to Syria, just over a year ago, in September 2015, I think'--said it at the United Nations. He said it to President Obama. He said it at every press conference. During the period, three-year period, prior to that, the United States claimed it was fighting the Islamic State'--and, of course, Mr. Roth is right: There are different terrorist groups fighting in Syria, some in Palmyra, some in Aleppo. During the three years the United States claimed to have been fighting the Islamic State, the Islamic State gained more and more and more territory, after the fall of Libya, or after we overthrew Gaddafi. It gained more territory in Iraq, and it gained an enormous territory in Syria. And something new emerged in the world: a terrorist organization that had actually turned itself into a real state. I mean, it was governing these territories, running municipal facilities, collecting taxes. This was something new and exceedingly dangerous.
So Putin said we have a choice: Who do we want in Damascus, the capital of Syria? Do we want Assad, the president of Syria, or do we want the Islamic State in Damascus? This was the key policy difference between the United States and Russia. The Obama had'--administration had pursued, in fact, a policy of overthrowing Assad. Dealing with terrorists in Syria, some of whom we've funded, as Mr. Roth well knows, because they claimed to be anti-Assad, meant that, in fact, as we pursued the war against Assad, the Islamic State turned'--took more and more territory. And Russia decided it had had enough, because it believed Syria was vital to its national security, and it intervened, and the war has been turned around. The United States has been on the wrong side of history from the beginning of this. The United States has made its contribution, since Vietnam, at least, to the destruction of hospitals and civilian facilities, most recently in Afghanistan. Was it deliberate? I don't know. It was probably an accident. In Mr. Roth's absolutist view, everything is certain, everything is deliberate. I'm more problematic.
But look what's happening in Syria today. It's extremely interesting. The Russians and the Syrians, some months ago, took back Palmyra, this historic city, where the Islamic State had been chopping off heads in public, where it had lined up its victims and had young children'--looked to be about 10, 11, 12'--execute them. I'm sure Human Rights Watch reported that and protested it. And then the Russians and the Syrians liberated the city. Now Palmyra is under siege again. The Islamic State may take control of the city. What is the United States doing about it? This is what we should be asking. This is our country now, not Russia.
AMYGOODMAN: Ken Roth, your response?
KENNETHROTH: Well, I'm glad'--
STEPHENCOHEN: Well, let'--wait, let me finish my point. You filibustered. Let me just make my last point. He hasn't mentioned Mosul, by the way, and whether the same thing is happening in Mosul. The American-led'--
KENNETHROTH: I just mentioned that, yeah.
STEPHENCOHEN: One second, please. There are verifiable reports that jihadists in Mosul are fleeing, because of the Iraqi-American war there. Where are they going? They're going to Syria. The United States has bombers in that area. They could stop these people from going to Syria. They're headed, I would guess, toward Palmyra. Why is the United States allowing these jihadists, these terrorists, to go to Syria? Because, possibly, they want them to take back Palmyra from the Russians and the Syrians. Now, we don't know if that's true, but the American role is highly suspect.
And rather than sit here and say the Russians are committing war crimes'--because, look, one person's war crime is another person's liberation. On the front page of The New York Times this very morning, there is a story by Anne Barnard'--by the way, Americans are not filing from Syrian that; they're filing from Beirut, so they're depending on different sources. But she makes an interesting point. She repeats what Mr. Roth says, that'--about people being executed by the Syrian Army. But she goes on to say these can't be verified. And then, two or three paragraphs later, she reports that people trapped in Aleppo are welcoming the Syrian Army with jubilation, she reports. So, even in The New York Times, which has not been very helpful in these narratives, you see the two narratives.
And undoubtedly, part of what Mr. Roth said is absolutely true. Part of it is part of the position that he has taken more generally about Russia being mainly responsible for virtually everything bad that's happening in the world. And I'll just end by saying that, in my judgment, the real threat to our national security at this moment, number one, is not unfolding in Syria, but in Washington, D.C.
AMYGOODMAN: Ken Roth?
KENNETHROTH: Let's get back to reality here. The U.S. has been bombing ISIS in both Mosul and in Raqqa. You know, Professor Cohen says jihadists are fleeing Mosul. That was several weeks ago. You know, since then, it's actually been encircled, and so they're not fleeing. But there's no question that the U.S. is actively bombing in Iraq. It's backed by, you know, government forces and Kurdish forces on the ground. And in Syria, it's backed by predominantly Kurdish forces with a Syrian component to it. You know, that war seems to be progressing slowly.
If you look at what the Russian role in this has been, yes, you know, a year ago Russia retook Palmyra from ISIS. These days, it's been focusing entirely on Aleppo, where there is no ISIS. If you look at'--there's a group called the Institute for the Study of War, which puts out very interesting maps, basically once a month, to show where the bombardment is. And so, they show the Russian bombardment. And you can see all these little explosives around Aleppo, and, you know, one or two around Raqqa or Palmyra. I have tweeted that on my Twitter account, if people want to find it. So, I mean, there's no question that the focus of Russia and Assad today has not been ISIS. They use the terrorist rhetoric, but they've been going after the opponents of the Assad regime.
Now, you know, that's their choice. For me, the issue is how they fight the war. Now, Professor Cohen says, oh, you know, I'm just making this up that they're targeting civilians. You know, look at the hospitals. They're a very good illustration. Until September 2015, you know, at a point where it was just the Syrian Air Force in the skies, they were using these so-called barrel bombs, which are very imprecise weapons. They're essentially canisters filled with explosives and shrapnel, which would tumble to earth'--very difficult to target. Since the Russians entered the war, they've got precision weapons. And so, you talk to the doctors'--and which I've done repeatedly'--and they describe much more precise hits on the hospital. And this is not a mistake. This is over and over and over until the hospital is destroyed. There is no question that these hospitals are being deliberately targeted. You can say, "Oh, fog of war," but last time I checked, the only people in the sky over Aleppo are the Russians and the Syrians. There's no one else.
AMYGOODMAN: We're going to have to break, and then we're going to come back to this discussion and go to this issue that Professor Cohen has raised: Washington, the Russia-U.S. relationship. We're speaking with Professor Stephen Cohen, has taught Russian studies at both New York University and Princeton, now writes for The Nation, and Kenneth Roth, who's executive director of Human Rights Watch. Stay with us.
VIDEO - Kellyanne Conway: 'I'm Not A Sore Winner. I'm A Winner.' | Hardball | MSNBC - YouTube
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:50
VIDEO-FALSE FLAG - Erdogan, "US FALSE FLAG" by Obamanation!!! Russian Ambassador to Turkey Assassinated! Excerpt2 - YouTube
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:46
VIDEO - Wisconsin Moonbats Cry and Complain After Electoral Vote (Video)'... | The Last Refuge
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 23:49
Epic moonbat whining in Madison Wisconsin as the electoral votes are tallied for President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence.
(link)
VIDEO - Sen. Schumer Joins Republicans Calling For Special Senate Committee To Investigate Russia | Crooks and Liars
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 23:46
Sen. Chuck Schumer, the new leader of the Senate Democrats has joined with Sen. Jack Reed, John McCain and Lindsey Graham and is calling for GOP leadership to create a new select committee on cybersecurity to investigate Russian hacking. in a letter that was released yesterday.
We know that Sen. Mitch McConnell will resist all attempts at getting to the bottom of Russia's involvement because of the potential it holds to tar the Trump administration.
His call for the Senate intelligence committee investigation is not nearly strong enough to get to the bottom of this huge problem and he knows it.
In the joint letter, the four Senators wrote, "Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American. Cybersecurity is the ultimate cross-jurisdictional challenge, and we must take a comprehensive approach to meet this challenge effectively."
They continued, "We share your respect for, and deference to, the regular order of the Senate, and we recognize that this is an extraordinary request. However, we believe it is justified by the extraordinary scope and scale of the cyber problem. Democrats and Republicans must work together, and across the jurisdictional lines of the Congress, to address this unique challenge."
In his own NY presser, Sen. Schumer said this:
In New York, Schumer flatly said an Intelligence Committee investigation was ''not good enough.''
''First, things could be left out. There could be holes that no committee covers,'' Schumer said during his news conference. ''Second, we could get contradictory information. '... And third, the existing committees are very, very busy.''
Last week both McCain and Schumer joined CBS to discuss the need for a select committee
VIDEO - Transcript And Video: NPR's Exit Interview With President Obama : NPR
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 23:42
In a wide-ranging exit interview, NPR's Steve Inskeep asks President Obama about Russian interference in the U.S. election, executive power, the future of the Democratic party and his future role.
Steve Inskeep: Thanks for joining us one more time; I really appreciate it.
President Obama: Great to be with you, Steve.
Over my shoulder here is Theodore Roosevelt. In 1884, Theodore Roosevelt was frustrated about an election and wrote a letter saying the voice of the people might be the voice of God 51 times out of 100, but the other 49, it may be the voice of a devil or of a fool. Which do you think it was this time in 2016?
Well, it's hard to assess because we know for example that Hillary won the popular vote by a sizable margin. We know that there are a substantial number of voters out there who not only voted for me twice but currently support me who also voted for Donald Trump.
So I think we have a scrambled political landscape right now. There are some things that we know are a challenge for Democrats '-- structural problems. For example, population distribution, oftentimes younger voters, minority voters, Democratic voters, are clustered in urban areas.
And on the coasts, sure.
And on the coasts, and so as a consequence you've got a situation where there're not only entire states but also big chunks of states where, if we're not showing up, if we're not in there making an argument, then we're going to lose. And we can lose badly, and that's what happened in this election.
Is this just a matter of showing up, or is there something wrong with the argument?
Well. No, well, I don't think there's something wrong with the core argument that the Democratic Party has made for years. And the reason we know that is because on the individual issues that Democrats talk about there's strong support. For example, the minimum wage. In every survey across the country, people support a higher minimum wage. There are clearly, though, failures on our part to give people in rural areas or in exurban areas, a sense day-to-day that we're fighting for them or connected to them.
Some of it is the prism through which they're seeing the political debate take place. They may know less about the work that my administration did on trying to promote collective bargaining or overtime rules. But they know a lot about the controversy around transgender bathrooms because it's more controversial, it attracts more attention.
I think that on something like the Affordable Care Act, you have people who are benefiting right now from Obamacare who either don't know it's Obamacare or consider that as a given and then end up voting on Second Amendment rights. So part of the reason it's important to show up, and when I say show up, I don't just mean during election time, but to be in there engaging and listening and being with people, is because it then builds trust and it gives you a better sense of how should you talk about issues in a way that feel salient and feel meaningful to people.
And I've said this before. Part of the reason I got elected twice '-- and part of the reason why in a lot of these communities I still have pretty strong support. It was the incredible benefit that I had in first running for the United States Senate in a state that has a lot of rural communities and has a downstate that typically is suspicious of Chicagoans in the city. And just sitting down in people's living rooms and VFW halls and at fish fries and listening to people.
And then in Iowa, spending months traveling around the state and hearing people's concerns and them hearing me and getting a sense that I get it. So that even during my low points in the presidency, when, you know, poll numbers were bad and news cycle was critical, people always felt as if I still cared about them '-- which meant that in 2012, I might still lose the overall vote and some of these counties or some of these voting districts, but I might lose 55-45 or 60-40 rather than 80-20. That's as a consequence of not only them seeing me in these places but it's also a consequence of me actually being there and hearing them.
Were Democrats failing to do that at every level because your party has lost the majority of races at almost every level at this point?
Well, you know, I think that we haven't done it as well as we need to. For example, we know that the Republicans, funded through organizations like the Koch brothers, have been very systematic at...
Building from ground up.
Building from the ground up and communicating to state legislators and financing school board races and public utility commission races, and, you know, I am a proud Democrat, but I do think that we have a bias towards national issues and international issues, and as a consequence I think we've ceded too much territory.
And I take some responsibility for that. You know, when I came into office, um, you know, we were just putting out fires. We were in a huge crisis situation. And so a lot of the organizing work that we did during the campaign, we started to see right away didn't immediately translate to, wasn't immediately transferable to, congressional candidates. And more work would have needed to be done to just build up that structure and, you know, one of the big suggestions that I have for Democrats as I leave, and something that, you know, I have some ideas about is, how do we do more of that ground up building?
Do you intend to be involved or just give advice?
Well, I think it's appropriate for me to give advice because I need some sleep. And I've promised Michelle a nice vacation. My girls are getting old enough now where I'm clinging to those very last moments before they are out of the house.
But there was a political organization that was built around you that still exists.
Well, I'm less likely to get involved in all the nuts and bolts of electioneering. In that realm, I'm much more likely to just give advice. What I am interested in is just developing a whole new generation of talent. There are such incredible young people who not only worked on my campaign, but I've seen in advocacy groups. I've seen passionate about issues like climate change or conservation, criminal justice reform, you know, campaigns for a livable wage, or health insurance, and making sure that whatever resources, credibility, spotlight that I can bring to help them rise up.
That's something that I think I can do well, I think Michelle can do well. That's part of what makes me optimistic about our future because I know those young people are out there ready to lead, and when they start moving into more and more positions of authority, then I think the issues that I care most deeply about are going to be well served.
You want to be a talent scout and build the bench that Democrats have admitted they don't have.
Well, not only a talent scout but I think also, you know, a coach, a friend, somebody who can build on the incredible work that has already been done by young people and that to a large degree was responsible for getting me elected.
Did the Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee '-- and other targets '-- actually affect the results of the election in your view?
There's no doubt that it contributed to an atmosphere in which the only focus for weeks at a time, months at a time, were Hillary's e-mails, the Clinton Foundation, political gossip surrounding the DNC. And that whole swirl that ended up dominating the news meant that number one, issues weren't talked about a lot in the coverage. Huge policy differences were not debated and vetted. It also meant that, what I think would have been a big advantage for Hillary objectively, her experience, her knowledge, her outstanding reputation around the world as secretary of state, all that stuff got lost. And I think in that scrum, in that swirl, you know, Donald Trump and his celebrity and his ability to garner attention and obviously tap into a lot of the anxieties and fears that some voters have, I think, definitely made a difference.
Now know how you would, this ...
Could you say the election could have turned out differently? That's what I want to know.
Well, elections can always turn out differently. You never know which factors are gonna make a difference. But I have no doubt that it had some impact just based on the coverage. And by the way, I'm talking about mainstream news coverage. I'm not talking about a whole separate set of issues around fake news. I'm talking about what was in the New York Times and the Washington Post and on the nightly news and even on NPR. And it meant that the field where I think Hillary shone, the field of substance and talking about how we're actually gonna increase people's wages and how we're gonna provide health care coverage to people and how we're gonna deal with major issues like climate change '-- that wasn't the field in which the campaign was ultimately decided.
Was that the media's fault for focusing on the wrong things or the candidate's fault for not finding ways to get her message through?
Steve, you know, I'd say that Monday morning quarterbacking is always easy to do. And what I've said already publicly, and I'll repeat: There is something about our current political ecosystem '-- and we're all part of it, the parties, the candidates, the media, the voters '-- that leads us to avoid going deep into the issues that are really gonna affect people's day-to-day lives, that put a premium on what here in the White House we call the shiny object: the faux scandals, the trumped up controversies, the, um, you know, insults that are flung back and forth. So that it ends up being covered like a reality show or '-- at best, a sporting event.
And we lose track of the fact that this has an impact on some family that's trying to send their kids to college, or some veteran who's trying to get their benefits, or whether or not some of our young people get sent to a far away land to fight a war. And if we don't, you know, do some hard reflection '-- all of us '-- on how that happens, then we're like a body that is already weakened and then becomes more vulnerable to foreign viruses, becomes more vulnerable to manipulation and demagoguery and that's something that I'm also going to be thinking a lot about in my afterlife, my post-presidency.
You talked about this with the comedian Trevor Noah the other day. And you said a number of things in a row. You observed that there had been contacts between members of Mr. Trump's staff and Russian officials. You noted that Trump benefited from the hacks. Your spokesman, Josh Earnest, has gone on to say this week that it's obvious that Trump knew what was going on. To what extent are you suggesting some kind of cooperation between the president-elect and Russian officials here?
Well, I'm, I'm not suggesting cooperation at all. Keep in mind that those statements were in the context of everyone now acting surprised by the CIA assessment that this was done purposely to improve Trump's chances. And my only point was that shouldn't be treated as a blockbuster because that was the worst kept secret in this town.
Everybody understood that. It was reported on. Steve, if you go back and look at your stories, if you read any mainstream publication, you would see that if you have a hack of the DNC and a hack of Hillary Clinton's most senior advisers' e-mails, and those things are then released in drip-drip-drip fashion over the course of months, and that seem to generate consistently negative coverage despite the fact that there's nothing in there that's particularly controversial, that it's mostly just, as I said, political gossip or routine emails between folks who are working in a campaign environment, then it's a pretty clear inference that people would draw, and did draw, that this was helping the Trump campaign and it was hurting the Hillary campaign.
That doesn't mean that the Trump campaign was coordinating. It just means that they understood what everybody else understood, which was that this was not good for Hillary Clinton's campaign. And when you combine that with the fact that the president-elect has been very honest about his admiration for Putin and that he hopes to forge a more cooperative relationship with him and focus on the threat of Islamic terrorism, then my only point was we shouldn't now suddenly act as if this is a huge revelation.
In October, we said, after being very careful about it because we had no interest in appearing as if we were putting our thumbs on the scales, we did what was almost unprecedented which was, every intelligence agency in the federal government arrived at a consensus, that the Russians had hacked the DNC. And the information that was now being released was as a consequence of a decision by Russian intelligence and Russian officials at the highest levels.
So what the CIA is now assessing, which was it was done purposefully to tilt the election in the direction of a particular candidate, shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. And in fact isn't a surprise to anybody.
And as I said before, the issue now is not relitigating the election. The issue now is for us to learn lessons so that we don't have an ongoing situation in every election cycle where you have substantial foreign influence in our campaigns.
There's another issue going forward. Is it necessary for the security of the United States that Russia pay some price for doing this ...?
I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections that we need to take action and we will, at a time and place of our own choosing. Some of it may be explicit and publicized; some of it may not be. But Mr. Putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it. And there is, you know, among the big powers, there has been a traditional understanding of that everybody is trying to gather intelligence on everybody else.
It's no secret that Russian intelligence officers, or Chinese, or for that matter Israeli, or British, or other intelligence agencies, that their job is to get insight into the workings of other countries that they they're not reading in the newspapers every day. There's a difference between that and the kind of malicious cyberattacks that steal trade secrets or engage in industrial espionage, something that we've seen the Chinese do.
And there's a difference between that and activating intelligence, in a way that's designed to influence elections. So we have been working hard to make sure that what we do is proportional. That what we do is meaningful. One of the things that we're going to have to do over the next decade is to ultimately arrive at some rules of what is a new game.
And that is the way in which traditional propaganda and traditional covert influence efforts are being turbocharged by the Internet and by the cyber world.
And so the whole issue of cybersecurity and how we play defense, how we think about offense and how we avoid an escalation of a major cyber war, or a cyber arms race, is something that some of our smartest folks in government and in the private sector are spending a lot of time thinking about. Because there is an asymmetry here.
We are more digitalized. Our economy is more advanced. It's much wealthier. And it means that we have certain vulnerabilities that some of our adversaries don't have. And this is actually a good example of where, in addition to whatever actions that we take bilaterally against Russia, we've got to spend some time working at an international level to start instituting some norms, the same way we did with things like nuclear weapons because ultimately we can have a situation where everybody's worse off. That's what we did with China when we were seeing repeated hacking primarily for industrial espionage purposes, commercial purposes. They were stealing, you know, technology and ideas.
And I had a very blunt conversation and President Xi saying "If you don't stop it, here's what we are going to do."
But what we also did was we mobilized the G-20, and the G7, and the United Nations, to start adopting basic rules saying "this is not something you do." And that can make a difference over time.
If whatever response you take is not completed by January 20th, do you have any reason to have confidence that President Trump will continue it?
My view is that this is not a partisan issue. And part of what we should be doing is to try to take it out of election season and move it into governing season.
The irony of all this, of course, is that for most of my presidency there's been a pretty sizable wing of the Republican Party that has consistently criticized me for not being tough enough on Russia.
Some of those folks during the campaign endorsed Donald Trump despite the fact that a central tenant of his foreign policy was we shouldn't be so tough on Russia. And that kind of inconsistency, I think, makes it appear at least, that their particular position on Russia on any given day depends on what's politically expedient.
There was a poll that came out a couple of days ago that said that 37 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of Vladimir Putin. Think about that. Over a third of Republican voters think Putin is a good guy. This is somebody who '-- the former head of the KGB, who is responsible for crushing democracy in Russia, muzzling the press, throwing political dissidents in jail, countering American efforts to expand freedom at every turn '-- is currently making decisions that's leading to a slaughter in Syria. And a big chunk of the Republican Party, which prided itself during the Reagan era and for decades that followed as being the bulwark against Russian influence, now suddenly is embracing him.
And my point here is that it's very important that we do not let the inner family argument between Americans, the domestic political differences between Democrats and Republicans, obscure the need for us to stand together, figure out what it is that the Russians are interested in doing in terms of influencing our democratic process and inoculating ourselves from it. And that requires us having a clear-eyed view about it.
It requires us not to relitigate the election. It requires us not to point fingers. It requires us to just say "Here's what happened, let's be honest about it and let's not use it as a political football, but let's figure out how we prevent this from happening in the future." Because it's not just going to be Russia.
It sounds like you hope any response would continue after January 20. But do you have any reason to know that it would?
Well, you know, I can't ...
It's up to him.
... look into my crystal ball and, that's probably a question better directed at the president-elect. I can say that I've had a conversation with the president-elect about our foreign policy generally, and the importance of us making sure that, in how we approach intelligence gathering, in how we think about fighting terrorism and keeping the country secure, in how we think about, you know, our relationship to multilateral organizations, that, you know, we recognize America's exceptionalism, our indispensability in the world, in part draws from our values and our ideals and the fact that even our adversaries generally respect our adherence to rule of law, our transparency, our openness. And if we start losing that, if other countries start seeing that "Oh, America doesn't care about these issues" or it's just a "might makes right" environment, and we're not speaking out on behalf of our values and demonstrating our values, then America is going to be significantly weakened.
Should President-elect Trump, once he's inaugurated, use his executive powers in the same way that you have?
I think that he is entirely within his lawful power to do so. Keep in mind though that my strong preference has always been to legislate when I can get legislation done. In my first two years, I wasn't relying on executive powers, because I had big majorities in the Congress and we were able to get bills done, get bills passed. And even after we lost the majorities in Congress, I bent over backwards consistently to try to find compromise and a legislative solution to some of the big problems that we've got '-- a classic example being immigration reform, where I held off for years in taking some of the executive actions that I ultimately took in pursuit of a bipartisan solution '-- one that, by the way, did pass through the Senate on a bipartisan basis with our help.
I was very proud of that. I went out of my way to make sure our help was behind the scenes so that Republicans didn't feel as if it was going to hurt them politically. At the end of the day, John Boehner and the House Republicans couldn't pull the trigger on getting it done. And it was only then, after we had exhausted efforts for bipartisan reform that we took some additional steps on immigration executive actions. So my suggestion to the president-elect is, you know, going through the legislative process is always better, in part because it's harder to undo.
And that doesn't mean, though, that he is not going to come in and look at the various agencies and see the rules we've passed and if he wants to reverse some of those rules, that's part of the democratic process. That's, you know, why I tell people to vote because it turns out elections mean something.
And this election means even more because the presidency, as has been widely noted, is so powerful. It's grown more powerful over generations. You used your power in certain ways, and even in ways that you'd suggested in the past might be beyond your authority.
Well, no, I don't think I've done that.
If I'm thinking of immigration, for example.
Well, what I said with immigration reform was that I couldn't simply sign a document that legalized 11 million people who had come here illegally and were currently undocumented. What I could do is find categories of people where we could not prioritize as significant risks. But what I always said was we couldn't solve the basic problem of these folks being in the shadows without legislation.
Let's stipulate that you feel that what you did was clearly within the law. The question for me is has the presidency become too powerful in your view?
I distinguish between domestic policy and foreign policy. I think on foreign policy, the concern I have right now is because we're in a nontraditional war. It's what we call the war on terrorism, although terrorism to some degree is a tactic. We're in a war against a non-state, a set of non-state actors that are operating in the shadows, are in nooks and crannies and crevices around the world.
And what that means is that you're never going to have a scene of surrender like we had with the Emperor [Hirohito] and Gen. MacArthur, where you don't have a clear start and finish to the use of force. The danger is that over time, Congress starts feeling pretty comfortable with just having the president do all this stuff and not really having to weigh in.
So for example, we're still operating in our fight against ISIL without a new congressional authorization. It's the authorization that dates back to 9/11. And I think that is an area that we have to worry about. The president and the executive branch are always going to have greater latitude and greater authority when it comes to protecting America, because sometimes you just have to respond quickly and not everything that is a danger can be publicized and be subject to open debate.
But there have to be some guardrails. And what we've had to do on things like drones, or the NSA, or a number of the tools that we use to penetrate terrorist networks, what we've had to do is to build the guard rails internally. Essentially set up a whole series of processes to guard against government overreach, to reform some practices that I thought over time would threaten civil liberties.
You know, there are some critics on the left who would argue we haven't gone far enough on that. I would argue that we've gotten it about right, although I'm the first one to admit that we didn't get it all right on day one. There were times where, for example, with respect to drones, that I had to kind of stop the system for a second, and say "You know what? We're getting too comfortable with our ability to take kinetic strikes around the world without having enough process to avoid consistently the kinds of civilian casualties that can end up actually hurting us in the war against radicalization."
On the domestic side, the truth is that, you know, there hasn't been a radical change between what I did and what George Bush did and what Bill Clinton did and what the first George Bush did. It's, you know, the issue of big agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Labor, having to take laws that have been passed, like the Clean Air Act, which is hugely complicated and very technical, and fill in the gaps and figure out our "What does this mean and how do we apply this to new circumstances?" That's not new. Having federal bureaucracies and federal regulations, that's not new. I think that what's happened that I do worry about is that Congress has become so dysfunctional, that more and more of a burden is placed on the agencies to fill in the gaps, and the gaps get bigger and bigger because they're not constantly refreshed and tweaked.
Let's go back to something like the Affordable Care Act. I could not be prouder of the fact that the uninsured rate has never been lower. That 20 million people have health insurance that we didn't have before. But I said when the bill passed that it wasn't perfect. Over the course of six years of implementing a very complicated piece of legislation that affects one-sixth of the economy, that there were going to be things we learned that would allow us to improve it. And I don't know how many times I've said to Republicans, both publicly and privately, in State of the Union speeches, in town halls around the country, that if they're willing to engage and work with me, then we can identify ways to tweak and improve this system so that more people have health insurance and it works even better and it's more stable, and build on the things that seemed to have worked. For example, the fact that we've actually slowed the growth of health care costs since the bill passed. And each time I've said this, the basic Republican response has been "No, all we want to do is repeal it. And we'll replace it with something later."
And they're still saying that now post-election, although as we've seen, the best independent estimates are if you just repeal and you don't replace you're going to have 30 million people without health insurance, not to mention people who already have health insurance suddenly losing a lot of the benefits that individually are very popular though people don't know that they're part of Obamacare, like making sure that you don't get barred from getting insurance if you have a pre-existing condition, or keeping your kid on your health care until they're 26 years old. So the fierce partisanship, the unwillingness to engage in amending laws, fixing laws. That then leads to agencies having to scramble to do more work.
And the bottom line is, if you want to right-size executive power relative to the other branches of government, the best way to do that is to have a healthy Congress in which the two parties are debating, disagreeing but also occasionally working together to pass legislation.
Couple of other things Mr. President: Is President-elect Trump right that political correctness in this country has gone too far? We've discussed campus debates here...
Yeah, we have. We have, and this is a tricky issue and here's why: Because the definition of political correctness is all over the map. And I suspect the president-elect's definition of political correctness would be different than mine. If what's meant by political correctness is that there is some broad disapproval that's expressed when somebody uses a racial epithet, or somebody makes a derogatory comment about women, or about the LGBT community, and people say, "Hey, you shouldn't do that. That's wrong, that's cruel, that's hurtful. Here's the history of that word." And when you use words like that, you're reinforcing people feeling like they're outsiders, and less than other Americans.
I don't consider that political correctness. I consider that good manners, sound values and hard-fought gains in the nature of American society and American community. I think it's a good thing that we don't think that using the "n" word is socially acceptable. I think it's a good thing that we don't refer to women in derogatory ways '-- because I have a couple of daughters, and I don't want them to feel that way.
Now, if you're narrowly defining political correctness as a hypersensitivity that ends up resulting in people not being able to express their opinions at all without somebody suggesting they're a victim, you know, if sort of, our social discourse and our political discourse becomes like walking on eggshells so that if somebody says "You know what, I'm not sure affirmative action is the right way to solve racial problems in this country," and somebody's immediately accused of being racist, well, then I think you have a point.
Although I happen to approve of affirmative action, but I think that I can have a polite dialogue with somebody who differs from me on that issue. And so, on the one hand, my advice to progressives like myself, and this is advice I give my own daughters who are about to head off to college, is don't go around just looking for insults. You're tough. If somebody says something you don't agree with, just engage them on their ideas. But you don't have to feel that somehow because you're a black woman that you're being assaulted. But speak up for yourself, and if you hear somebody saying something that's insulting, feel free to say to that guy, "You know what? You're rude" or "you're ignorant" and take them on.
But the thing that I want to emphasize here though is, the irony in this debate is often-times you'll hear somebody like a Rush Limbaugh, or other conservative commentators, or you know, radio shock jocks, or some conservative politicians, who are very quick to jump on any evidence of progressives being "politically correct," but who are constantly aggrieved and hypersensitive about the things they care about, and are continually feeding this sense of victimization, and that they are being subject to reverse discrimination.
Look, I had to live through controversies like the notion that I was trying to kill Christmas. Right? Well, where'd that come from? Well, you know, "He said 'Happy Holidays' instead of 'Merry Christmas,' so that must be evidence of him either not being a Christian or not caring about Christmas." It sounds funny now, but you'll have entire debates in conservative circles around that. So it cuts both ways. And my advice to young people, and my advice to all of us as citizens, is to be able to distinguish between being courteous and being thoughtful and thinking about how words affect other people and not demonizing others versus having legitimate political debates and disagreements.
This raises one other question though, Mr. President. We've talked with a lot of voters, and it's clear that for many people this has been an agonizing year, an agonizing political year, even for people whose side won. Is it possible, though, that that agony has been good for the country because we are confronting issues of race and identity and the way the economy is structured, issues that have been with us for a long time?
I think that's a really interesting point. I've been accused by friends, enemies, my wife, of sometimes being overly optimistic. But what can I tell you, this is this is my temperament generally. And we are going through some growing pains right now, because the world is changing really fast, and it has throughout my presidency.
I started my presidency inheriting a massive crisis of proportions that we haven't seen since the 1930s. It laid bare some long-term and troubling trends about globalization, and technology, and rising inequality, and the fragility of our financial systems, and the way in which middle-class folks felt they were getting squeezed. And the fact that the ladders of opportunity seem to be farther and fewer between for people who are trying to get out of poverty.
And throughout that process, we also then started seeing '-- because when the economy's not doing well some other tensions get laid bare '-- changing attitudes about sexual orientation, and about race, and about the nature of families. And all of this has been amped up by the revolution in information, throwing through social media and the Internet. And so it's a big dose. It's been a lot of stuff that's been coming at people really quickly, and it's made folks anxious.
But I do think that part of the reason for these tensions is because we've been starting to wrestle with some things that ultimately are solvable if we make some good decisions. The economy right now is stable. And so we have some time to say to ourselves, even though it's stable right now, the trend lines are such where more and more jobs are going to be digitalized, more and more jobs are going to be robotized. What are we going to do to make sure that as more workers are moving out of manufacturing into the service sector, that they are getting a decent wage? How are we going to create more jobs once self-driving cars eliminate a bunch of well-paying jobs of just driving and moving stuff around? How do we rebuild our infrastructure and rebuild our education system?
We can solve these things, but it's going to be challenging. And we've got to have an honest debate about it.
With respect to how we deal with each other, the demographics of the country are going to change. It's inevitable.
The Latino community in America is going to grow. If you stopped all immigration today, just by virtue of birth rates, this is going to be a browner country. And if we're not thinking right now about how we make sure that next generation is getting a good education and are instilled with a common creed and the values that make America so special and are cared for and nurtured and loved the way every American child is treated, then we're not going to be as successful.
But the good news is we've got time to do it. With respect to race and the relationship between the African-American community and police, all these smartphones suddenly taking pictures are not documenting a suddenly worsening relationship between the African-American community and the police. They are recording what has been a long-standing tension and the sense on the part of police that they're put in a very difficult situation of trying to manage law enforcement in poor communities where guns are easily accessible, the African-American community being rightly convinced that there is a long history of racial bias in our criminal justice system.
And as painful as it is, that conversation is long overdue. So, my feeling is that if everybody takes a breath, and if we can structure a conversation that is less about "how somebody else is trying to take advantage of me," and structure the conversation around "how can we work together to solve problems that makes everybody better off?" that America can emerge stronger.
But that requires leadership. It requires citizenship. It requires all of us doing self-reflection at the same time as we're fighting on behalf of the things that we care deeply about. And I speak as a progressive Democrat who is really, really proud of the work we've done. I can say, and I can demonstrate, I can document that the country is a lot better off now than it was when I took office in almost every dimension. But what I can also say is that we could be doing even better. There are times where I reflect and ask myself if, "Is there's something else I could have done, something that I could have said slightly differently that would have led to additional progress and less polarization?"
And I'll probably, you know, as I reflect on my presidency, once I'm out of just the day-to-day scrum of this thing, I'm sure I'll come up with a whole bunch of things to add to my list. But I think all of us have to do that.
You know, I've said this before: This is advanced democracy, what the founders set up. And, you know, if we either celebrate or despair just around presidential elections, without spending enough time focusing on how, in our day-to-day lives, in our local civic lives, in our media, in our culture, if we're not spending enough time reflecting on, "What am I doing to be part of the solution as opposed to being part of the problem?" Then we'll get better presidents and worse presidents, but we're not going to get to where we need to go.
If you'll forgive a final question: I know you get letters and that your staff gives you a few letters to read each day. What have the letters been like since the election?
Well, there's, for not just Democrats, but also for a number of young people, I think that there's been concern, fear, in some cases. The letters that worry me most are letters from either teachers or students themselves, where they say, "I'm in a majority Latino school, and I'm teaching third graders, and a child will go up to a teacher and say, 'Why don't people like me?' " Or a Muslim college student who starts thinking that there's no place for her in this country that she loves. Those are the most worrisome and those are ones where I respond and say that you have to have faith in the basic goodness of this country and that it outweighs the bad.
You've been writing back?
Yeah, I generally write back as many of the 10 letters I get a night. Now to be fair, because, you know, I try to make sure that I'm not just getting letters from supporters. There's been some letters that say, "I am so glad you're getting out of here. Good riddance. You've been a horrible president." And uh, ...
You write them back, too?
And "America's great again." Sometimes I do. The most interesting letters I get, because they're unexpected, and I'm talking about since the election, have been people who've written and said, "I didn't vote for you, but I want you to know that I appreciate the manner in which you've conducted yourself in office. And I think that you've been a good dad."
In some cases they said, "In retrospect I think you did a pretty good job." Those letters, in some ways, mean the most to me because you're persuading skeptics. But even if you haven't persuaded them on the issues, at least maybe they've recognized that I've tried to be true to the meaning of this office, that I've held it in reverence.
But it's worth mentioning that pre-election, a lot of letters I get, a lot of the letters I get that are most meaningful are really simple. It might be a senior citizen who is complaining about not having gotten a cost of living adjustment on Social Security and will just list out their budget for the month, and giving you sort of a vivid picture of how hard it is to get by.
It might be a kid after a shooting like Newtown saying "I'm scared." And sometimes it's just a family that's writing to say, "You know what? We have concerns, and things are tough, but, you know what, we're resilient and we love each other and we think we're going to make it, and we hope you stay at it, and we hope you're hearing us."
Mr. President, thanks for these conversations. I've appreciated them very much and I know many of our listeners have as well.
I appreciate it very much.
After the conversation, Obama returned to the room to say one more thing about the CIA.
You had something you wanted to add.
When we're discussing the issue of the Russia hack, I think it is worth noting that when it comes to the motivations of the Russians, that there are still a whole range of assessments taking place among the agencies. And so when I receive a final report, you know, we'll be able to I think give us a comprehensive and best guess as to those motivations. But that does not in any way I think detract from the basic point that everyone during the election perceived accurately that in fact what the Russian hack had done was create more problems for the Clinton administra '-- the Clinton campaign than it had for the Trump campaign.
I think you're stopping short of endorsing the CIA conclusion that the hack was designed to help Donald Trump as opposed to some other objective.
Well I think the point I'm making is that right now what you've had are CIA leaks, not of an official document. And I think it's important for the process of various agencies comparing notes and thinking about these assessments. Because it's not as if in any of these circumstances, you know you just have a signed letter regarding Russian intentions that's floating around. These are all assessments made based on a wide range of evidence and different agencies are still looking at all that stuff gathering it together and hopefully putting into a single package.
That's precisely why I've asked that report to be issued before the 20th so that those aspects of at least that are not classified can be presented in some form to the public. Those aspects of it that are classified can be presented as we've consistently done on a bipartisan basis to the members of Congress and the relevant committees.
VIDEO - Listen to the mysterious 'alien call' coming from 36,000-feet below the Earth's surface | Fox News
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 23:36
THIS chilling sound had scientists spooked after it was heard coming from the deepest part of the ocean.
Researchers at the Hatfield Marine Science Centre were shocked to hear the wailing noise while monitoring deep-sea whale communications in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench.
Lasting around three seconds, the moaning noise hits super-low, and then super-high frequencies.
The experts' best guess is that they picked up a never before heard whale call while monitoring the uncharted depths.
WILDLIFE OFFICIALS: VIDEO CAPTURES POSSIBLE 2ND JAGUAR IN US
Marine experts sent a machine called a hydrophone down to the deepest part of the trench, which lies between Japan and Australia.
The hydrophone can travel through the sea for months at a time and dive up to 3,281 feet.
It's there that it picked up the strange booming sound.
Some believe it could be a mating call from a Baleen whale.
'MYTHICAL' SEA BLOB FINALLY SPOTTED A CENTURY AFTER ITS DISCOVERY
However, the bizarre sound pattern doesn't quite fit with what we already understand about whales.
Sharon Nieukirk, a marine bioacoustics expert at Oregon State said: ''If it's a mating call, why are we getting it year round? That's a mystery.''
The sound is ''very distinct, with all these crazy parts'' she added.
The scientists hope that by publishing the noise other researchers can help identify the ''call'' so they can get to the bottom of the noise.
This story originally appeared on The Sun.
VIDEO - Child Killing by Royalty, Soros Eyewitness Fixed audio - YouTube
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 23:22
VIDEO - MSNBC Shows Clip of Electors Having Meltdowns When Trump Wins - YouTube
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 22:43
VIDEO - Watch How Leftists React When Wisconsin's 10 Presidential Electors Unanimously Vote for Trump
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 22:20
Wisconsin's 10 presidential electors on Monday cast their ballots unanimously for President-elect Donald Trump, a sign that the Republican's confirmation as the next president of the United States is likely imminent.
That reality was apparently highly upsetting for a group of anti-Trump demonstrators who disrupted the Wisconsin electors meeting after the ballots were cast.
The demonstrators shouted at the electors and repeatedly chanted, ''Shame.''
''This is my America! You have sold us out! Listen to your hearts,'' one of the protesters shouted. ''Listen to all of it!''
There was also apparently a ''No Putin President'' sign.
Police officers ultimately escorted the demonstrators out of the building.
It may not be the only disruption as electors across the country prepare to cast their presidential ballots.
VIDEO - LISTEN: Hillary Clinton Blames Everyone But Herself (AUDIO RECORDING) - Conservative Outfitters
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 19:05
Home / News / LISTEN: Hillary Clinton Blames Everyone But Herself (AUDIO RECORDING)December 19, 20160 Comments
NEW YORK - An audio recording (listen below) has surfaced of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton blaming Russian president Vladimir Putin and FBI Director James Comey for her loss to President-elect Donald Trump. Clinton was speaking to campaign donors at a private party in New York City last week when the recording was made. WikiLeaks has repeatedly denied accusations their source is the Russian government.
AUDIO RECORDING:Share: Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
VIDEO - Rusya B¼y¼kel§isi Karlov'un vurulma anı - YouTube
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 19:02
VIDEO - Brilliant '' Congressman King Calls for Investigation of CIA Head John Brennan'... | The Last Refuge
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 05:52
It is remarkable how disingenuous, and hypocritical, partisan democrats (and media) become with the issue of manipulation and intents of CIA Chief John Brennan'...
Everyone reading here is old enough to remember Democrat Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Diane Feinstein, accusing Brennan of lying to her and congress; and worse yet, accusing Brennan of illegally hacking into, and spying on, her staff and congressional oversight personnel. ''SEE HERE''
Now, however, all of a sudden, John Brennan is the bastion of intelligence integrity'.... Ridiculous.
Thankfully, not everyone has forgotten. Representative Peter King again calls out CIA Head Brennan, and better still '' says Brennan should be investigated.
''It seems like to me '-- there should be an investigation what the Russians did but also an investigation of John Brennan and the hit job he seems to be orchestrating against the president-elect.''
VIDEO - CNN talks to politician dubbed 'Dutch Trump'
Mon, 19 Dec 2016 05:46
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Source: CNNStories worth watching (15 Videos)CNN talks to politician dubbed 'Dutch Trump'"The Wonder List with Bill Weir" travels to the Netherlands for the first episode of Season 3.
Source: CNN
VIDEO - Lynch says tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton was 'regrettable' | Fox News
Sun, 18 Dec 2016 21:58
Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Sunday said she ''regretted'' her controversial tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton this summer while the FBI was still investigating Hillary Clinton's use of a secret server for her emails during her tenure as secretary of state.
While Lynch has never portrayed the June 27 Phoenix meeting as anything other than a cordial encounter, the lengthy tete-a-tete onboard Lynch's plane immediately raised questions about whether she '' or the Justice Department '' could be impartial in the Hillary Clinton investigation. Just days later, FBI Director James Comey called Hillary Clinton's actions ''extremely careless'' but declined to recommend charges.
''I wish I had seen around that corner and not had that discussion with the former president, as innocuous as it was, because it did give people concern,'' Lynch said on ''State of the Union.'' ''It did make people wonder, 'Is it going to affect the investigation that's going on?' and that's not something that was an unreasonable question for anyone to ask.''
TRUMP: LYNCH-CLINTON MEETING 'OPENED UP A PANDORA'S BOX'
Asked why Clinton sought out the meeting with Lynch, the outgoing attorney general declined to speculate.
''Well, I can't say what President Clinton saw or thought because I wasn't in communication with him before that,'' Lynch said. ''I don't know what was in his mind.''
Lynch played off the length of the conversation '' reported to be around 45 minutes '' as being a by-product of Clinton's loquaciousness. She joked with host Jake Tapper that Clinton ''is a talker.''
''And our conversation went on a lot longer certainly than I had anticipated, because it was just going to be 'Hello, how are you?' and everyone was just going to go on about their evening,'' Lynch said.
But Lynch acknowledged the perception created by the private summit was a problem. Republicans frequently brought up the meeting and President-elect Donald Trump made it a staple of his stump speech as the November presidential election approached.
''I do regret sitting down and having a conversation with him because it did give people concern,'' Lynch said. ''And as I said, my greatest concern has always been making sure people understand the Department of Justice works in a way that's independent and looks at everybody equally. And when you do something that gives people a reason to think differently, that's a problem. It's a problem for me. It was painful for me.''
Three days after the meetings, amid mounting questions, Lynch tried to take herself out of the equation, saying on July 1 that she would accept whatever recommendation career prosecutors and Comey made regarding bringing charges.
VIDEO - Nearly 13 Percent of Airline Pilots Show Signs - One News Page VIDEO
Sun, 18 Dec 2016 21:47
Veuer - Thursday, 15 December 2016 (3 days ago)
New research from Harvard University found one in eight pilots could suffer from depression. Angeli Kakade (@angelikakade) has the story.
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Key Clinton aides oppose release of deposition tapes | TheHill
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 06:49
Two of Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonGingrich: Obama's legacy will vanish within a yearRon Paul: 'We don't have very much room for condemning' Russian election meddlingDem rep warns Trump: Russia 'disturbing and disruptive'MORE's top aides and the State Department are fighting efforts to unseal videos of court-ordered interviews taken in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of State.
Aide Huma Abedin on Wednesday joined former chief of staff Cheryl Mills and State Department lawyers in urging a federal judge to keep the interviews under seal.
The transcripts have already been released, but the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch earlier this month argued that the videos should be made public now that the presidential election is over.
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Mills and government lawyers on Monday pushed back, arguing that the court-imposed seal ''did not reference the presidential election, but instead held that the availability of the deposition transcripts obviated the need for public disclosure of the audiovisual recordings.''Lawyers for Mills argued that the release of the transcripts was sufficient to satisfy public interest and that releasing the videos would place an undue burden on Mills, who has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
''Potential political manipulation of Ms. Mills' recording was but one of the reasons motivating the initial request for relief. On behalf of Ms. Mills, we were just as concerned about protecting the privacy of our client, a private citizen and non-party to this case,'' they wrote.
''The release of her recording will serve only to further sensationalize a topic that has already been exhaustively covered for almost two years.''
Abedin, who was Clinton's former deputy chief of staff, in a brief filing on Wednesday supported arguments to keep the videos under lock.
The interviews themselves concern ''the creation and operation of clintonemail.com for State Department business, as well as the State Department's approach and practice for processing FOIA requests that potentially implicated former Secretary Clinton's and Ms. Abedin's emails and State's processing of the FOIA request that is the subject of this action," according to court documents.
The depositions were taken as part of an open records lawsuit seeking documents related to Abedin's employment status. It was dismissed in 2014 but reopened the following year, after the discovery of Clinton's use of a private email server while in office.
Several of those interviewed in the case '-- including Mills, who was Clinton's chief of staff during her tenure at Foggy Bottom; former State Department Director of Information Resource Management of the Executive Secretariat John Bentel; and Bryan Pagliano, a former State IT specialist who worked on Clinton's server '-- opposed the motion to unseal the records when it was first brought prior to the election.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in May granted a motion brought by Mills and sealed the records.
Now, Judicial Watch is seeking to undo that order.
''The sole reason for sealing the recordings in the first place was to avoid their misuse during the 2016 campaign season. Now that the election is over that reason no longer exists,'' Judicial Watch lawyers argued in a motion filed in early December.
Judicial Watch, a longtime Clinton foe, has pledged to continue its work, despite Clinton's loss in the presidential election last month.
It has a swath of ongoing open records cases against the State Department over emails sent on Clinton's personal server during her time as secretary of State.
In the same case, the group is pushing to force Clinton to provide answers to several questions she declined to answer on the creation of the server.
Clinton objected to the questions on the basis that they were outside the scope of questioning ordered by Sullivan. Elsewhere in her response to the 25 questions, she famously claimed 20 times that she ''does not recall'' specific details surrounding the server.
Frequently Asked Questions : snopes.com
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 01:05
Content:Q: Is everything on this site about 'urban legends'?
A: In a strict folkloric sense, no. Urban legends are a specific type of folklore, and many of the items discussed on this site do not fall under the folkloric definition of "urban legend." We employ the more expansive popular (if academically inaccurate) use of "urban legend" as a term that embraces not only urban legends but also common fallacies, misinformation, old wives' tales, strange news stories, rumors, celebrity gossip, and similar items.
Q: Why do you have some true stories listed as "urban legends"?
A: An "urban legend" is not the same thing as a "fictional tale" or an "apocryphal anecdote," although many people mistakenly use the term in that sense (e.g., "That's not true; it's just an urban legend!"). A tale is considered to be an urban legend if it circulates widely, is told and retold with differing details (or exists in multiple versions), and is said to be true. Whether or not the events described in the tale ever actually occurred is irrelevant to its About Us page. Information about site- and folklore-specific terms that may be unfamiliar to readers is to be found on the classification as an urban legend. For example, the tale about a student who mistakes a math problem thought to be unsolvable for a homework assignment and solves it is an urban legend, even though something very similar did once happen in real life. The tale is still an urban legend, however, because over the years many of its details (i.e., when it happened, where it happened, the identity of the student, the reaction of the student's instructor) have changed as it has spread.
Q: I know something listed on your site really happened (or is otherwise true), but your site doesn't list it as true. Why not?
A: There are several reasons why this might be so:
We rate an urban legend as "true" when there is sufficient evidence to indicate that the legend began with a real-life event. If the actions described in an urban legend play out in real life after the legend has begun circulating, that is not an example of what we consider a "true" urban legend; it is a phenomenon known as "ostension" (and when someone deliberately enacts the events described by an urban legend, that is known as "pseudo-ostension"). Many urban legends describe events so general and plausible that they might very well have happened to somebody, somewhere, sometime. But since the origins of urban legends can seldom be traced to specific, identifiable occurrences, we rarely categorize such legends as "true."Many of the texts we discuss contain a mixture of truth, falsity, and exaggeration which cannot be accurately described by a single "True" or "False" rating. Therefore, an item's status is based upon the most important aspect(s) of the text under discussion, which is summarized in the statement made after the "Claim:" heading at the top of the page. It is important to make note of the wording of that claim, since that is the statement to which the status applies.Many legends present events that may have taken place in real life only a few times (or once, or even never) as if they were frequent and regular occurrences, and we make a distinction between "This once happened" and "This is a common, on-going occurrence." For example, many warnings circulated by e-mail caution readers to be wary of some form of crime or other hazard that is claimed to be a widespread occurrence but actually has taken place only in a few unrelated, isolated cases, possibly in the distant past. Therefore, even though the event described may be "true" in the strictly literal sense that it is known to have occurred at least once, the underlying claim (i.e., that the event is a regular, widespread phenomenon) is not true.Q: Where can I find an explanation for some of the unusual words and terms used on this site?
A: Our glossary page provides definitions of site- and folklore-specific terms that may be unfamiliar to some readers.
Q: Some of these stories are pretty racy. How about creating a sanitized version of the site for the kids?
A: That would be difficult to do because urban legends are expressions of adult fears and concerns and, as such, often convey those messages via stories that are unsuitable for children. We also cannot decide for other people what their children should or should not read.
Q: How come you sometimes analyze the content of political pieces, but other times you only verify who wrote them?
A: In general, when a political piece is primarily an editorial or other expression of opinion, we place it in our "Soapbox" section and attempt to verify only whether the attribution is correct (since opinions are not falsifiable, the attribution is the sole aspect of the piece that may be objectively determined as being true or false). When a political piece purports to offer facts, we place it in a relevant category and analyze the factual claims made within for veracity.
Q: Who creates the material for this site?
A: We have a small staff of researchers and writers dedicated to investigating and analyzing rumors.
Q: How do I know the information you've presented is accurate?
A: We don't expect anyone to accept us as the ultimate authority on any topic. Unlike the plethora of anonymous individuals who create and send the unsigned, unsourced e-mail messages that are forwarded all over the Internet, we show our work. The research materials we've used in the preparation of any particular page are listed in the bibliography displayed at the bottom of that page so that readers who wish to verify the validity of our information may check those sources for themselves.
Q: I spotted a typo on your site. Should I report it?
A: Corrections are always welcome, but keep in mind that text appearing inside a bordered box with a colored background is either an example of collected folklore or a quotation from another source, not our own writing. Because these items are pieces of folklore, we reproduce them exactly as we find them and do not edit them to correct orthographical errors.
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Mysterious Manhattan Military Flyover Was Trump Rescue Exercise: Sources - Midtown - DNAinfo New York
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:57
A C-130 airplane and two helicopters were seen circling Midtown last week. View Full CaptionShutterstock
MANHATTAN '-- A military airplane and two huge helicopters doing loops over Midtown last week were conducting an ''emergency relocation'' planning mission in case they needed to extract President-elect Donald Trump during an emergency or attack, DNAinfo New York has learned.
The sight of the C-130 search-and-rescue aircraft and two HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters making passes over the heart of "no-fly" Manhattan for 40 minutes Tuesday, without warning or explanation, unnerved countless New Yorkers and tourists, many of whom took to Twitter and Facebook expressing post-9/11 concerns.
Sources told ''On the Inside'' that the flyovers were part of an ''emergency relocation drill'' designed to identify locations, primarily in Central Park, where a chopper could touch down near Trump's home inside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and 56th Street, and safely evacuate Trump and others from the city.
''It was the military doing their homework,'' one source said.
''They were making plans how to remove him, mapping plans and strategizing,'' another source said.
In the event of an emergency, the president would be whisked by the Secret Service north to the park, and then flown in a helicopter to the nation's capital or a secret government site in Virginia or West Virginia, sources said.
The aircraft models spotted during the exercise can fly long distances without refueling and can also refuel in mid-air if necessary, sources said.
According to sources, the NYPD was given only short notice about the flyovers, and were never informed that the military would be using a plane as large a C-130 with its 130-foot wing span.
''They should have told people they were doing recon, and going to fly at low altitudes, instead of keeping it a secret,'' a law enforcement source said. ''People were scared, and rightly so."
''Trump is the president and people would understand that they are doing a recon mission for an emergency,'' the source continued.
NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill told reporters the day after the flyover that the city was working on improving notification procedures.
''Usually when there is a flyover, we get something through our Operations unit. It's sent out to everybody," O'Neill said last Wednesday at an unrelated press conference.
"That notification is supposed to go out through OEM [the Office of Emergency Management], so I know OEM is working with the military to make sure the proper notifications are made. [OEM Commissioner] Joe Esposito is going to have to make sure he stays in contact with the military for future notifications.''
''The public should know about that. What's transpired in New York City over the last 15 years, we need to know that,'' O'Neill added.
Among the New Yorkers who witnessed the circling aircraft was a former federal agent who spent most of his career protecting presidents.
''The park is the closest place to land, even if they keep a Marine 1 helicopter up here in the city, or in base in New Jersey,'' the former federal agent said, referring to the helicopter the president usually travels in.
The ex-agent said last week's aircraft basically conducted a dozen loops from 42 Street west to Riverside Park, then headed to the East River and south back to 42nd Street.
''I have never seen a military training maneuver in the city,'' the agent observed. ''That type of rescue work is usually done by the NYPD, the FDNY, or the Coast Guard, not the military.''
The C-130, which travels up to 300 mph, is fundamentally a cargo transport plane that can be filled with everything from armed personnel to armored vehicles, including presidential limousines. The plane can also land on short runways.
The model of helicopters generally comes fitted with electronic surveillance, night vision, and high power weapons, and can fly in turbulent weather.
A spokesman for the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs would say last week only that the maneuver was part of a ''routine training mission'' that originated from the 106th Rescue Wing at the Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach on Long Island.
He reiterated that statement when informed of what the ''On the Inside'' sources were saying.
A spokesman for the US Secret Service in Washington did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment. As a matter of policy, however, the agency routinely says it does not discuss specifics of Presidential security.
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Muslim Man Kicked off Plane for Speaking Arabic is Fake News '' Liberty Hangout
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:50
If you opened up the news this morning, you probably came across the following headlines.
YouTube star Adam Saleh was allegedly kicked off of a plane for speaking Arabic. The video of Saleh being kicked off of the flight can be found here.
Upon reading this, everyone's first instinct was to point fingers at Delta and defend this man against being profiled. But a quick search of Adam Saleh paints a much different picture of the situation.
Ashley Rae, the founder of Communism Kills, noted on Twitter that Saleh makes a career out of antagonizing people on planes in order to cry racism. Just a few days ago, he also bragged about smuggling himself onto a plane in a suitcase.
In addition to this, Saleh is also known for faking terrorist attacks in order to record people's reactions.
And in February of this year, Saleh uploaded a video titled COUNTING DOWN IN ARABIC ON A PLANE EXPERIMENT.''What would ever happen if we count down on the plane.. in Arabic?'' Saleh said to his friend.''No bro. You trying to get kicked out, boy?'' His friend replied.''It's freedom of speech. It's a social experiment,'' said Saleh.''It's a messed up experiment,'' said his friend.
Passengers aboard Saleh's flight from earlier today are already refuting his claims, alluding that this may be another one of his social experiments.
Americans have once again been played by the leftist media that likes to cry 'fake news' while spreading fake news stories themselves.
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NYT issues apology for stating they always opposed the electoral college. #fakenews
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:34
The mainstream media has been busy at work admonishing the alternative media, trying to accuse us of being fake news'... But if the alternative media did not exist, who would be around to call the mainstream media out on their ''fake news''?
The New York Times has been caught in a blatant lie, a lie so blatant in fact, that the outlet was forced to issue an embarrassing correction on their own article after being called on it.
After Trump won the election, outlets outed in Wikileaks as colluding with the Clinton campaign went straight to work whining about how Hillary won the popular vote and crying that the Electoral College should be banished.
In a piece titled ''Time to End the Electoral College,'' The NYT Editorial Board wrote:
By overwhelming majorities, Americans would prefer to elect the president by direct popular vote, not filtered through the antiquated mechanism of the Electoral College. They understand, on a gut level, the basic fairness of awarding the nation's highest office on the same basis as every other elected office '-- to the person who gets the most votes.
and
Yes, Mr. Trump won under the rules, but the rules should change so that a presidential election reflects the will of Americans and promotes a more participatory democracy.
and
The Electoral College, which is written into the Constitution, is more than just a vestige of the founding era; it is a living symbol of America's original sin.
Pretty dramatic, huh?
The outlet went on to say:
This page opposed the Electoral College in 1936, and in morerecentyears as well. In 2004, President George W. Bush won the popular vote by more than three million, but he could have lost the Electoral College with a switch of fewer than 60,000 votes in Ohio.
But they left out one little bit of info'... the editorial board DEFENDED the Electoral College in 2000 when George W. Bush lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College.
In a piece titled, ''The Case for the Electoral College,'' the board specifically disagreed with'... you'll never guess'... Hillary Clinton on abolishing the EC, writing:
Among others, New York's senator-elect, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has condemned the present system and promised to co-sponsor legislation abolishing it and providing for the direct election of the president. That would be a mistake. The Electoral College has enough benefits to justify its survival.
and
Yet the arguments for the Electoral College are also compelling, and in our view, outweigh the majoritarian case put forward by Mrs. Clinton and others. The nation's founders sought in various creative ways to create checks and balances, both inside and outside government. The Electoral College was first and foremost a compact among states, large and small, designed to ensure that one state or one region did not dominate the others.
and
The system has survived earlier instances in which the winner of the popular vote was denied the presidency. Wise voters and legislators will want to make sure that it survives this one as well.
So which is it, NYT? America's original sin or a system of checks and balances ''designed to ensure that one state or one region did not dominate the others''?
Once they ''remembered'' they weren't exactly being honest about their Electoral College position, NYT was forced to issue this correction on their 2016 call for abolishing the EC:
Correction: December 20, 2016
An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that the editorial board has been opposed to the Electoral College going back 80 years. It failed to note an exception: in 2000, the board defended the college after the election of George W. Bush.
Egg on their face much?
Kind of proves that nothing they say politically means much of anything, doesn't it?
This is beyond hypocritical'... What it shows is that the NYT will change positions and rally for whomever the chosen establishment candidate is no matter what, even if it makes them look like ridiculous hypocrites.
It brings to mind a quote from David Rockefeller, something he said during a speech he gave at the 1991 Bilderberg Group meeting attended by then-Governor Bill Clinton and Dan Quayle:
''We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years'... It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries.''
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Contributed by Melissa Dykes of The Daily Sheeple.
Melissa Dykes is a writer, researcher, and analyst for The Daily Sheeple and a co-creator of Truthstream Media with Aaron Dykes, a site that offers teleprompter-free, unscripted analysis of The Matrix we find ourselves living in. Melissa and Aaron also recently launched Revolution of the Method and Informed Dissent. Wake the flock up!
Trump Taps Icahn As "Special Advisor" On Regulation
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:33
Well this was a "no brainer."The Wall Street Journal reports that billionaire investor Carl Icahn is expected to be named special adviser to the president on overhauling federal regulations, according to people familiar with the matter.
Mr. Icahn, who has spent the past four decades battling big companies as an activist investor, already has been wielding influence in President-elect Donald Trump's transition team.
He is playing a central role in selecting the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the people said. Interested candidates have reached out to him, and he is interviewing others at the request of Mr. Trump, the people said.
The 80-year-old has played a similar role in identifying Mr. Trump's choices for other important posts. Mr. Icahn, who controls an oil refiner and has spent months berating the Environmental Protection Agency over a rule he says hurts the industry, helped Mr. Trump vet candidates to run the EPA.
He weighed in enthusiastically as Mr. Trump considered whether to nominate Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross to run the Treasury and Commerce departments, respectively. Both men were picked for the jobs.
In Trump's statement on Icahn's appointment, the president elect suggests Icahn may be capable of magic, stating he is "innately able to predict the future especially having to do with finances and economies."
Messrs. Trump and Icahn's relationship dates back to their time running Atlantic City casinos. The pair sat together for the occasional big boxing match. Mr. Icahn's wife, Gail, is on Mr. Trump's inauguration committee.
The position isn't an official government job; Mr. Icahn won't get paid and won't have to give up his current business dealings. Yet, as WSJ reports, it is the latest example of a quintessential outsider assuming power as President-elect Donald Trump assembles his cabinet secretaries and advisers.
Messrs. Trump and Icahn say U.S. businesses have been overregulated in the Obama administration, which they argue is causing them to hold back on investments and is slowing the economy. Mr. Icahn will now be a key player in Mr. Trump's efforts to loosen the regulatory reins.
''I'm involved with Donald where he wants me to be'--I believe he respects my views and I think he listens to me,'' Mr. Icahn said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. ''What Trump is trying to achieve is to show business in a lot of this country they aren't going to be ruined by absurd regulation by bureaucrats.''
U.S. university launches tool to show how fake news spreads
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:31
NEW YORK Researchers at Indiana University have developed a new tool that shows how fake news and unverified stories spread through social media.
The search engine, dubbed Hoaxy, is the latest effort to combat the proliferation of fake news, which proliferated during the U.S. presidential campaign, with one bogus post-Election Day story sparking a real-life event when a gunman fired shots into a Washington, D.C., restaurant.
"It is a very serious problem," said Filippo Menczer, the director of the university's Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, which launched Hoaxy.
Misinformation and propaganda are not new, but Menczer said social media has added a new component because the information is pre-selected to be in line with people's own opinions.
"Social media makes it more likely that I am more exposed to false information that I am likely to believe," he added.
Hoaxy does not determine whether a story is real but it shows how it is spread online and shows related fact-checking.
The free website, hoaxy.iuni.iu.edu, can be used by reporters, researchers and the public. If a user suspects a story is false they can search it in the website to see how it was spread and to what degree it went viral.
"There is no editorial judgment," Menczer said in an interview. "We don't look at the claims, or vet them, or say they are true or false."
It examines websites, compiled by news organizations and fact-checking sites, that are known to post satire, hoaxes or conspiracy theories. It also tracks links to the stories on Twitter and Facebook so users can see how often the stories have been shared.
"You can observe who are the hubs, who are the main spreaders and most influential who have spread these claims and fact-checks," said Menczer.
News and tech companies including Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc are also trying to tackle fake news and have formed a coalition to improve the quality of information on social media.
Menczer said he started looking into the phenomenon of false news in a research experiment several years ago. He created a website with celebrity stories clearly marked as fake and promoted them on social bookmarking websites that were popular at the time. A month after launching the site he received a check for ad revenue from the site.
"That early experiment demonstrated the power of the internet to monetize false information," he said.
(Editing by Matthew Lewis)
Next In Technology NewsLawsuit accuses Google of illegally curbing employee communicationA Google Inc product manager has sued the company, accusing it of unlawfully prohibiting employees from sharing concerns with coworkers, shareholders or the press, and maintaining a "spying program" to prevent leaks.
Honda, Alphabet's Waymo in talks over self-driving technologySAN FRANCISCO Honda Motor Co said on Wednesday it had entered into formal talks with Alphabet Inc's new self-driving division Waymo to add self-driving technology to its vehicles, marking the second potential customer for the automation software.
SK Hynix to invest $2.7 billion to boost production amid memory reboundSEOUL South Korea's SK Hynix Inc said on Thursday it will invest 3.16 trillion won ($2.7 billion) in its home country and China to boost memory chip production capacity, seeking to capitalize on growing mobile and data storage demand.
From Around the WebPromoted by Taboola
Searching for Islamic Anis
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:28
Berlin Attack - Police Look For Tunisian MuslimAfter Finding ID In Truck - Was Driver THAT Dumb?!
(You do remember the 9 11 identification found on a New York City street, after a jet crashed in a fire ball into the Twin Towers right? How his ID fell out of his pocket at 500 mph and looked newly minted.)
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter.
The search for the Muslim who made Bratworst of Germans in Berlin is on.......now that he has been afforded a 2 day running start by Berlin police.......well it was like a year start as Anis, pronounced ANUS, has been on a terror spree in Germany, trying to set up his own terror cell by advertising in mouth media looking for other terrorists and trying to purchase guns from local police.
I don't know why the American BATF does not offer guns to Trump voters, as I bet they could give some good deals, as German police do not arrest terrorists trying to buy guns, so what would be the harm in selling howitzers to Trump supporters?
I digress.
So Anis Amri, pronounced ANUS, is now on the loose somewhere in Europe........probably is on some Obama rescue flight and landed in New York City to bestow some Christmas cheer in the Americas.
I do though seek to help police in this around the globe or at least politicians in they should probably put those safety locks on trucks, that they are always trying to put on guns, in order to keep Muslims from these dangerous truck weapons. In the meantime, I think a nice concrete barrier wherever Germans are congregated being Germans would be nice, or the best method of shipping all of those Muslims back to their Islamic states ASAP, along with Angela Merkel, the frau importer of Muslim terrorism.
If you look at this photo, you know this Anis pronounced ANUS did not beat up this big Pole trucker..........as the Pole was alive at the time of the crash, so we have a beat up Pole, a butchered Pole and a shot Pole, after the event............odd how no one apparently heard a gun shot. Probably too many VOTE FOR MERKEL ads blaring on the loudspeakers.
Thing is, it is obvious that as the Germans for Merkel police state did not arrest this terrorist, but did not supply this terrorist with succor, that someone certainly did, and they have now gotten Anis pronounced ANUS safely away.
Now that begs the question of why did Berlin police lie to the public, shut down the investigation to provide a window of escape, and only after the Lame Cherry started posting on the realities of this, have we now a disjointed story of more deflections to the public.
I am not going to solve this all, as it was solved far enough. I simply wanted to post about searching for Muslim Anis pronounced ANUS, and how in Adolf Hitler's Germany, this Muslim would have had his anus shot off as Germans once rounded up those groups who sought to genocide them back in the olde days.
Times have changed though, but it is hoped that the Neo Deutsch parties will.........return to the good days of cattle cars, concentration camps, and maybe if the Allies bomb the supply lines, these Muslim inmates will have their own holocaust.
Sort of odd how a new threat to Germans, has a thinking there as in much of Europe to rid themselves of terrorists, in the same way they were doing it in the 1940's and the 500 years previous from Moscow to London.
I have not inquired, but the question is with Obama open borders, where in America is the Muslim Anis, pronounced ANUS, now that German police state under Merkel let him escape..........why did they let him escape............
agtG
Is This Rudy Giuliani's Twitter Feed About #Pizzagate? Or Is It A Hack? | The Millennium Report
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:26
by Rudy GiulianiTwitter Account
The Official Twitter account of Rudy Giuliani '' lawyer, businessman, former politician, and public speaker from New York.
ƒJoined April 2016
ƒPinned Tweet
Official Statement '' please read & share:
19 replies46 retweets40 likes
RudolphGiuliani Retweeted C Speng
James Alefantis is a child rapist & child killer. They have murdered children. He is protected by W.H., CIA, DHS & media.
RudolphGiuliani added,
C Speng@speng_c
@RudolphGiuliani@btfoooo#jimmyComet Instagram is so incriminating he went private/ ''babies for sale ''looked like to me/ Tiny coffins'.....?
10 replies121 retweets112 likes
RudolphGiuliani Retweeted Joanie Webster
Foxes guard the hen-house at Amber Alert, DHS & child-trafficking units in government. They rape, sodomize, murder & cannibalize children.
RudolphGiuliani added,
Joanie Webster@JoanieWebster
@RudolphGiuliani To say the number of missing children is high in VA is an understatement. Check the dates'... Mostly 2014 and on.
8 replies67 retweets66 likes
RudolphGiuliani Retweeted Ted Zeppelin
Our entire government is filled with criminals, child rapists & child killers. I am speaking out now. I may not be long for this world.
RudolphGiuliani added,
Ted Zeppelin@TedZeplin
@RudolphGiuliani
27 replies126 retweets131 likes
RudolphGiuliani Retweeted Alex Jones
CNN is nothing but pure propaganda & lies, and they have disrespected the victims of this terror event. The FCC needs to shut them down.
RudolphGiuliani added,
Alex Jones@RealAlexJones
CNN Calls Act Of Terror ''Truck Crash'' Again '' http://www.infowars.com/cnn-calls-act-of-terror-truck-crash-again/ '...#infowars#LyingCNN
13 replies85 retweets124 likes
.
FBI Ordered to Unseal Warrant Used to Get Clinton Emails During Weiner Probe | Law News
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:21
A federal judge has ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to unseal at least a portion of search warrant it obtained after finding emails pertinent to the Hillary Clinton investigation during the Bureau's Anthony Weiner probe.
The FBI's planned disclosure is directly related to an effort by well-known attorney Los Angeles attorney E. Randol Schoenberg, who filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Justice that sought the ''immediate disclosure of the FBI search warrant for the e-mails of Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin on Anthony Weiner's laptop.''
One of the main points of contention in this case was the privacy right of Clinton '-- or any person who wasn't ultimately charged with a crime. However, the judge determined that essentially all went out the window given the bizarre nature of the case including FBI Director James Comey's very public press conference. After Comey's remarks, Clinton then decided to publicly respond at campaign rallies. Thus, the judge determined Clinton essentially waived her privacy right arguments that the uncharged subject of an investigation typically can rely on.
In the words of the judge, Clinton has ''little remaining privacy interest in the release of documents identifying her as the subject of the investigation.''
In Monday's order, the judge ultimately concluded:
The search warrant, the application for the search warrant, the affidavit in support of the application for the search warrant, and the search warrant return will be unsealed and posted on the Court's electronic case filing system under the docket number listed above, subject to the redactions discussed above, at noon on December 20, 2016, unless an order is issued before then by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit staying or modifying this Order.
LawNewz.com obtained a copy of the order and is in the process of reviewing it.
READ the Order:
FBI Partial Unseal Hillary Email by LawNewz on Scribd
[image via Krista Kennell/shutterstock]
Have a tip we should know? tips@lawnewz.com
Illuminati Leak: Current Membership Of 'Committee Of 300'
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:21
by Baxter DmitryYourNewsWire.com
An ex-Illuminati member who is vowing to tell the world everything about the secret society has posted a list of the elite members of the Illuminati and the Committee Of 300 leadership.
After spending 47 years as a high-ranking illuminati member, the anonymous insider says that he wants to reveal everything about the secret society's plans after it all became ''too much to bear'' for him.
In his first post the insider revealed the process you have to go through in order to become a member, as well as in-depth information about the 'Space flights' program, and shocking revelations about who Obama really is '' he is much more evil than anyone realizes apparently.
Now, in his highly anticipated second post the ex-Illuminati member continues to lift the lid on the secret society by revealing the names of the senior leadership.
THE BRITISH MONARCHY AND THE COMMITTEE OF 300 (AS OF SEPTEMBER 2016)CURRENT MONARCH AND SUPREME LEADER OF THE NWO: Queen Elizabeth IIAbdullah II of JordanKerry, John ForbesAbramovich, Roman ArkadyevichKing, MervynAckermann, JosefKinnock, GlenysAdeane, EdwardKissinger, HenryAgius, Marcus Ambrose PaulKnight, MalcolmAhtisaari, Martti Oiva KaleviKoon, William H. IIAkerson, DanielKrugman, PaulAlbert II of BelgiumKufuor, JohnAlexander '' Crown Prince of YugoslaviaLajolo, GiovanniAlexandra (Princess) '' The Honourable Lady OgilvyLake, AnthonyAlphonse, Louis '' Duke of AnjouLambert, RichardAmato, GiulianoLamy, PascalAnderson, Carl A.Landau, Jean-PierreAndreotti, GiulioLaurence, Timothy James HamiltonAndrew (Prince) '' Duke of YorkLeigh-Pemberton, JamesAnne '' Princess RoyalLeka, Crown Prince of AlbaniaAnstee, NickLeonard, MarkAsh, Timothy GartonLevene, Peter '' Baron Levene of PortsokenAstor, William Waldorf '' 4th Viscount AstorLeviev, LevAugust, Ernst '' Prince of HanoverLevitt, ArthurAven, PyotrLevy, Michael '' Baron LevyBalkenende, Jan PeterLieberman, JoeBallmer, SteveLivingston, IanBalls, EdLoong, Lee HsienBarroso, Jos(C) ManuelLorenz (Prince) of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-EsteBeatrix (Queen)Louis-Dreyfus, G(C)rardBelka, MarekMabel (Princess) of Orange-NassauBergsten, C. FredMandelson, Peter BenjaminBerlusconi, SilvioManning, Sir David GeoffreyBernake, BenMargherita '' Archduchess of Austria-EsteBernhard (Prince) of Lippe-BiesterfeldMargrethe II DenmarkBernstein, NilsMart­nez, Guillermo OrtizBerwick, DonaldMashkevitch, AlexanderBildt, CarlMassimo, Stefano (Prince) '' Prince of Roccasecca dei VolsciBischoff, Sir Winfried Franz Wilhen ''Win''McDonough, William JosephBlair, TonyMcLarty, MackBlankfein, LloydMersch, YvesBlavatnik, LeonardMichael (Prince) of KentBloomberg, MichaelMichael of RomaniaBolkestein, FritsMiliband, DavidBolkiah, HassanalMiliband, EdBonello, Michael CMittal, LakshmiBonino, EmmaMoreno, GlenBoren, David L.Moritz '' Prince and Landgrave of Hesse-KasselBorwin '' Duke of MecklenburgMurdoch, RupertBronfman, Charles RosnerNapol(C)on, CharlesBronfman, Edgar Jr.Nasser, JacquesBruton, JohnNiblett, RobinBrzezinski, ZbigniewNichols, VincentBudenberg, RobinNicols, AdolfoBuffet, WarrenNoyer, ChristianBush, George HWOfer, SammyCameron, David William DonaldOgilvy, David '' 13th Earl of AirlieCamilla '' Duchess of CornwallOllila, Jorma JaakkoCardoso, Fernando HenriqueOppenheimer, NickyCarington, Peter '' 6th Baron CarringtonOsborne, GeorgeCarlos '' Duke of ParmaOudea, FredericCarlos, Juan '' King of SpainParker, Sir JohnCarney, Mark J.Patten, ChrisCarroll, CynthiaP(C)bereau, MichelCaruana, JaimePenny, GarethCastell, Sir WilliamPeres, ShimonChan, AnsonPhilip (Prince) '' Duke of EdinburghChan, MargaretPio, Dom Duarte '' Duke of BraganzaChan, NormanP¶hl, Karl OttoCharles '' Prince of WalesPowell, ColinChartres, RichardProkhorov, MikhailChiaie, Stefano DelleQuaden, Guy BaronChipman, Dr JohnRasmussen, Anders FoghChodiev, PatokhRatzinger, Joseph Alois (Pope Benedict XVI)Christoph, Prince of Schleswig-HolsteinReuben, DavidCicchitto, FabrizioReuben, SimonClark, Wesley Kanne Sr. (General)Rhodes, William R. ''Bill''Clarke, KennethRice, SusanClegg, NickRichard (Prince) '' Duke of GloucesterClinton, BillRifkind, Sir Malcolm LeslieCohen, Abby JosephRitblat, Sir JohnCohen, RonaldRoach, Stephen S.Cohn, Gary D.Robinson, MaryColonna, Marcantonio (di Paliano) '' Prince and Duke of PalianoRockefeller, David Jr.Constantijn (Prince) of the NetherlandsRockefeller, David Sr.Constantine II GreeceRockefeller, NicholasCooksey, DavidRodr­guez, Javier Echevarr­aCowen, BrianRogoff, Kenneth Saul ''Ken''Craven, Sir JohnRoth, Jean-PierreCrockett, AndrewRothschild, Jacob '' 4th Baron RothschildDadush, UriRubenstein, DavidD'Aloisio, TonyRubin, RobertDarling, AlistairRuspoli, Francesco '' 10th Prince of CerveteriDavies, Sir HowardSafra, JosephDavignon, ‰tienneSafra, MoisesDavis, DavidSands, Peter A.De Rothschild, BenjaminSarkozy, NicolasDe Rothschild, David Ren(C) JamesSassoon, Isaac S.D.De Rothschild, Evelyn RobertSassoon, James Meyer '' Baron SassoonDe Rothschild, Leopold DavidSawers, Sir Robert JohnDeiss, JosephScardino, MarjorieDeripaska, OlegSchwab, KlausDobson, MichaelSchwarzenberg, KarelDraghi, MarioSchwarzman, Stephen A.Du Plessis, JanShapiro, SidneyDudley, William C.Sheinwald, NigelDuisenberg, WimSigismund (Archduke) '' Grand Duke of TuscanyEdward (Prince) '' Duke of KentSimeon of Saxe-Coburg and GothaEdward (The Prince) '' Earl of WessexSnowe, OlympiaElkann, JohnSof­a (Queen) of SpainEmanuele, Vittorio '' Prince of Naples, Crown Prince of ItalySoros, GeorgeFabrizio (Prince) '' Massimo-BrancaccioSpecter, ArlenFeldstein, Martin Stuart ''Marty''Stern, ErnestFesting, MatthewStevenson, Dennis '' Baron Stevenson of CoddenhamFillon, Fran§oisSteyer, TomFischer, HeinzStiglitz, Joseph E.Fischer, Joseph MartinStrauss-Kahn, DominiqueFischer, StanleyStraw, JackFitzGerald, NiallSutherland, PeterFranz, Duke of BavariaTanner, MaryFridman, MikhailTedeschi, Ettore GottiFriedrich, Georg '' Prince of PrussiaThompson, MarkFriso (Prince) of Orange-NassauThomson, Dr. James A.Gates, BillTietmeyer, HansGeidt, ChristopherTrichet, Jean-ClaudeGeithner, TimothyTucker, PaulGibson-Smith, Dr ChrisVan Rompuy, HermanGorbachev, MikhailV(C)lez, lvaro UribeGore, AlVerplaetse, Alfons VicomteGotlieb, AllanVilliger, KasparGreen, StephenVladimirovna, Maria '' Grand Duchess of RussiaGreenspan, AlanVolcker, PaulGrosvenor, Gerald '' 6th Duke of WestminsterVon Habsburg, OttoGurr­a, Jos(C) ngelWaddaulah, Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddinGustaf, Carl XVI of SwedenWalker, Sir David AlanHague, WilliamWallenberg, JacobHampton, Sir Philip RoyWalsh, JohnHans-Adam II '' Prince of LiechtensteinWarburg, MaxHarald V NorwayWeber, Axel AlfredHarper, StephenWeill, Michael DavidHeisbourg, Fran§oisWellink, NoutHenri '' Grand Duke of LuxembourgWhitman, Marina von NeumannHildebrand, PhilippWillem-Alexander '' Prince of OrangeHills, Carla AndersonWilliam (Prince) of WalesHolbrooke, RichardWilliams, Dr RowanHonohan, PatrickWilliams, Shirley '' Baroness Williams of CrosbyHoward, AlanWilson, David '' Baron Wilson of TillyornIbragimov, AlijanWolfensohn, James DavidIngves, Stefan Nils MagnusWolin, Neal S.Isaacson, WalterWoolf, Harry '' Baron WoolfJacobs, Kenneth M.Woolsey, R. James Jr.Julius, DeAnneWorcester, Sir Robert MiltonJuncker, Jean-ClaudeWu, SarahKenen, PeterZoellick, Robert Bruce
___http://yournewswire.com/illuminati-committee-300/
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Trump removes Russia from U.S. threat list
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:18
The destruction of Islamic State is a higher priority for the president-elect.
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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump removes Russia from U.S. threat list. Source: Reuters
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has sent the Pentagon a document that lists the country's top defense priorities. The list does not include Russia, which is considered the "No. 1 threat to the United States" by the outgoing administration, reports Foreign Policy magazine, citing the document.
The publication notes that among the new administration's defense priorities are "defeating the Islamic State, eliminating budget caps, developing a new cybersecurity strategy, and finding greater efficiencies."
Foreign Policy underlines that Russia is not mentioned on the list. However, Trump's transitional team told the publication that the list "is not complete."
On Dec. 14, 2016 the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations published the annual "Top threats to watch in 2017" report. The experts who prepared the assessment put Russia in first place as a potential danger for the U.S., not excluding "an intentional or unintentional military clash between Russia and NATO members."
Was it possible to take the Russian ambassador's killer alive? | Russia Beyond The Headlines
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:18
It was possible not to kill the assassin of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, but take him alive, argue some Russian experts. This would have helped to shed light on the crime, including on who may have ordered the assassination. One Russian observer even believes that the killer was liquidated on purpose in order to complicate the investigation.
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Members of police special forces patrol outisde the Russian Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, Dec. 20, 2016. Source: Reuters
The assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov has been the top story for the Turkish press. Yet there is very little information on what the Turkish law-enforcement agents did to detain the killer.
It is known that at about 7:30 p.m. local time Karlov arrived at the Center of Modern Art in Ankara to participate in the opening of a photo exhibition. His speech had lasted for less than a minute when the killer, who was standing behind him, took a gun out of his pocket and crying "Allahu Akbar" shot Karlov in the back several times. In total the assassin fired 11 shots into the diplomat.
Afterwards, he cried out slogans about Aleppo and Syria for several minutes and shot at the ceiling and towards the scattered crowd.
Twenty-five minutes after the assassination, the killer was shot dead by members of Turkey's special units. The assassin was later named as 22-year-old Mevlut Mert Altintash, who for the last two years had served in a division of the local Interior Ministry special forces responsible for crowd control.
It was possible to take him aliveAccording to Boris Dolgov, senior scientific collaborator at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Middle East Institute, Karlov's assassination could have been either the act of a lone killer or a well-planned operation.
"I think it's strange that Altintas was killed. There was the possibility of taking him alive, then questioning him and getting him to tell the authorities who he was linked to," said Dolgov.
Why wasn't killer captured?Andrei Popov, a veteran of the Federal Security Service's Alpha special unit and a reserve lieutenant colonel, analyzed the operation carried out on Altintas.
"It is always difficult to discuss an operation when you are not present on the site and far from the concrete circumstances surrounding it,'' said Popov.
''However, it is obvious that by the time the Turkish special forces got involved, the ambassador's killer had already disclosed himself as the culprit. On the video that I saw it is also clear that the criminal did not prevent the people from leaving the building and did not try to take hostages. It was possible to take him alive."
Popov believes that this opportunity was not taken advantage of due to a disagreement among the Turkish law enforcement officers or to their unprofessionalism.
"In such cases the mechanism of detainment is already prepared: The object is shot in the right shoulder, which deprives him of the possibility to put up active resistance. Subsequently, he is detained,'' he explained.
Popov added that he ''did not rule out'' that Altintas could have had accomplices in Turkey's special forces and security services who had ''decided to eliminate him so that he wouldn't tell the investigators all the circumstances of the assassination.''
Meanwhile, on Dec. 20, 18 employees from Russia's Investigative Committee and Foreign Ministry arrived in Ankara. They will be investigating Karlov's assassination together with the Turkish law enforcement agents. According to the local press, the Russian ambassador's body was delivered to the Expert Forensic Institute in Ankara for examination and on Dec. 20 was flown to Moscow.
First published in Russian by Gazeta.ru
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[COLUMN] Wat er mis is met Serious Request van 3FM '' RadioCollege
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:16
Het zal je niet ontgaan zijn: de jaarlijkse PR campagne van de Nederlandse Publiek Omroep is weer begonnen. Even de tegenvallende luistercijfers van het afgelopen jaar wegpoetsen door 3FM op de kaart te zetten middels een Glazen Huis op de markt van een grote stad ergens in Nederland en Radio 2 met de luisterduur verlengende knaller 'de Top 2000'. Laten we ons even op die eerste concentreren; wat is daar eigenlijk mis mee dat NPO 3FM dit steevast doet in december?
54 jaar geleden, in 1962, was er ene Mies Bouwman twee dagen lang op TV en radio te horen met de aktie 'Open het dorp'. Een sympathieke inzameling in een tijd dat er nog niet veel te beleven viel op de Nederlandse kastjes. Artiesten kwamen langs, er werd heel jofel gedaan over bedragen en Nederland scharrelde bijna 13 miljoen gulden bijelkaar voor een zorginstelling voor gehandicapten, ergens in Nederland. Een dag later overleed Prinses Wilhelmina. Kortom, Nederland had weer wat om over te praten en het verbond ons.
Nu zitten we natuurlijk met zo'n zelfde inzamelingstoestand, op 3FM en een overbodig digitaal kanaal op de decoder. We zamelen ieder jaar in december geld in voor een of ander NOVIB achtig doel.. Diarree in Afghanistan, maagzweren in Jakarta of iets met ondervoede kangoeroes in Australi. Kortom: de grote verwegshow. Dat is dan ook het eerste wat mis is met deze aktie van 3FM: in Nederland lopen zat mensen rond die amper hun hoofd financieel boven water kunnen houden. Er zijn zat kinderen ziek waar hard geld voor onderzoek voor nodig is. Ondernemers die omvallen of n(C)t hun hoofd boven water kunnen houden. Maar dat zijn natuurlijk geen onderwerpen waar je eens lekker arty farty en als betrokken wereldburger mee voor de dag kunt komen. Nee stel je eens voor zeg, dat de Publieke Omroep ook werkelijk de stem van en een steun voor hun publiek zou zijn! Nota bene het publiek dat allemaal geld bijelkaar legt om ¼berhaupt een Radio 2 en 3FM te kunnen bekostigen.
Punt 2 is mooi helder te maken aan de hand van een artikel dat recent verscheen in Bn/De Stem. Ondernemers rond de grote markt in Breda maken zich ernstig zorgen over het wegblijven van klanten door Serious Request. Je zal als winkelier maar je jaaromzet willen redden in december en de grote sprinkhaan 3FM landt in je achtertuin. Dan heb je het nakijken. De OndernemersPartij vindt dan ook dat omroepvereniging BNN/VARA, de grote winnaars van deze jaarlijkse marketingstunt, de Bredase ondernemer financieel moet compenseren. Dan maar een tonnetje minder naar Giel Beelen.
Punt 3 is de beluisterbaarheid. Er wordt dan gewoon maar besloten dat 2 deejays een midweek lang radio moeten maken. Zes uur lang! Om en om. Twee onervaren jongens, die vast wel worden opgehitst door het aanwezige publiek waardoor ze energie krijgen, maar traditioneel levert dit onbeluisterbare radio op, met vage muziek, veel te lange gesprekken met bekende artiesten en een hoop geschreeuw om aandacht voor het noodlijdende 3FM. Je zal maar op een kantoor werken waar de godganse dag 3FM aanstaat. Mooi, vakkundig stukje radio krijg je dan te horen de hele week. En niet vergeten: geld doneren he! Kom op mensen, het geld bij ons is op.. daar is Matthijs van Nieuwkerk van op vakantie!
Brengt ons nog bij een mooi punt: al dat gekoketteer met BN'ers en artiesten, die toevallig net een nieuwe kerstsingle uit hebben of iets anders te verkopen en 'geheel belangeloos' komen overnachten in het glazen huis, of de deur op slot doen. Het is al erg genoeg dat we iedere avond om 19u30 naar een commercial van een half uur moeten kijken op NPO1 genaamd DWDD. Dit is gewoon de verlengde versie. Waar is de stem van het publiek?
Aaaah ja, het publiek MAG EEN PLAATJE AANVRAGEN! JOEPIE! Dr hebben we de radio anno 2016 nog voor nodig.. Het kost je wel nog wat geld luisteraars, want we kunnen die arme mensen met buikschurft in Timboektoe echt niet in de kou laten staan deze winter!
Is het raar dat plaatjes zoals hierboven al jaren rondgaan in de maand december op social media? Net als bij de politiek voelt de doorsnee Nederlandse burger (en dan heb ik het niet over de linkse elite) zich niet gehoord en niet vertegenwoordigd bij de NPO. Ja er was een TV programma genaamd Man Bijt Hond waar de burger zijn stem in kwijt kon. Maar toch vooral even laten zien hoe dom hij was, met infantiele items als De Babbelbox en een voiceover waar de arrogantie vanaf droop. Neem een voorbeeld aan de Vlaamse versie en publieke omroep VRT, waar de doorsnee Vlaming gewoon normaal aan het woord komt en niet neergezet wordt als een Pipo de clown waar de omhooggevallen, zichzelf hoger achtende medemens eens lekker om kan lachen.
De NPO radiozenders horen te verbinden en te informeren. Niet zich constant bezig te houden met marktaandelen, luistercijfers, positionering en muziekonderzoek. Dat is het domein van de commercile radio. Die krijgen namelijk niet ieder jaar een zak met geld waar ze eens lekker mee mogen gaan spelen, die ondernemers moeten iedere euro zelf verdienen. In mijn tijd als ochtenddeejay voor Veronica liet ik van nature 'de gewone mens' aan het woord. Dat kreeg ik dan ook regelmatig terug als compliment van de luisteraar, 'je bent gewoon lekker iemand van ons, je voelt je niet verheven en je zit niet vanaf een troon ons toe te spreken, je praat m(C)t ons'. En ik zat dan nota bene nog bij een commercieel station, waar alleen de adverteerder het geld inbrengt en dus een bepaalde doelgroep in leeftijd of achtergrond bediend wordt. Er is ooit een commercile radiozender geweest genaam Caz!, waar ze geprobeerd hebben het gat dat de publieke omroep laat vallen op de radio dan maar commercieel in te vullen, met maatschappelijk betrokken items en gesprekken in de programma's, gepresenteerd door intelligent talent, aangevuld met recente muziek. De wereld op z'n kop! Waar is de stem van het volk op de landelijke publieke radio? Oud radiobaas en deejay Erik de Zwart vatte het treffend samen toen hij zei: Radio 2 en Radio 3 kunnen in de verkoop, als commercile zender.
Waarom besteedt een station als 3FM, dat zich graag als jongerenstation profileert, niet de hele maand december aandacht aan de opkomende verkiezingen. En laten ze woordvoerders van de jongerenpartijen aan het woord, in plaats van deze commercile geldophaalaktie met als doel luistertijd verlengen en dus een hoger marktaandeel. Ook in de zwarte pieten discussie had 3FM een mooie publieke taak kunnen hebben, door voor- en tegenstanders aan het woord te laten. Idem met het Oekra¯neverdrag. Of andere maatschappelijke issues. Waarom hoor ik nooit de mening van het publiek op de publieke omroep? Of luister ik soms op verkeerde tijden, als er toch vooral infantiel gelach en gedoe te horen is. Is het raar dat ik meer diepgang, verrassing, onderscheidenheid en intelligentie wil?
Ik zou natuurlijk lid kunnen worden van de VPRO. En een donatie kunnen doen aan de HUMAN. Maar garandeert mij dat deze omroepen meer en betere zendtijd krijgen? Een publieke omroep waardige plek?
Toegegeven, Radio 1 doet een poging met het programma Stand.nl waarin mensen telefonisch hun zegje mogen doen. Het is een begin. En de regionale omroepen laten heel vaak mensen uit de regio zien en aan het woord. Geen wonder dat bijvoorbeeld L1 in Limburg de best beluisterde zender is. Zijn de Limburgers dan zo chauvinistisch? Nee, ze voelen zich verbonden met deze zender omdat ze er zichzelf terughoren en terugzien. Ja, dus (en daar kom ik nogmaals met een standpunt van de partij waar ik me bij aangesloten heb) moet er meer geld naar de regionale zenders, in plaats van minder. Zij vervullen hun taak met verve! En sloten net met z'n allen wel een ophaalaktie af voor de minderbedeelden in Nederland, waarschijnlijk omdat dat onderwerp niet sexy genoeg is voor de landelijke publieke zenders.
Laten we niet vergeten dat de Nederlandse Publieke Omroep, kortom het grote zenderpark van de Staatsomroep, zowel op radio als tv, gevuld wordt door omroepverenigingen. Dat zijn net als biljartverenigingen clubs met mensen die hetzelfde leuk vinden. In dit geval niet biljarten maar omroepen. Deze verenigingen mogen geen winst maken. Ze moeten er zijn voor hun leden. Die ook inspraak dienen te hebben. Op papier een leuk systeem, maar waarom voelt bijna niemand zich meer vertegenwoordigd en gehoord door deze verenigingen? En komt er steeds meer kritiek op torenhoge salarissen die de bestuurders en omroepers krijgen? Waarom gaan de belangrijkste uitzenduren naar de meest commercile omroepverenigingen BNN/VARA en AVROTROS? Terwijl omroepen als de VPRO, HUMAN en EO, die (C)cht iets brengen voor hun achterban en w(C)l met de broodnodige diepgang komen, weggestopt worden in de avonduren op 3FM en tegenover NPO1 kijkcijferknallers ergens op NPO2 in de late avond, of op zondagmiddag.
Kersverse ochtendjock Domien van 3FM kan wel stoer roepen in De Volkskrant dat er minder witte mannen te horen moeten zijn (goh uit welke partijhoek zou hij dat geleend hebben, heerlijk politiek correct weer), roep liever 'laat de gewone, doorsnee (jongere of oudere) man of vrouw eens aan het woord op een zender die ze nota bene zelf betalen'. Dan laat je meer de stem van je achterban horen. Oh wacht, Domien werkt voor de commercieelste van allemaal. BNN/VARA. Net als zijn collega in de middag, waarmee hij nu samen opgesloten zit om hun markt- en merkwaarde omhoog te krikken. Dat gaf de kersverse zenderbaas van 3FM laatst ook ruiterlijk toe in een interview; we hebben de programmanamen afgeschaft om de bekendheid van onze deejays te verhogen. Wat dacht je van eens wat mensen daar neer zetten die een journalistieke opleiding hebben genoten, zodat ze een goed interview kunnen afnemen, in plaats van louter hippe plaatjes aan- en afkondigen en 'hoitjes' roepen.
Ik ben zelf, puur uit gebrek aan dit soort gesprekken bij de NPO radiozenders, maar een aantal jaren geleden diverse podcastseries gestart op iTunes om de normale mens, zonder connecties in het mediawereldje, ook een stem te kunnen geven. Een daarvan heet 'Leven zonder stress', waarin ik spreek met allerlei soorten mannen en vrouwen over hun kijk op het leven. Een andere podcast heet 'Praten over ADHD' over de diverse zienswijzen op dit onderwerp. Waar blijft de NPO met dit soort diepgang, al is het maar in podcastvorm? Hulde aan de VPRO en HUMAN, die hun taak hierin wel serieus nemen. Maar de rest? Ja een podcast met gratis muziek, die we overal kunnen krijgen, dat wil de AVROTROS nog wel doen.
De publieke media, is net als de politiek, in handen gevallen van een clubje politiek correcte mensen die elkaar allemaal de hand boven het hoofd houden en de bestbetaalde baantjes toeschuiven. Goh Patrick, wat origineel, heb je zeker ook nooit ergens anders gehoord? Dat dit al jaren geroepen wordt door veel Nederlanders wil nog niet zeggen dat er niet een kern van waarheid in zit. We willen toch verbinding in Nederland? Nou begin dan eens met publiek geld goed te besteden en de Nederlandse burger een stem te geven. Zodat deze zijn stem dadelijk op 15 maart 2017 niet alleen laat gelden als proteststem tegen een vercommercialiseerd omroepbestel en een ondoorzichtige, onherkenbare politieke enclave.
Een kanaal als Holland Doc 24, met prachtige, informatieve documentaires op de digitale kabel: wegbezuinigd. Verhelderende, inspirerende radio in de avonduren op Radio 5? Wegbezuinigd. Moet muziek gedraaid worden, scoort beter. Overigens bedacht door de nieuwe overkoepelende radiobaas van de NPO Jurre Bosman, toen nog alleen verantwoordelijk voor Radio 2 en Radio 5. Hij creerde oa het sterrenteam dat nu Radio 2 vult. Een programma genaamd Tendens, over levensbeschouwing op Omroep Gelderland? Weg. En de lijst wordt maar langer. Om maar te zwijgen over het feit dat er steeds meer commercile jongens naar de publieke omroep gehaald worden; niet alleen on-air maar ook als leidinggevende. Nieuwe baas van NPO Fun X: de oude baas van Radio 538. De nieuwe baas van Omroep Gelderland: komt bij SBS6 vandaan.Tel uit je winst! Toch knap voor een groep publieke omroepen die geen winst mogen maken.
De Publieke Omroep zou, nee moet, afgerekend worden op hoeveel ze informeren, of ze evenredig veel ruimte geven aan alle groepen mensen en meningen in Nederland en deze bedienen op hun behoefte aan diepgang en cultuur, niet louter op entertainment. En al helemaal niet primair op luistercijfers, marktaandeel en dus STER inkomsten waar de NPO dan weer lekker verder de commercile zenders mee kan beconcurreren.
Overigens staat het volgende paradepaardje van de publieke omroepen al weer te trappelen voor de deur; 'het gouden radioring gala'. Waarin wij van de publieke omroep prijzen gaan uitreiken aan andere mensen van de publieke omroep. En heel misschien (C)(C)n of twee commercile talenten, voor de vorm, als het echt niet anders kan. Kost wat, maar dan heb je ook weer wat om je station en omroepvereniging mee in de kijker te spelen.
Ik ga me denk ik maar inschrijven bij de lokale buurt- of voetbalvereniging, die komen wel op voor mijn belangen. En dan word ik ook nog eens gehoord. Aldus de gemiddelde burger. En kom maar op met het eeuwige gezeur dat dit populistisch, rechts gelul is. Of racistisch. Het enige antwoord dat je steeds hoort op klachten uit de maatschappij, keer op keer op keer. Hoe knap dat je dat nog steeds durft vol te houden, na al die jaren. Chapeau, moraalridders van Nederland! Nu lekker naar 3FM luisteren en klappen als het eindbedrag bekend gemaakt wordt he, dat hoort erbij, als gengageerd inwoner van Nederland.
Patrick Kickentwitter.com/kicken
Vind ik leuk:LikeLaden'...
U.S. extends sanctions against Russia ahead of Trump inauguration
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:14
The new sanctions bear a symbolic weight as the Obama administration seeks to limit President-elect Donald Trump's options for reconciliation with Moscow when he takes office in January.
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President Barack Obama walks down the White House Colonnade from the main residence to the Oval Office on Nov. 8, 2016, in Washington. Source: AP
The United States has extended its sanctions against Russian to blacklist 17 additional entities related to various projects in Crimea, which the U.S. considers to have been unlawfully annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
The new list includes seven individuals, eight companies, and two vessels, all either related to the Russian government and Russia's development projects in Crimea, or presumed to have links to the crisis in Ukraine.
Transatlantic solidarityThe two executive orders designating new targets for the U.S. sanctions represent, possibly, the last effort of the Obama administration to demonstrate unity with the European Union, which recently renewed its sanctions against Russia for yet another six-month period.
Although issued by the U.S. Treasury Department, the orders likely represent the willingness of the Obama administration to reassure the United States' European allies of Washington's commitment to its stance on Russia. The move, which besides its practical importance carries a certain symbolic weight, comes in anticipation of President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, which is widely believed will alter U.S. foreign policy significantly.
For the time being, however, the Obama administration seems unshaken by Trump's critique of the current U.S. policy towards Russia. ''Today's action is in response to Russia's unlawful occupation of Crimea and continued aggression in Ukraine,'' said Acting Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the U.S. Department of Treasury John E. Smith in a press release prepared by the department.
''These targeted sanctions aim to maintain pressure on Russia by sustaining the costs of its occupation of Crimea and disrupting the activities of those who support the violence and instability in Ukraine,'' said Smith.
Under sanctionsThe companies targeted include Crimean Railways and Crimean Ports, companies funded by Russia's federal government to maintain railway and maritime transportation in Crimea, as well as companies working on the construction of the Kerch Bridge, a strategic piece of infrastructure connecting Crimea with Russia's mainland.
All but one of the individuals included in the new list hold executive positions within Bank Rossiya or its affiliated entities, who the U.S. accuses of ''providing material support to a senior official of the Russian Federation.''
The seventh and last individual to be added to the sanctions list is a peculiar exception. Yevgeny Prigozhin, a St. Petersburg businessman and restaurateur, is being accused of having ''extensive business dealings with the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense'' and overseeing the construction of military bases on the border with Ukraine. Previously, the Russian news publication RBK speculated (in Russian) about Prigozhin's ties to Russian private military companies operating in Syria.
Trump's choiceDonald Trump's reconciliatory tone towards Russia and President Vladimir Putin is being fiercely criticised in the U.S. mass media, which is continuing to question his choice of Michael T. Flynn as national security adviser and Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.
Critics present Trump's selection of the two men, known for their established working relations with Russia, as a sign of the president-elect's commitment to find common ground and work toward reconciliation with Moscow even if such a move may come at the expense of the current transatlantic policy with its focus on pressuring Russia over the crises in Ukraine and Syria.
Donald Trump, who will be sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2017, will have to develop his own policy towards Moscow, which many in Russia expect to be less bellicose than that of the Obama administration.
Although the current executive orders do not limit Trump's options in any way since the new president has the power to revoke them, they may put additional pressure on Trump because such a move will require a public demonstration of his intention to alleviate the pressure on Russia, which is likely to trigger criticism from both Congress and the mass media, as well as from some EU members who may then question Washington's commitment to transatlantic relations.
Read more: 8 things that connect Donald Trump with Russia>>>
Merry Ramadan And A Happy New Year!
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:13
Defense Contractors Meet With President Donald Trump: ''It's a dance, you know, it's a little bit of a dance,'''... | The Last Refuge
Thu, 22 Dec 2016 00:12
Ok, I admit.. this ''winning'' is almost way too much fun. A few hours ago, key defense contractors and their government agency counterparts assembled for the first time with President-elect Donald Trump.
It cannot be overstated how fundamentally different this is for all parties involved. For the first time in their history, both sides are facing a President-elect without a single IOU on his desk from their large networked lobbying groups. For them, both sides, the concept of prudent financial interest is at the forefront of the discussion.
For the first time in modern history the proverbial governmental trough has a gatekeeper'.... His name is Donald J Trump. Just pause for a moment and think about the scope of their collective new reality.
Better still, imagine yourself as a white hat inside the acquisition program and assigned to deliver the best ''bidding process'', and now you actually have Donald Trump on your side of the negotiation table.
OK, now smile, read and watch:
(Graphic Link)
(Via Reuters) ['...] The Republican met with Dennis Muilenburg of Boeing Co and Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin Corp at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where he is spending Christmas.
''Trying to get the costs down, costs. Primarily the (Lockheed Martin) F-35, we're trying to get the cost down. It's a program that's very, very expensive,'' Trump told reporters after meeting with the CEOs and a dozen Pentagon officials involved with defense acquisition programs who he said were ''good negotiators.''
Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20, has vowed to address government procurement costs as part of his industrial policy, which also includes taking a hard line on Chinese trade practices and renegotiating multilateral trade deals.
''It's a dance, you know, it's a little bit of a dance,'' he said. ''But we're going to get the costs down and we're going to get it done beautifully.'' (read more)
One of the meeting participants was Boeing's CEO Dennis Muilenburg, who took a shot across the financial bow from Trump earlier this month on the $4.2 billion cost for replacing a pair of Air Force One planes.
Muilenburg, called the meeting ''productive'' and spoke admiringly of Trump's ''business head-set.'' ''I think we're looking to cut a tremendous amount of money off the price,'' Trump said, while Muilenburg said he gave Trump a ''personal commitment'' that costs would not run out of control.
''We're going to get it done for less than that, and we're committed to working together to make sure that happens,'' the CEO said. Watch:
ENDGAME: Disclosure and the Final Defeat of the Cabal
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 23:01
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by David Wilcock
December 6, 2016, 8:00 am
Hits: 236,774
The Cabal is closer to exposure and defeat than ever before. The truth is blasting through the internet as a civilian-led investigation takes hold.
Does the Cabal have a final "Hail Mary Pass" to create a mass distraction and take the heat off? Could their final move actually be Disclosure?
What if this pre-planned Disclosure turns out to be far more epic and surprising than anyone could have possibly imagined?
In order to set up this story, we first have to expose exactly how rapidly the Cabal is plummeting to the earth at this time.
Then we will see they have no choice but to make their final Endgame moves.
UPDATED Same day, additional info in Bigbelly section, some new images and text at the end in red. FINAL as of 6:33 PM PDT, 12/6 (Same day.)
PART ONE: BY DAVID WILCOCK
INCREDIBLE NEW DATA IN THIS REPORT
Disclosure is upon us. Never before have we seen so many tangible signs of progress towards an imminent breakthrough.
The latest intel from the deepest levels of the UFO cover-up is some of the most fascinating data we have ever received.
If it proves to be true, we are right on the brink of experiencing the most significant events in all of our recorded history on earth.
Some very cosmic, world-changing information could soon be dropped upon us from an ''official'' level in a ''Partial Disclosure'' scenario.
This could potentially include the revelation of astonishingly high-tech buildings and cities discovered under the ice in Antarctica.
IN A WORLD'.....
Imagine if you woke up one day to see hyper-futuristic ruins being revealed in Antarctica.
You're not seeing this on Ancient Aliens or on alternative news sites, but everywhere'... on every major media platform there is.
Imagine journalists and military officials revealing these incredible findings'--in videos shot on location.
An event of this magnitude could be far more distracting than any 9/11-style catastrophe.
The power elite may well be hoping that such a civilization-defining ''game changer'' could make any and all preceding news stories irrelevant and forgotten.
ONLY NOW CAN IT BE DISCUSSED
Corey Goode was made aware of the discovery of epic new Antarctic ruins approximately three months ago, and wasn't even authorized to tell David what was going on.
We have only just now been cleared to release this critical, time-sensitive data to the public.
Since there is a large amount of information to share, this update is definitely a Long Read'--but well worth it.
In order to set up this incredible new disclosure information in Part Two, it is first important to establish the ''backstory'' of current events through which such a disclosure event would be seen to occur.
The full, grotesque nature of the hidden group that has been concealing the truth from us for so long is finally being exposed.
GET REAL
The 2016 presidential election was arguably the most contentious, nasty political battle in American history.
This has been well-covered by almost everyone on either side of the political spectrum, so we will not go through all the fine details again here.
In the final moments, a mysterious group called ''Prop or Not'' appeared out of nowhere, and issued a McCarthy-esque list of ''fake'' news sites, allegedly under ''Russian'' control.
The mainstream media acted as if this ''hit list'' was as significant as the invention of the wheel.
They immediately adopted the fascist, Orwellian term ''Fake News'' into their faltering Realnews' products.
Each link within the complete collection of blacklisted sites'--currently 200 in total'--is already being blocked or de-monetized by Facebook, Google, Apple, Snapchat and others.
[UPDATE: This is a direct, outrageous attack against truth and free speech. Infowars responded on December 7th by publishing their own "Fake News" list.]
A BIG BACKLASH
According to Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept, ''[Prop or Not's] list of Russian disinformation outlets includes WikiLeaks and the Drudge Report, as well as Clinton-critical left-wing websites such as Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, and Naked Capitalism, as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute.''
A journalist writing for New Yorker blasted Prop or Not, saying their definition of Fake News ''includes criticism of the United States, Barack Obama, Clinton, the European Union, Angela Merkel, NATO, Ukraine, ''Jewish people,'' U.S. allies, the mainstream media, Democrats, and ''the center-right or center-left, and moderates of all stripes.''
''These criteria, of course, could include not only Russian state-controlled media organizations, such as Russia Today, but nearly every news outlet in the world, including the Post itself.''
Activist Post, one of many so-called ''Fake News'' sites, said, ''However, it is also an exhilarating time to be a part of such mammoth upheaval, where-
The entrenched apparatus of the State itself has declared information to be its enemy'--and acknowledged that it must do everything in its power to maintain its tenuous monopoly on the truth.
YOU GET TO DECIDE WHAT IS TRUTH
We are only now witnessing a more visible form of the same cover-up that has hidden UFO reality from us for over 80 years '' consistently deeming all UFO sightings ''Fake News.''
State-sponsored media has engaged in psychological operations or ''psyops'' to discredit witnesses and insiders from the very beginning.
[UPDATE:Our TV network Gaia made it onto the "Fake News" list! That's how you know we're the real deal! Thanks, PON, for curating a "recommended reading" list!]
The Internet has opened up an era in which we, the people, now get to decide what media we want to consume, and what we choose to believe on a day-by-day basis.
If entities like Facebook are going to suppress any links that divert from dying Realnews' government propaganda, then we must now work harder to avoid being dependent upon them.
WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU MEAN BY ''FAKE?''
By definition, the Snowden documents would be ''fake'' as well '' yet the operations they exposed are as serious as a heart attack.
As Global Research so brilliantly stated on December 1st, 2016,
''The [mainstream media] editors and writers who produce these articles seem not even to notice that their publications have been caught in one colossal lie after another'--
From the claims of Iraqi ''weapons of mass destruction'' used to justify the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003,
To the more recent flood of government propaganda in support of neo-colonial wars in Libya and Syria, and drone killings in a growing number of countries'--
All justified in the name of ''human rights'' and the ''war on terror.''
There are no institutions anywhere in the world more adept at producing ''fake news'' than the American corporate-controlled media.''
PIZZAGATE
Realnews' is nothing but a last-ditch effort to sway the 15 percent or so of people who still even listen to state-run corporate media.
Perhaps the single most vigorous Realnews' target is something called Pizzagate, which has taken the internet by storm, particularly in the YouTube-watching millennial generation.
It started when specific food-related words like pizza, hot-dog, cheese, pasta, sauce, ice cream and walnut appeared with high frequency in Wikileaks emails sent by Clinton associate John Podesta.
Full disclosure... this is about as far as you can go in this article without encountering some upsetting information that may be new to you.
If you get triggered by anything you read here, (which is still very mild in comparison to many of the videos,) please skip ahead to LYING THROUGH THEIR TEETH and come back to it later.
If there is any chance that these allegations are real, we owe it to the victims to be strong enough to look at the truth.
THE UNCLASSIFIED LOGOS DISCOVERED BY THE FBI
The discovery of these peculiarly-used food terms combined nicely with an earlierWikileaks release of an FBI document from 2007, ''Symbols and Logos Used by Pedophiles to Identify Sexual Preferences.''
This was also made into a slideshow shortly after its initial FBI release in 2008. We found the slideshow by inputting the code number Q-FBI-2200-005-06. It appeared in SlideShare, a division of LinkedIn.
Here we will use some of the slides and some images from the original legal document.
The Podesta emails went public as of October 7, 2016, and were devastating to the Clinton campaign for other reasons, at least initially.
As the Millennium Report pointed out, ''John Podesta is not only the ultimate Democratic powerbroker, Beltway insider and powerful political fixer, his professional resume is both long and deep in the U.S. Federal Government.
''[Podesta] was Bill Clinton's White House Chief of Staff back in the 1990s, Barack Obama's Counselor to the President, and Chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.''
FOOD-RELATED KEYWORDS USED TO SPEAK IN CODE
Out of 2,060 total emails in the first Podesta collection, there are 149 instances of ''pizza'', 73 of hot dog, 85 of cheese, 78 of pasta, 41 of sauce, 84 of ice cream and 47 of walnut.
The word ''map,'' which can refer to a telltale clue that could destroy the entire crime ring if left behind, such as through DNA evidence, appears 917 times.
That's almost half of all the emails.
These words often appear in very, very bizarre contexts that have nothing to do with food. That is one key element of Pizzagate.
The term ''pizza'' itself appears to be code for a sexual partner, particularly if it is a minor, and again appears 149 times.
Although ''walnut'' appears 47 times in very strange ways, the equally popular nut ''cashew'' doesn't appear even once. This is most likely because ''walnut'' is a code word and ''cashew'' is not.
An innocuous, non-code-word junk food like ''French fries'' only appears 13 times.''Milkshake'' only appears six times.
''Vegetable'' only appears 24 times.''Pear'' only appears 25 times.''Grape'' only appears six times.''Avocado'' only appears four times.''Strawberry'' only appears twice. None of these are code words.
UNDERSTAND THE CODE WORDS
Law enforcement authorities and online ''Urban Dictionary'' resources have identified the specific terms we just mentioned '' pizza, cheese, sauce, pasta, et cetera '' as code words for child sex trafficking.
Code words allow people engaging in illegal activities to have a cover story in the event that their communications are discovered.
A simple, much less serious example of code-speak would be a college student referring to a bag of weed as a ''book'', such as when talking on the phone or in an email about it.
People engaging in criminal activities have always been aware of surveillance, and use code terms to avoid getting caught, or at least reduce the risk.
A simple-sounding question like ''Read any good books lately?'' can lead to knowing laughter in cases like our hypothetical pot-smoking college students.
YOU CAN RESEARCH IT FOR YOURSELF
Pizza and other specific food terms appear in very suspicious, non-food-related ways in hundreds of different letters sent by Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta and others. ( 1 , 2 , 3 )
Here are three notable examples:
https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/19018
I consider ice cream, its purchase, and its consumption a rather serious business. We can't just willy-nilly toss it out and about in casual references, especially linked with the word ''free''.
https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/30613
Lo and behold, instead of pasta and wonderful sauces, it was a lovely, tempting assortment of cheeses, Yummy.
I am awaiting the return of my children and grandchildren from their holiday travels so that we can demolish them.
https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/32795
Hi John, The realtor found a handkerchief (I think it has a map that seems pizza-related. Is it yours?
RUNNING A PIZZA JOINT IS PART OF THE JOKE
Apparently, owning and running an actual pizza restaurant is part of the joke that they all find to be so hilarious.
Across the street from two key pizza places is a bistro called Terasol.
This means Sun-Earth in Spanish.
"Terra" is earth and "sol" is sun.
Up until recently, Terasol had the Girl Love logo prominently displayed on their website, right below a picture of a celebrity guest who just ran for President:
Yep. It just went there. Notice also the smaller hand inside the larger hand in this same Girl Love logo.
TERRASOL SPROUTS
Two other businesses with the exact same name as Terasol, except this time with two R's in them, also had logos nearly identical to those in the FBI database.
This data pops up almost immediately when you do a Google Image Search on "terasol logo."
The first notable example is TerraSol Organics, a business ostensibly selling nothing but young sprouts -- microgreens -- to the organic grocery market in Oregon.
Yet, their logo is very similar to the Child Lover symbol disclosed in the FBI database:
The Terrasol Organics website says, in part, "If you're interested in our bulk quantities please contact us for further information on pricing and delivery options."
This certainly does not mean they are guilty of doing anything wrong. Let's hope this is just a very unfortunate coincidence.
ANOTHER TERRASOL (SUN-EARTH) EXAMPLE... COINCIDENCE?
Another example of a symbol straight out of the FBI database immediately popped up on a Google Image Search for Terasol Logo.
This time it is the "Little Boy Lover" symbol:
Given the odd, repeated appearance of pedophile symbols associated with the word Terrasol, it is worthy of a deeper look.
The Cabal believes Lucifer, the "light bringer," (Sol), has dominion over the earth (Terra.)
The Terrasol logo was linked via Google Images search to a company called Bigbelly International. This particular affiliate, Terrasol, works out of Malaysia and Singapore:
WHAT IS BIGBELLY INTERNATIONAL?
Here is the website you land on after you click on the above Google Images link:
The Terrasol logo with the "Little Boy Lover"-type symbol appears under Asia Pacific / Malaysia and Asia Pacific / Singapore on this site.
Based on the positions of markers in the map, Terrasol is the only Bigbelly affiliate for all of Southeast Asia.
Notice that the B in the Bigbelly logo could be a subtle representation of the breasts and "big belly" of a pregnant mother.
Why would a logo like this be used by one of the businesses working for a "Smart Waste & Recycling System... found in all 50 United States and more than 47 countires around the world?"
UPDATE: What about the four semicircles on the top of the cloud in the Bigbelly logo?
Doesn't it look a lot like a big heart on the right next to a smaller heart on the left?
SECURE WASTE DISPOSAL
Bigbelly does legitimately sell trash cans that appear to be designed much better than most. Again, this may only be a very unfortunate coincidence.
They may have partnered with certain businesses and have no idea if any nefarious behavior is occurring.
It is also potentially of interest that their truck is pictured next to a movie poster for the Disney children's film Cinderella, which is about an orphaned child.
There is a man in what looks like a hooded black cloak, with an American flag on the sleeve and a neon vest, just to the left of the vehicle.
Above the hooded figure is the word FOREVER. Above that is the number 21 -- the age where children first become legal.
To the immediate left of FOREVER is the stylized "y" of the Disney logo.
UPDATE: CINDERELLA AND FRIDAY THE 13TH
If you really want to go "down the rabbit hole" and speculate even more, the release date for Cinderella, as we see in this image, was March 13th, 2015.
That's right... Friday the 13th.
THERE MIGHT BE A SUBLIMINAL IN THE DRESS
In my just-released blockbuster The Ascension Mysteries, I talk about the nearly ubiquitous presence of subliminal advertising in the media.
I first learned about it in a college class through the work of Professor Wilson Bryan Key. He revealed that hidden symbolism appears in the vast majority of all modern advertising.
This symbolism is often sexual or occult in nature. I was certain there had to be images in her dress in the poster, and it didn't take long to find it.
Her hand pulls up a wrinkle in her dress that makes an eye. The big crease along the bottom of the dress forms a warped, smiling troll mouth. The entire body of the dress below her super-small waist is the head.
The folds of the dress give it dog-like whiskers, and this is a creature that is large enough to devour her in one bite.
Read this entire 1990 MIT article on Wilson Bryan Key's research to learn more. I would have quoted almost every word of it in Ascension Mysteries, but hit a brick wall due to the "Fair Use" clause. Here is a sample:
"Key maintained that these messages do not appear by accident, coincidence, or as the work of an individual artist. Rather, advertising agencies spend three to five months and upwards of $50,000 to scrutinize every detail in each advertisement, he claimed....
When asked about death themes in the ads, Key responded that "if consciously perceived, you would probably run to the nearest [Alcoholics Anonymous]," but proprietary studies have shown the ads to "work more often than they fail."
THE TEMPLAR MASSACRE
Now let's get back to the Friday the 13th release date.
On Friday the 13th of October, 1307, scores of Knight Templars were arrested by agents of King Philip and later tortured to death in what is known as the Templar Massacre.
The Knights Templar are a critical historical aspect of the Cabal. Whistleblowers like Svali say the Cabal is the modern, more-disguised version of the Roman Empire after it conquered England beginning in 43 AD.
All the most recent episodes of my show Wisdom Teachings have been revealing these connections for Gaia subscribers. Gaia is arguably the Netflix of Seeking Truth and a good antidote to Realnews'.
Your support for this grassroots organization is vitally needed at this time, and you get two new shows a week where I am helping make Disclosure happen.
We now have a visual FX team adding lots of elements to the Wisdom Teachings episodes, which have significantly improved the overall quality of the show.
March 13th is only one day before the assassination of Julius Caesar, which is only one day before the dreaded Ides of March in the Roman calendar.
As it says in the Wikipedia entry, "The death of Caesar [in 44 BC] made the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history, as one of the events that marked the transition from the historical period known as the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire.[2]"
Caesar had first invaded England just 10 years before his death, in what Historic UK calls "political propaganda."
This, of course, immediately preceded the arrival of Christ, their greatest and most despised enemy.
March 13th is very close to a day associated with the birth of the Roman Empire. The Cabal very much wants to re-do this stunt again, this time calling it a "New World Order."
If you want to understand the secret, occult religion of the Cabal or "Illuminati," all roads lead to Rome. We will have more on this in Part Two.
Roman empire, Knights Templar, assassinations, orphaned children, Forever 21, a hooded figure in black... and a waste cleanup truck claiming to be the "World Leader in Smart Waste and Recycling Solutions."
ALASCOM AND VANILAE
One last thing to mention is that the Bigbelly affiliates listed for Italy (Alascom) and Lebanon (Vanilae) also have logos that may be tangentially similar to those in the FBI database.
ALASCOM is built of the same letters as CLOMAL, Child Love Online Media Activism, plus an extra S. Their logo has notable similarities to that of CLOMAL, as it appears in the FBI document.
The crescents could also subtly imply the presence of a larger and a smaller set of hearts.
As an extra bonus, the red dot is next to a white oval made by the shape of the crescents and thereby hints at an All-Seeing Eye. The two red crescents could also hint at devil horns.
The two butterfly wings in the Vanilae logo are fairly similar to the larger and smaller pink hearts in the Child Lover logo.
The crescents appear again in their shapes as well. The inverse spaces of the circles look like an adult and a child with pointy noses facing each other.
The butterfly is a well-known symbol of Monarch mind-control programming, as many Cabal scholars have noted.
Also notice that the V and the A in Vanilae are stylized and could represent the "square and compass" of the Masonic symbol.
The second A in Vanilae has a leaf shape in it that could hint at the All-Seeing Eye.
Vanilla is also the main flavor of ice cream... which is one of the keywords that appear all throughout the Wikileaks emails in suggestive ways.
What kind of "trade" are they "uniting?"
BREAKING OUT IN A BIG WAY
The ''Pizzagate'' scandal was a top trending search term this past week online. Millions of people are now finding out about these horrific crimes for the first time.
Never before in modern history has any ''conspiracy theory'' spread this quickly. It is extremely shocking stuff and the evidence in favor of a cover-up is overwhelmingly massive.
If Pizzagate breaks through into an official FBI or NYPD mass arrest, the Cabal will be defeated right along with it '' unless they have a truly magnificent distraction in store for us.
On Dec. 1st, 2016, Pizzagate was the number-one headline story on Digg.com, which presents the most viral stories on the internet each day.
This meant Pizzagate was the most popular story on the entire internet as of December 1st:
UPDATE: I just now noticed a Freudian. Read the paragraph carefully. It says "There's physical evidence either." The word 'no' is missing.
There's physical evidence...
Perhaps the person who posted this already knew there was indeed physical evidence -- or at least his or her subconscious did.
The crescents and stars in the Comet logo are familiar to Cabal scholars, as they appear around images of Baphomet, the goat-horned god.
The A-shaped wedges in which the crescents and stars appear again could imply the Masonic compass symbol.
As ugly as all of this might be, I represent one small part of an Alliance that has been trying to tell you about this for many, many years now.
In that sense it is a relief to finally see millions of people figuring out what has been going on this entire time.
A STRANGE SYNCHRONICITY OCCURRED
My second NYT best-selling book was called The Synchronicity Key, partly because I pay attention to unusual number patterns, which have appeared for me in surprising ways for many years.
It all started in college when I was reading about "paranormal" subjects. I would look up at the clock and see repeating digits, like 3:33 or 11:11, on the clock.
The Synchronicity Key goes into the science of how this works, with nearly 700 academic references.
When I used my screen-capture program to photograph the BBC article as Pizzagate skyrocketed to number-one on the internet, I was shocked by what I saw.
Not only was it the 666th image I had photographed, but the pixel size of the image I just took was 555 KB.
Right-click and save this image and see it for yourself:
Here is what I actually saw in the screen capture program. I decided not to change the name of this image from its original default, screenshot_666.
I had to use a special keystroke to capture this image:
This may not seem significant to you, and you may want to laugh at me for pointing it out.
However, this phenomenon has happened very regularly when I write articles on this site, as you can see by wading through our journalism in David's Blog.
In this case I believe it was intended to show that despite these Realnews' cover-ups, the public is now seeing the truth for what it really is.
The truly sinister aspects of the Cabal -- a group engaging in occult practices controlling government and media at the highest levels -- are finally visible.
Thanks to the insanity of Pizzagate, millions of people are just starting to figure out that there may be greater significance in our ancient spiritual texts than we realized.
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" -- Isaiah 14:12
THOUSANDS OF VIDEOS
There are now thousands of videos exposing Pizzagate on YouTube, some of which have millions of views.
One of the best videos to start with is from David Seaman on November 5th, before the subject was even named #Pizzagate.
David, the author of the above video, is a hero who was completely banned from Huffington Post after writing an article discussing Hillary's health.
Alex Jones' team at Infowars published a disturbing, short and well-researched video about Pizzagate, with good production value, on November 23rd.
It was apparently deleted and the man who did it was fired from Infowars when he tried to re-upload it. A mirror version is currently posted here.
[UPDATE NEXT DAY: This apparently was only an Internet rumor and he was not fired. Good to know.]
Another leading figure in Pizzagate videos, with above-average production value, is a British vegan girl named Tara, publishing as ''Reality Calls.'' Red Ice featured an interview with her on Nov. 28th.
A modest investment of one hour is more than enough to realize how outrageous and shocking the evidence really is.
Symbols that are listed in an FBI database for child sex trafficking are openly displayed at a series of pizza restaurants and businesses on the same block in Washington, DC.
It therefore appears that although these businesses do legitimately sell pizza or other goods by day, they also act as fronts for child sex trafficking.
MODERN BOYLOVER MAGAZINE
We found a digital copy of issue 14 of "Modern Boylover" magazine, which has no explicit pictures, while searching for the FBI document on LinkedIn SlideShare.
It appears to have been saved there as further evidence to be used in investigations. It is not at all something I recommend reading due to the "creep factor", which is off the charts.
The triangular Boylover logo appears all througout the magazine, including the logo for KBLR (BoyLoveR) Radio:
In an article about where to take your Young Friend (YF), it ends with the following, which now makes more sense:
THE FOX GUARDING THE HENHOUSE
One of the most shocking details of this case concerns Besta Pizza, which used the stylized ''Boylover'' triangle seen in the FBI documents as their logo.
You can order the following image as a print from the official Boylover website referenced in the FBI documents, but I wouldn't recommend it:
''Besta'' means ''Beast'' in Portuguese. Once the investigation revealed the meaning of their logo, the company changed it on their website, even while the original was still visible in their menu.
POLITICS & PROSE
The newly-altered version of the Besta Pizza logo has also appeared on the Politics & Prose Bookstore website, another business on the same block that has been implicated just since Pizzagate began:
As revealed on Wikipedia, the Politics & Prose storefront has the "Little Boy Lover" logo written into the ampersand (&) symbol in the middle of the title:
This business is apparently owned by Hillary's speechwriter.
THE SKULL AND CROSSBONES
These two screen captures from a Sgt Report video reveal that a skull and crossbones "death" symbol was clearly visible on the sidewalk in front of Politics & Prose as of July 2010.
This symbol was easily visible in a Google Maps Street View search:
The Skull and Crossbones symbol is also seen in the Skull and Bones society, also known as the Brotherhood of Death, which many US presidents have been members of:
THE TEMPLAR CONNECTION
Everyone knows the Skull and Crossbones is the classic "black flag" of the pirate ships robbing gold out of the Caribbean as it emerged from South America. It is also called the "Jolly Roger."
Far fewer people know that this gold theft was all being done by the now-hidden Knight Templars after their stunning, public mass arrest.
They used their superior naval power to gather awesome wealth and bury it in "banks" along the shoreline of places like Nova Scotia.
I go deeply into the history of all of this in Episode 189 of Wisdom Teachings, "Illuminating the Templars and the Maltese Cross, Part I."
The 32nd-degree Masonic apron features this Templar symbol as well. The 1800s-era version of the apron had a metallic skull and crossbones:
'THAT' ANDREW KLINE....
Besta Pizza and the coffeeshop at Politics & Prose are owned by Andrew Kline. And it is that Andrew Kline '' the Clinton appointee overseeing the prosecution of child sex trafficking.
Kline's ownership of Besta Pizza was hidden three levels deep in government data ( 1 , 2 , 3 ), so it was not easy for civilian investigators to find.
As revealed in a Vanity Fair article from May 24, 2011,
''Special Litigation Counsel Andrew Kline, a Clinton appointee with an M.A. in human rights from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, was one of four attorneys in the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit of the Department of Justice, in the Civil Rights Division.
It fell upon the curly-haired, bespectacled Kline (now a senior adviser in the executive office of the president) and one other colleague to provide U.S. attorneys nationwide with training on prosecuting trafficking cases.''
If one of four highest-ranking attorneys in the DoJ responsible for arresting pedophiles is himself a perpetrator, he can help ensure that he and his friends never get caught.
According to a Guardian article from Nov. 3rd, ''The currently serving FBI agent said Clinton is ''the antichrist personified to a large swath of FBI personnel.''
MASTER DATABASE SAVED FROM DELETION
The central nexus-point for Pizzagate research on Reddit was censored as it went viral, as were the backups, but thankfully Archive.org captured it at its peak on November 22nd:
https://web.archive.org/web/20161122083118/https://m.reddit.com/r/pizzagate/comments/5da0kp/comet_ping_pong_pizzagate_summary/
Now that we have published this link, it may be censored off of Archive as well, but for now anyone can grab the data and mirror it.
All the initial, landmark Pizzagate videos were based off of the research in this thread, though additional links are continually being discovered as well.
As an example, ''Ping Pong'' is apparently a slang reference for sex, due to the rhythmic motion involved.
The fact that Comet Ping-Pong has many different ping-pong tables in the restaurant therefore becomes part of the ''inside joke.''
The Comet Ping Pong menu has a logo of two ping-pong paddles on it that looks very similar to the FBI-identified logo for Child Lover.
The wooden handles form a very clear Maltese / Templar cross, tilted sideways.
There is also a subtle suggestion of a human face that has been blindfolded -- the white strip over the two circular paddles -- and gagged, as seen in the X.
The "blindfold" over the paddles says ''Play. Eat. Drink.'' This may be an acronym for PED '' i.e. a pedophile. All of this, and much more, can be found in the Reddit archive, though they did not see the Templar connections.
But of course, this is just a tragic example of "how fake news is hurting real people" -- so says the New York Times.
WHAT ABOUT THE 650,000 SEIZED EMAILS?
The greatest ''plot twist'' of the 2016 election was when FBI director James Comey announced that 650,000 new emails had been found on October 28th '' just three days before Halloween.
Hillary's campaign manager Huma Abedin was married to Anthony Weiner, who was caught in a months-long online sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.
The 650,000 emails, thousands of which were Clinton-related , were found in a folder on Weiner's laptop entitled ''Life Insurance.''
So many people who opposed the Clintons died of ''suicide,'' ever since Bill's run as the governor of Arkansas, that the term ''Arkancide'' was coined.
Sensationally, the day before the election, Comey announced that no new evidence had been found in the emails, which have not yet been leaked.
Trump blasted Comey for this ludicrous announcement. It appeared that Comey was caught in between two different groups, both giving him lethal threats.
Just three days earlier, insider Erik Prince had released a bombshell of new information from the NYPD and the FBI.
ERIK PRINCE'S STUNNING ''REVEAL''
On November 4th, Breitbart News featured a massively significant article entitled ''Erik Prince: NYPD Ready to Make Arrests in Anthony Weiner Case.''
Many people who formerly worked ''on the inside'' for the Cabal / New World Order have defected and become whistleblowers.
As the original founder of the Cabal's own mercenary army Blackwater, Erik Prince definitely appears to have broken away and joined what we are calling the Alliance.
In this groundbreaking article, we read the following:
''Blackwater founder and former Navy SEAL Erik Prince'... claimed he had insider knowledge of the investigation that could help explain why FBI Director James Comey had to announce he was reopening the investigation into Clinton's email server last week'....
''[The NYPD] found a lot of other really damning criminal information [in the 650,000 emails on Weiner's laptop],'... including the fact that Hillary went to this sex island with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Bill Clinton went there more than 20 times. Hillary Clinton went there at least six times,'' he said'....
''The NYPD wanted to do a press conference announcing the warrants and the additional arrests they were making in this investigation, and they've gotten huge pushback, to the point of coercion, from the Justice Department.''
THE EMAIL EVIDENCE IS ''SO BAD'''... ''GREAT EVIL''
As we read further in this key Breitbart article, we hear that the mayor of NYC wanted nothing to do with the 650,000 new emails, and the NYPD feels they are proof of ''great evil:''
''As for [ Bill de Blasio, ] the mayor of New York City, [Blackwater founder Erik] Prince said he has heard that ''de Blasio wants to stay away from this.''
''The [new Clinton email] evidence is so bad, the email content is so bad, that I think even [de Blasio] wants to stay away from it, which is really telling,'' he said'....
''For any cop that is aware of this level of wrongdoing, and they have veterans in their family'... they owe it to them to stand up'... and shine the light of truth on this great evil.'''...
''This is stuff coming right off a hard drive that was owned by Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin, Hillary's closest adviser for the last 20 years,'' he said of the new bombshells.
''This is not from some hacker or anybody else. This is a laptop seized from a warrant in a criminal investigation.'''...
''This kind of evil, this kind of true dirt on Hillary Clinton '' look, you don't have to make any judgments. Just release the emails,'' [Erik Prince] urged.
''Just dump them. Let them out there. Let people see the light of truth.''
WHAT ABOUT BREITBART?
On February 4th, 2011, Andrew Breitbart tweeted, ''How prog-guru John Podesta isn't [a] household name as [a] world class underage sex slave op cover-upper defending unspeakable dregs escapes me.''
Then, a year later, all throughout February 2012, Breitbart telegraphed the release of a video that he said would appear on March 1st.
This video, he claimed, would be severely damaging to Obama's re-election campaign. ''Wait till they see what happens March 1st,'' he said.
Right before the anticipated release, on February 28th, 2012, he tweeted, ''How much longer until they kill me (''heart attack'' or ''car accident'') or frame me for a crime? Read me while you can.''
Andrew died of an alleged heart attack on March 1st, 2012'--just two days later. Coincidence?
The coroner who conducted the investigation died of arsenic poisoning just two months later. It's not that hard to figure out what happened here.
Blatant stunts like this are intended to scare people off, so they fear the seemingly limitless power of the ''monster under the bed'' and retreat back into the safety of silence'... and ignorance.
WILL STEVE BANNON PURSUE JUSTICE?
Steve Bannon took over Breitbart News after Andrew's death, becoming Executive Chair in March 2012.
It is therefore very interesting that Trump appointed Bannon to a cabinet-level position as his chief strategist and senior counselor.
Realnews' outlets are in an all-out panic about Bannon's new role, doing everything they possibly can to demonize him.
Bannon does have character defects. The media is amplifying them to the point where it seems as if that's all there is to see.
However, Bannon's appointment also makes it very likely that Pizzagate arrests will take place some time after the inauguration on January 20th.
On November 22nd, Trump announced that he will not prosecute Hillary himself. He won't have to. The NYPD and the FBI will probably do it for him.
Our insiders have revealed that if any action were to be taken before the inauguration, Obama could issue pardons to stop prosecution from occurring.
Hence, we are in an agonizing ''holding pattern'' between now and then.
THE TWO BIGGEST MISSING PIECES
The archived Reddit thread has much of the initial Pizzagate evidence that generated countless legions of YouTube videos, marching to defeat the Cabal.
Here are the two biggest things missing from the Reddit Pizzagate thread that are likely to be relevant:
1. The owner of Comet Ping Pong's name, James Alefantis, appears to be a pseudonym cipher designed to resemble ''J'aime les enfants,'' which means ''I love children'' in French;
2. The character who performed at Comet Ping Pong wearing a red ski mask, black sunglasses and a blonde wig, ''Majestic Ape,'' appears to be James Alefantis as well.
James Alefantis is still listed on GQ as the 49th most powerful person in Washington DC at the time of this writing: http://www.gq.com/gallery/50-most-powerful-people-in-washington-dc#49
The hands of Majestic Ape, as seen in the music videos, are clearly male. They have the same size and shape as those of Alefantis, and have no hair, just like those of Alefantis.
The mouth that we see through Ape's mask looks exactly like Alefantis' mouth, including the thin lips, noticeable indentions around the philtrum below the nose, and the shape of the corners.
Furthermore, the voice of Majestic Ape, while speaking through the vocoder, sounds exactly like a pitch-shifted version of Alefantis' voice.
REALLY HORRIBLE STUFF
Alefantis' once-public Instagram posts included an image of a baby hashtagged as ''hotard,'' and a man wearing a shirt saying ''J' (heart) L'Enfants'' (I love children.)
If that's not enough, how about a creepy all-steel freezer hashtagged ''killroom'' and ''murder'', or a child with her wrists duct-taped to a ping-pong table.
These are only a few of the many disturbing Instagram images that are featured in so many of the Pizzagate videos.
We are not going to post them here, since almost every website that does is suffering aggressive takedowns.
Murals on the walls of Comet Pizza included painted images of women holding the severed heads of children'--and winged demons.
The videos also report that a mural in the bathroom had a demonic image that said "Shut Up and F---," which is very inappropriate for a child-themed restaurant.
Those images have since been scrubbed off the walls, as a video confrontation with James Alefantis revealed on November 22nd.
Alefantis claimed the images had been removed five years ago, but that still doesn't answer the question of what the heck they were doing up there in the first place.
''FINISH EATING YOUR PIZZA AFTER YOUR SESSION''
Hackers on 4Chan claimed to have found a secret area of encrypted videos on the Comet Pizza website's server.
Although they could not de-encrypt the videos, they were able to extract an image with text on it that provided instructions to those who were accessing the videos.
The instructions used code language to discuss an app that viewers would download and use one time only.
Here it is... if you can handle reading it:
The text from the image, if it is proven true, would be extremely damning in a criminal investigation:
''This month we have five fresh pizzas for your enjoyment. We also have four surviving pizzas from last month's session.
''All are on sale at an extremely low price, as they are in poor health and not expected to survive.
''Our requirement is that you finish eating your pizza after your session'....
''Very few have broken the rules and needless to say, the penalties are harsh.''
This was covered by Infowars reporter Joe Biggs and Sgt Report, among others.
When the disclaimer said "each image below is available for $1,000 in fine print," you most likely have to add a zero to get the price they are charging for a captured child.
MAJESTIC APE VIDEOS'... EVEN WORSE
The single most disturbing aspect of Pizzagate'--perhaps even worse than Alefantis' insanely offensive and evil Instagram posts that were public until this started'--are the videos of Majestic Ape.
The name ''Amanda Kleinman'' is a distraction, as Majestic does not look or sound anything like her.
''Majestic'' is also a code term for high-level government secrecy, as in Majestic-12 or MJ-12, the group allegedly behind the UFO cover-up since at least the 1950s.
An insider also revealed to Wilcock that the name ''Majestic'' refers to Her Majesty, the queen of England, who is a key figure in the Cabal controlling UFO secrecy.
Two tapings have emerged so far of Majestic joking about raping and murdering children and babies on the Comet Pizza stage'--which again is owned and run by James Alefantis.
In the main live video that has been quoted in so many Pizzagate videos, at 1:18, Majestic also says,
''We are here to celebrate the birth of our Lord.
''It wasn't Christmas.''
SASHA LORD
Other than a possible satanic reference, Majestic appears to be joking about an employee named Sasha Lord, who was celebrating a birthday.
Sasha is the music booker for Comet Ping Pong. Majestic's thinly-veiled references, as quoted in the next section below, indicate Sasha may also work there as a prostitute.
The posters of Comet's music acts on Sasha's webpage contain multiple disturbing images.
This includes the Illuminati pyramid, All-Seeing Eye, pentagrams, children, a creepy owl face that could be the god Moloch, and a cartoon decapitated corpse.
Sasha's page on Comet Ping Pong brags about the restaurant having ''rough concrete walls, bathrooms hidden behind secret panels, and table tennis galore.''
VERY STRANGE STUFF
At 1:30 in the stage rant video, Majestic says, ''If you are like me, you love Sasha. Or if you don't, you want perks from her. (Laughs) Things like free pizza. (Audience Cheers)''
Very soon after at 2:16, he says, ''Have any of you enjoyed this special pizza here tonight called the Hottie?... If you haven't had it, you should try it, it's delicious.''
He then goes on to joke that the secret ingredient in ''The Hottie'' is ketchup '' a possible reference to the blood of a sacrifice victim.
He also jokes about Sasha's great grandfather inventing ''Russian dressing, you put it on a salad'... s-k it!'' Sauce is one of the code words. ''Salad'' is sexual slang for the pubic area.
This short three-and-a-half-minute video presents the most disturbing part of the 12-minute Majestic Ape video rant above, where he jokes about ''euthanizing'' a newborn baby'... his own.
Starting at 5:22, he rants that before the era of Facebook, he was worried that he was infertile. He then impregnates Sasha, and kills the baby as soon as it was born.
The audience gets very uncomfortable at this point, as if he was much too high to realize what he was saying, and quickly pressures him to change the subject.
DON'T WATCH THE VIDEOS IF YOU LIKE TO SLEEP
Even worse are the music videos of Majestic Ape, which are loaded with satanic and pedophile symbols and include grotesque murder scenes at the end of ''U the One I Want.''
The video for ''Airtight'' appears to include a veiled offer for child sex trafficking as well as porn, disguising it as the sale of record albums and a ''live, in-person performance.''
The dollar values in ''Airtight'' are probably encoded, and require an extra zero to properly decipher. The ''live performance'' is offered in the video at 1000 dollars.
The website http://ww3radar.tumblr.com/ made the obvious Alefantis / Majestic connection, with comparison photos.
All of those photos were deleted just two days after we first located them. This makes it even more likely that there is a legitimate connection here that powerful people do not want us to find.
VERY NASTY STUFF
Some extremely disturbing links were associated with these images on WW3Radar, including a mock ''snuff film'' starring a clothed female who may possibly be Sasha Lord.
This video appears on a page from someone called ''Montagraph'' and is entitled ''Little Piggy and the Umbrella Man.'' In all honesty, don't watch it.
The violent, psychopathic torturer in this video wears a black-and-white checkerboard mask.
This is a Cabal symbol that appears on the floor of a Masonic lodge, indicating the interplay of negative and positive.
Similarly, it is much easier to decipher the "14 Fish" symbolism on Podesta's hands than most of the YouTube videos think.
14 is the number of dismembered body parts of Osiris, which the Cabal sees as Lucifer, the left-handed path. The fish is the symbol for Christ, the right-handed path.
Notice they are on the opposite hands. The Cabal believe that both paths must be practiced to their fullest extent in order to achieve enlightenment or "Ilumination."
Many YouTubers have noticed the bandage on the "middle finger of his left hand," exactly as Marina Abramovic recommends you wound with a knife in her Spirit Cooking ceremonies.
ROBERTA'S PIZZA...
Hillary has claimed that her favorite restaurant in New York is Roberta's Pizza, and their Instagram page is practically bursting with sinister Cabal images, as this video reveals.
Again'... we urge you not to look into any of this disturbing material unless you have a very strong stomach and some real time to process the emotional shock you will experience.
According to Alex Jones, grown men working for the FBI would cry when they saw the evidence in the seized Clinton emails, and were so scared they walked away from the case.
MILEY CYRUS AND PIZZA
On December 15, 2014, Life & Style Weekly wrote, ''If you follow Miley Cyrus on Instagram, you've probably noticed that the 22-year-old is weirdly obsessed with pizza
''Like, almost every other post is pizza-related.''
Cyrus has created countless Photoshopped images of herself with pizza'--including an ultrasound of a baby made out of pizza in a mother's womb.
The Life & Style article leads with a picture of Miley's head on a swimming baby, with her tongue out, licking at a piece of pizza on a fishing hook.
We are not going to include these images here, just so the overall look of this article is a little less disturbing.
A Google Image search of ''Miley Cyrus pizza'' generates countless examples. Many of these images again suggest a highly sexualized environment around pizza.
Cyrus started out as Hanna Montana, a children's hero with Disney's top-ranked show.
Then, before she was even of legal age, she shape-shifted into a hyper-sexualized figure revealing countless examples of Cabal symbolism in her videos.
UNDER ATTACK BY SATAN
In 2011, Miley's father Billy Ray Cyrus told GQ that his family was under attack by Satan, and he was scared for his daughter.
In 2015, Miley dressed up as a hyper-sexual baby, complete with a pacifier and baby clothes, in her video BB Talk.
The UK Independent deemed this ''the most disturbing music video of 2015:''
''Look, it's probably not worth explaining all the different levels on which an adult woman dressed as a giant baby, sucking her own toes while singing about intercourse, is disturbing'....
But, really, did we need to take the imagery to such a nightmarish level?''
KATY PERRY AND PIZZA
Katy Perry is also obsessed with pizza in her music videos. In ''This Is How We Do,'' it goes to quite an extreme:
''Thankfully, today Katy and her team released a behind the scenes (BTS) video featuring the making of ''This Is How We Do,'' which gives us the deets on the pizza bathing suit and more. So much more'....
Our favorite reveal of the BTS video had to do, of course, with Pizza Perry.
We were already well-aware of her pizza earrings and bathing suit, but there was more pizza. Pizza we didn't know about.
PIZZA NAILS.''
MTV WRITES ARTICLES ABOUT KATY PERRY AND PIZZA
Similarly, MTV.com had an article entitled ''Katy Perry's Dedication to Pizza Onesies Makes Our Hearts Melt:''
''Yesterday, KP tried to climb the Philadelphia Museum of Art stairs Rocky -style (bless her heart), but got bombarded by fans before she could reach her destination.
(We're guessing sporting head-to-toe cheese might have had something to do with it.)
Find out how to smother yourself in pizza like Katy Perry '.... See Katy wrestle a dog in a pizza costume.''
In this next article from MTV.com, ''Smother Yourself in Pepperoni Pizza Like Katy Perry,'' we read:
''It's no secret that Katy Perry is obsessed with pizza.
She's been spotted wrestling a dog in a pepperoni onesie , taking a nap under a slice of the cheesy stuff , and one time, she even ate an entire pie while hangin' in a bathtub ... by herself.
(That's love, y'all.)''
THIS IS MORE COMMON AMONG ''CELEBRITIES'' THAN YOU MIGHT THINK
Miley Cyrus has also been photographed wearing the same ''pizza onesie'' and having a pizza comforter on her bed.
Twist Magazine published a 14-part slideshow of celebrities, including Beyonce and Cara Delevigne, wearing outfits that are styled like pepperoni pizza.
The article is entitled, '' Yum! Miley Cyrus, Jake Miller & More Celebs Show Off Their Pizza Styles:''
''Some of your other favorite stars, including Jake Miller, Victoria Justice and Selena Gomez have all been spotted proudly wearing pizza-themed outfits!
Click through the gallery to see the fun pics! Just a warning: you might get a little hungry after seeing these clothes.''
For some reason, every outfit and image like this is made of pepperoni pizza '' almost never just with cheese alone or with any other toppings.
The pepperoni itself could have an implied phallic connotation.
ELIJAH WOOD'S ACCUSATION
On May 23, 2016, Lord of the Rings lead actor Elijah Wood said Hollywood's biggest problem has always been pedophilia.
These allegations were covered in Variety, the top Hollywood magazine, among other sources such as the Sunday Times.
Let's now read excerpts from Variety, as they are highly relevant:
''The actor, in a new interview with the Sunday Times , is accusing Tinseltown of having a pedophilia problem, saying ''a lot of vipers'' are preying on children in the business.
''Clearly something major was going on in Hollywood. It was all organized. There are a lot of vipers in this industry, people who only have their own interests in mind,'' he said.
''There is darkness in the underbelly'... People with parasitic interests will see you as their prey'....''
He added that he's been ''led down dark paths to realize that these things probably are still happening.''
Amy Berg's documentary ''An Open Secret'' revealed the full scope of the problem, and was completely squashed by the Establishment after its premiere.
It was only shown in nine theaters in Denver and Seattle starting on June 5th, 2015, and was quickly removed.
It eventually got distribution by cutting it from an R to a PG-13 rating, long after the ''buzz'' had worn off.
However, it now seems to be impossible to find, except through bootleg copies on YouTube.
MACAULAY CULKIN'S BAND ''PIZZA UNDERGROUND''
Macaulay Culkin was one of Hollywood's most visible child actors in the 80s, such as through the ''Home Alone'' movie series.
In 2012, he formed Pizza Underground, a band singing Velvet Underground songs where the lyrics were changed to be about pizza. Velvet Underground openly advertised heroin use in many of their songs.
Pizza Underground released a music video in 2013 and actually toured North America with this odd concept. They wanted all interviewers to submit pizza-related questions only.
Eugenia Williamson, a freelance writer working for top publications, decided to submit her five pizza-themed questions '' and included sexual innuendo in them, such as a sausage sitting on a pizza.
Her questions then featured what she admitted to be ''increasingly inappropriate'' references, such as to Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch.
Many believe Macaulay Culkin may have experienced child sex there.
An enormous backlash from the media occurred, nearly ruining Williamson's life in the process:
''Civilians, journalists, famous comedians like Nikki Glaser, comedy fans: all came out against me, saying I was bitter, a failure, jealous, fat, a terrible journalist, a terrible person, a b--h, an a--hole,'... that I would rot in hell, that nobody would ever take me seriously again'...''
''Since PizzaGate, I have formulated my own story about why those 300 words caused so much antagonism.''
PIXAR AND ''PIZZA PLANET''
Every single Pixar film since 1995, except ''The Incredibles,'' has had a ''Pizza Planet'' delivery truck hidden in it, as this video montage reveals.
This again suggests a long-standing ''inside joke'' about pedophilia from the highest levels of Hollywood.
Pixar, of course, makes cartoon-like children's films with the top-of-the-line computer graphics in the industry.
This was once considered just an interesting ''Easter egg,'' but after Wikileaks and Pizzagate, we have to rethink everything.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
Another weird connection that has since emerged is from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The secret to the Mutants' super-strength came from eating pizza, much like Popeye once acquired from spinach.
Sexual trauma can be used to create MK-ULTRA compartments in the mind. Pizza now appears to symbolize this trauma, in part.
Once the programming is introduced, it can be used to train assassins who develop unusually powerful abilities '' just like the Mutants.
The whistleblower Svali talked about this back in 2000-2001, before she went quiet. We only found out she was still alive as of May 16, 2015.
If you attempt to search for her on Google, the name ''Svali'' is automatically changed to things like ''sivilli'' or ''civil'' unless you manually force Google to use that exact term.
Just go to svalispeaks.com for a collection of the majority of everything she wrote. Still to this day, it is the most far-reaching expose' on the Cabal we have ever seen.
All of the things you are reading about here are discussed in thorough detail, though she never covers the use of food code words.
HIGHLY UNUSUAL INGREDIENTS
As Peter Pham noted for Foodbeast in 2014, many of these Mutant Ninja Turtle pizzas had highly bizarre ingredients that you would never expect in real food.
''One of the things that stuck was all the ridiculous pizzas Michelangelo and his brothers would order throughout the series.''
This video contains a montage of many of the strange pizzas that were made. Many of them include unusual sauces.
These sauces include butterscotch, clam sauce, chocolate fudge sauce, whipped cream, hot fudge, yogurt and anchovy sauce.
Sauce is one of the code-word references that appears in very strange ways throughout the Podesta emails.
Other sexual innuendoes hidden in the strange pizza toppings might include tuna fish, clams, pickles, pepperoni, jelly beans, salami, sausages and banana.
Peter Pham created real mockups for ''24 of the most disgusting pizza orders from the show,'' obviously having no idea of the code that has since been uncovered.
UPDATE, NEXT DAY: MARY-KATE AND ASHLEY OLSON IN "GIMME PIZZA"
A video has surfaced of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson, at about age 6, doing a rap music video entitled "Gimme Pizza" with three other girls of the same age.
Almost every single code word we mentioned in this article, as well as "chicken", which we did not include, appears as toppings they say to put in the pizza.
At 1:17, one of the girls says "Whipped cream pouring like waterfalls" as she is discharging it out of a can.
The full list of toppings include:
Chicken, guacamole sauce, meatballs, whipped cream, sausage, ice cream, fish, chocolate sauce, Oreos, marshmallows, caramel coconut cream, egg foo young, chicken tongue, eyeballs, rice, mashed potatoes, fried green tomatoes, spaghetti, pasta, fish sticks, ketchup, meat loaf and tacos.
A majority of these terms are either direct code words or could be seen to match the innuendoes we have already covered.
The comments on this video, now with over 4 million views, show that countless thousands of people are putting all of this together now.
PODESTA'S UNDERGROUND CHAMBER
An article from The Guardian in 2004 revealed that Podesta installed a lockable underground vault in his house to watch ''awkward videos'':
https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2004/apr/20/usa.world
''[The Podestas] are known for purchasing "awkward" works, such as video installations, that many other private collectors will not consider.
"It's easy to store them, but difficult to display them," says Podesta.
To get round the problem, he and his wife have excavated a huge subterranean vault beneath their house outside Washington.
[It is] a white space 5m square and 4m high in which it will be possible to show "very complicated video pieces" on all four walls.
In a Wikileaks email from January 31st, 2014, entitled ''Last night was fun,'' Tony Podesta wrote to his brother John,
''Still in torture chamber. Another question. Do you two wanna have feb 14 valentines day dinner?''
Dinner, of course, has a whole new connotation in light of the code words we have now discovered.
LYING THROUGH THEIR TEETH
As David has been saying for years now, in dealing with the darkness that exists in the Cabal, ''If you throw up, you will feel better.''
We were never sure exactly how the Cabal would break down. The absurdly negative details of Pizzagate have finally activated the full fury of the public.
As Pizzagate went into overdrive, the BBC joined NPR , the New York Times and other Realnews' outlets in blatantly ignoring the voluminous evidence that exists '' and lying through their teeth.
Alefantis is being interviewed as the sorry victim of a vast ''internet hoax'' of ''fake news'' with ''no evidence.''
This was the BBC article that lived on the top of Digg.com for all of December 1st:
http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-38156985
''No victim has come forward. There's no investigation. And physical evidence? That doesn't exist either.
But thousands of people are convinced that a paedophilia ring involving people at the highest levels of the Democratic Party is operating out of a Washington pizza restaurant.''
FAR MORE THAN ENOUGH EVIDENCE FOR CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS
Coming face-to-face with this truth is very upsetting, and may require significant time for you to integrate and process.
Wilcock wrote extensively about Cabal pedophilia in Section Three of Financial Tyranny, nearly five years ago now on January 13, 2012.
This included an expose' of the North-American Man-Boy Love Association, or NAMBLA.
David was specifically asked to release this data by the Alliance, despite his own personal reservations.
There is far more than enough evidence for Pizzagate to lead to arrests and criminal prosecutions already.
This is going to happen soon, so please don't take the law into your own hands, as was done on December 5th when a man brandished a rifle inside Comet Pizza.
[UPDATE: As commenters have noted, he was an out-of-work actor with an Internet Movie Database (IMDB) page, suggesting he may have been paid or influenced to do it.]
The Cabal will do just about anything to suppress the exposure of pedophilia and child trafficking at the highest levels of Western society.
THE ALLIANCE
David Wilcock was briefed on the Alliance that is working to defeat the New World Order / Cabal or so-called ''Illuminati'' in 2009, by the high-ranking insider Pete Peterson.
Corey Goode had anonymously mentioned the Alliance in discussion forums for years, and publicly joined forces with David early in 2015.
We have jointly been discussing the reality of the Alliance ever since '' including through our weekly Gaia show Cosmic Disclosure, which has significantly more viewers than CNN's own Realnews' programs.
The evidence in favor of the Alliance's existence is ever-increasingly obvious. Wikileaks is a major example.
The Inquisitr website was one of many sites to report on the latest astonishing, public revealing of the Alliance '' which occurred just before the 2016 presidential election.
They reported on how Dr. Steve Pieczenik arrived on the scene, giving an official face and voice to the Alliance we have been disclosing all these years.
DR. PIECZENIK ON THE ALLIANCE
Here is an excerpt from the November 2nd article in the Inquisitr on this astonishing breakthrough.
http://www.inquisitr.com/3668815/former-state-department-official-steve-pieczenik-may-have-made-the-most-important-announcement-in-american-history/
''Dr. Steve Pieczenik has made a series of serious accusations on YouTube that, if proven true, will easily be the most important ever made in American history'....
[Pieczenik is] a Harvard Ph.D. and was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under Henry Kissinger, Cyrus Vance and James Baker'....
He also served the presidential administrations of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
[He] has been called ''one of the most 'brilliantly competent' men in the field of terrorism'' by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mary McGrory.
Tom Clancy has literally based books on this guy's experience'....
In the first video he released yesterday, Dr. Pieczenik announces that he [represents] a broad coalition of many individuals in the FBI, the CIA, military intelligence, and men and women in 15 other intelligence organizations.
[They] are engaging in a bloodless counter-coup against the ''soft coup'' that he says the Clintons, the current administration and many other top government officials have enacted [through overtaking the judiciary and many other American institutions]'....
He also said he and his friends are the source of the leaked emails that WikiLeaks has been releasing, which would corroborate what award-winning human rights activist Craig Murray said after his friendly visit with Julian Assange two weeks ago.
''I can tell you with 100% certainty that it is not any Russian state actor or proxy that gave the Democratic National Committee and Podesta material to WikiLeaks.''
And in his second video, Pieczenik delivered a shocking message: according to him, Hillary Clinton is about to be charged not only with obstruction of justice, but also with sex with minors.
According to Dr. Steve Pieczenik, both Hillary Clinton and her husband have sex with underage children, and he says they have proof.''
LET'S READ THE TRANSCRIPT
Here is an excerpt from the transcript of Dr. Pieczenik's own words. This is tantamount to the largest public revealing of the Alliance yet.
Steve Pieczenik 11/2 Partial Transcript
http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message3348291/pg1?disclaimer=1
''The Clintons have been involved in co-opting our Whitehouse, our judiciary, our CIA, our FBI, our Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, and our Director of the FBI, James Comey for some time now'....
However, in order to stop this coup we in the intelligence community and others involved have informally gotten together.
With their permission, I am beginning to announce that we've initiated a counter-coup through Julian Assange and Wikileaks.
I am just a small part of something far bigger than myself.
It was the brave men and women who were in the FBI, CIA, the Director of Intelligence, the military intelligence, and the men and women in fifteen other intelligence organizations who were sick and tired of seeing this corruption in the Whitehouse, justice department, and the intelligence system.
We decided there was something we had to do in order to save the republic.''
A MUCH GREATER CONFLICT
It is deeply gratifying for the Alliance to have finally produced a spokesman who served in multiple US administrations.
We are still only seeing the very beginning of a full disclosure process. Ultimately we will discover the truth of a cosmic battle for the survival of the human race on earth.
The Cabal that is now openly branding their opposition ''Fake News'' has been suppressing the truth of UFOs for well over 80 years.
Any type of formal disclosure, such as of super-advanced ancient ruins in Antarctica, would be a massive game-changer that could create enormous distraction.
It does appear that the Cabal has been holding onto this ''card'' all along, and may be about to play it.
THE PODESTA / DISCLOSURE CONNECTION
On May 9th, 2001, Dr. Steven Greer brought 39 whistleblowers forward at the National Press Club in Washington DC, in an event entitled The Disclosure Project.
It was hoped that this would lead to a formal acknowledgement that we are not alone. The movement was gaining steam up until it was wiped out by the distraction of 9/11 a few months later.
On February 13, 2015, [UPDATE: Which also happens to be Friday the 13th,] Podesta tweeted:
''Finally, my biggest failure of 2014: Once again not securing the #disclosure of the UFO files. #thetruthisstilloutthere''. This ignited a firestorm on the internet.
The next day, February 14, 2015 (Valentine's Day), Disclosure Project chair Dr. Steven Greer, a Washington DC local, made the following announcement on his website:
''Dr. Steven Greer is now confirming for the very first time that it was John Podesta to whom he provided the extensive briefing on UFOs shortly after President Obama took office in 2009.
(See cover letter to President Obama ( http://siriusdisclosure.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/obama-briefing-introduction.pdf ).
''Dr. Greer states: ''An attorney working with Mr. Podesta requested the briefing and we assembled an extensive file for Mr. Podesta to provide to the newly- elected President Obama.
''There was also support for this process from a senior CIA official who is friendly to Disclosure and the briefing was also provided to then-CIA Director Leon Panetta.''
''Mr. Podesta came out publicly in support of Disclosure the year after the historic 2001 National Press Club Disclosure Project event, organized by Dr. Greer.
''Dr. Greer continues, ''We are encouraged that Mr. Podesta remains a stalwart supporter of Disclosure and we continue to advocate for the release of illegally classified information and technology related to UFOs. ''
THE HAIL MARY PASS
The Cabal may well use Disclosure as their final Hail Mary pass when they are on the brink of defeat '' which now appears to be very imminent.
A Hail Mary Pass is where an American football player throws the ball across most of the entire field'--in a desperate attempt to score a game-changing touchdown with no time left on the clock.
In this case the football may just look a lot like a flying saucer. The Wikileaks emails have now revealed intriguing Disclosure-related connections.
This includes communications between Podesta and Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell, a staunch Disclosure advocate,as well as the Blink-182 frontman Tom DeLonge. Blink-182 was one of the most famous bands of the 1990s.
DeLonge has claimed to be in contact with ''at least ten'' different high-level insiders who are feeding him classified information.
Based upon the contents of DeLonge's truth-disguised-as-fiction book Sekret Machines, it appears he is being fed the talking points of what we have called the ''Partial Disclosure'' scenario.
More on that as we continue.
THE VILLAINS AND THE ALLIANCE
In the case of a Full Disclosure event, everyone will find out that the villains in our cosmic storyline are far more evil than most people could have ever imagined.
The villains include highly aggressive and negative extraterrestrials who have formed complex partnerships with Cabal / New World Order groups here on earth.
Torture, rape and murder actually creates an energy that these negative entities feed on, known as ''loosh'' in the dark inner world of the Cabal.
These acts of torture, particularly on children, also create splits in the mind that can then be programmed to do things, hidden away under amnesic barriers.
At the same time, the Alliance resisting these negative forces is vastly bigger and more organized than most people realize, if they even know about it at all.
This Alliance also is working with positive extraterrestrials, at least once you explore the more deeply classified sub-groups working within it.
The Alliance has released multiple top films that attempt to shed light on mind control and many other aspects of the Cabal.
Most recently, this included Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War.
[UPDATE: If you are new to this research on the Alliance's influence on certain Marvel superhero films, Cosmic Perspective on the Defeat of the Cabal is mandatory: it is one of the best, most important things we've ever written.]
STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO!
This entire Part One was originally written as an introduction to a joint article I am developing with Corey Goode.
That article is almost finished and will be sent off for art direction, but I wanted to get this out first so you had time to process it.
We hope to have the rest done for you very soon. Stay tuned!
DISCLAIMER: Please do not harass the individuals or businesses listed here. Let the NYPD, the FBI and other legitimate law enforcement agencies do their work. This is very important. Thanks.
As one final word, check out this update David Seaman posted today about the media declaring this very significant case as nothing but "fake news."
This guy is on fire, very fluent, and with the precision and speed of a top attorney, he asks one extremely damning question after another-- summarizing much of what we said here.
Boom! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGVSA2Jjelo
SYNCHRONICITY UPDATE, MINUTES LATER, SAME MORNING
This article has "gone viral" at an astonishing speed, reaching nearly 10,000 views in minutes.
I went in to make a small change and the repeating-number-pattern synchronicity phenomenon was staring me in the face once again.
The hit counter was at precisely 9555. Seconds later it had gone up to 9616, but I photographed it at this moment. It is the third number over from the right:
These things just happen without any effort, yet the phenomenon is remarkably consistent. It already occurred when photographing the BBC's attempt to make this all go away.
I see this as a very positive sign that we are being guided by the angelic forces we will meet in Part Two, which we are feverishly working on now.
After all this time, seeing this much real progress in the open world is a huge relief, despite the highly unpleasant nature of what we are learning.
UPDATE NEXT DAY, 12/7: 100,000 VIEWS IN LESS THAN A DAY AND A HALF!
We have just set a new record in the history of this site, thanks to you. Never before has an article broken 100,000 views in only 31 hours. We have officially gone viral.
This is not a "synchronicity time" as I've been watching it carefully to see when it would break. This clearly shows that the draconian censorship of all non-Establishment media is failing!
Please help do your part by spreading the word. All coverage of this sordid issue is under unprecedented attack from the Cabal's propaganda arms.
We know they are losing if they start tweaking Google and Facebook to prevent people from seeing anything on their hit list. Shouldn't you at least have the right to decide what you will believe for yourself?
I found out the Alliance is very happy with what we've done so far and we are getting positive pressure to finish the next part ASAP, so stay tuned!
UPDATE 12/8: THREE MORE NUMERICAL SYNCHRONICITIES ON THE HIT COUNTER AT 'RANDOM' MOMENTS
At 7:53 pm 12/7, I posted an update about the Olsen twins' rap song about pizza when they were still very young. It is very similar in its suggestive tone and content to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
As soon as I made the update and checked it, the hit counter was at 111,345. Ascending number sequences count as synchronicity in the experiences I have had all these years.
I took a picture of it, saved it and then decided to check it again ten minutes later, since the hits were coming in so fast.
Now I was seeing 111,667. It was interesting that the second half was one number past 666, as if to say we are now moving past that time in our history -- finally. The public is awakening and change is inevitable.
The phenomenon of a number being "one above" or "one below" has often been used to convey messages where you are "almost there."
This happened a lot when I was back in college, still getting into this stuff and had a lot of immaturity to work through.
I was able to understand that it could have been precise but was slightly "off" for a reason.
I wasn't sure if I would use this, and didn't bother to post it at the time. Just now I woke up and checked the hit counter again. There it was -- an asceding sequence with another "one off" -- 123554.
That was enough to get me to add these synchronicities to this article. I checked it seconds later just to see how fast it was going and it had already gone up to 564, so the timing on this stuff would have to be very precise.
Once I finished writing and editing everything, including the text below about the Law of One and was ready to close out, I had 124141, just to further convey the message:
The whole point is that I've just been living my life, working on Part Two and by no means 'trying' to do this, if that could even be possible.
I just check at what seems like natural times and there it is. It's been happening for most of my entire adult life in very strange ways.
I am about to take on a new book deal for an August 2017 release that will be called "Awakening in the Dream," and will cover the time in my life when all this really ramped into high gear and I began studying the Law of One.
As soon as I have a signed contract there will be much more to say. Right for now I am just very grateful that we are seeing such epic changes for the positive taking place.
UPDATE 12/11: CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE TO PART TWO!!!
Hits: 236,774
UnknownThese songs are nost just notes and text, there is a magic between the lines so to say, some form of energy Ive never found in any other music. I guess it comes from David and Larry, working together and radiating that into the music. It really moves you to tears and creates a loving, forgiving, beautiful atmosphere. If Convergence has this energy, too, its going to be the best movie ever, by far!
READ THIS BEFORE POSTING!
Keep your comment relevant to this item and this item ONLY!Please be polite: Attacking, demeaning, disrespectful messages will not be posted.Please don't use comments to plug your website/product or your post will be deleted.David does not answer questions here.Comments over 1000 characters OR that request a response should be on our FORUM.To make links clickable, highlight them and click on the blue planet button icon.Please do not make posts that carry across multiple comments!No Huge Paragraphs: Please hit ENTER twice every 2-3 sentences to make it readable.Add comment
Facebook 'fact checker' who will arbitrate on 'fake news' is accused of defrauding website to pay for prostitutes - and its staff includes an escort-porn star and 'Vice Vixen domme' | Daily Mail Online
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 22:49
One of the websites Facebook is to use to arbitrate on 'fake news' is involved in a bitter legal dispute between its co-founders, with its CEO accused of using company money for prostitutes.
Snopes.com will be part of a panel used by Facebook to decide whether stories which users complain about as potentially 'fake' should be considered 'disputed'.
But the website's own troubles and the intriguing choice of who carries out its 'fact checks' are revealed by DailyMail.com, as one of its main contributors is disclosed to be a former sex-blogger who called herself 'Vice Vixen'.
Snopes.com will benefit from Facebook's decision to allow users to report items in their newsfeed which they believe to be 'fake'.
It is asking a number of organizations to arbitrate on items which are reported or which Facebook staff think may not be genuine, and decide whether they should be marked as 'disputed'.
Husband and wife: David Mikkelson is now married to Snopes.com staff member Elyssa Young - but also engaged in a bitter legal battle with his former wife Barbara with whom he set up the site
Wedding: Elyssa Young - who maintains a website offering her services as an escort - and Davik Mikkelson married in November. The wedding party included two other Snopes.com workers
Arbiter: Facebook announced that Snopes.com was one of the organizations to which it would turn for 'fact-checking' when questions are raised over the veracity of news stories
The others include ABC News, the Associated Press and 'fact-checking' websites including Politifact.com.
Now a DailyMail.com investigation reveals that Snopes.com's founders, former husband and wife David and Barbara Mikkelson, are embroiled in a lengthy and bitter legal dispute in the wake of their divorce.
He has since remarried, to a former escort and porn actress who is one of the site's staff members.
They are accusing each other of financial impropriety, with Barbara claiming her ex-husband is guilty of 'embezzlement' and suggesting he is attempting a 'boondoggle' to change tax arrangements, while David claims she took millions from their joint accounts and bought property in Las Vegas.
The Mikkelsons founded the site in 1995. The couple had met in the early 1990s on a folklore-themed online message board, and married before setting up the site.
Profiles of the website disclose that for some time before it was set up, the couple had posed as 'The San Fernardo Valley Folklore Society', using its name on letterheads, even though it did not exist.
A profile for the Webby Awards published in October describes it as 'an entity dreamed up to help make the inquiries seem more legit'.
David Mikkeleson told the Los Angeles Times in 1997: 'When I sent letters out to companies, I found I got a much better response with an official-looking organization's stationery.'
In 2015, their marriage ended in divorce - but a bitter legal dispute continues.
Both stayed on as co-owners of Snopes - which is registered under its legal name of Bardav, Inc. and were its sole board members.
Staff member: Elyssa Young is also know as Erin O'Bryn and maintains a website adveritising her services as an escort with photographs of her over the years
Political: Elyssa Young, under her other name Eryn O'Bryn, keeps her escort website running. An online review of her services was posted in March 2015
Adult model: Elyssa Young was a model for adult magazines in the 1990s, and appears to have continued posing for photographs until recently. She is now an administrative worker at Snopes.com and travels with her husband David Mikkelson, its co-founder
Active: The most recent review online of Elyssa Young's services was posted in March 2015
Legal filings seen by DailyMail.com detail a lengthy financial and corporate dispute which stretches long after their divorce, and which one lawyer describes as 'contentious' in court documents.
In the filings, Barbara, 57, has accused her former husband, 56, of 'raiding the corporate business Bardav bank account for his personal use and attorney fees' without consulting her.
She also claimed he embezzled $98,000 from the company over the course of four years 'which he expended upon himself and the prostitutes he hired'.
When contacted by the Dailymail.com, David said he was legally prohibited from discussing his ex-wife's allegations.
'I'd love to respond, but unfortunately the terms of a binding settlement agreement preclude me from publicly discussing the details of our divorce,' he said. Barbara Mikkelson said: 'No comment.'
In court records, Barbara alleged that her ex-husband removed thousands from their business accounts between April and June of 2016 to pay for trips for him and his 'girlfriend'.
She claimed he spent nearly $10,000 on a 24-day 'personal vacation' in India this year and expensed his girlfriend's plane ticket to Buenos Aires.
'He's been depleting the corporate account by spending monies from it on his personal expenses,' said Barbara in a filing last June.
First wife: Lawyers in court documents described Barbara Mikkelson's split from David, with whom she co-founded the Snopes.com website, as contentious.
She added that he needed to be suspended from using the company checkbook and debit card 'right away before there are no funds left in the corporate account'.
David and his attorneys countered that the India visit was a legitimate business trip, and that he only expensed a fraction - 22.5 per cent - of the total cost of the excursion.
He said he was considering setting up a fact-checking website in India, and wanted to get a sense of the culture. He also said he went to Buenos Aires to attend an international fact-checking conference.
Meanwhile, his attorneys blasted Barbara as 'a "loose cannon" who simply must have her way'.
One major point of contention was David's 2016 salary '' which Barbara was responsible for approving.
David wanted his salary raised from $240,000 to $360,000 '' arguing that this would still put him below the 'industry standards' and that he should be paid up to $720,000 a year.
'As I said, based on industry standards and our revenues, my salary should be about 2x to 3x what it is now,' he wrote in an email to Barbara in April 2016. 'I'll settle for $360K with the understanding that it's to be retroactive to the start of the year.'
Barbara responded that his request was 'not even in the galaxy of reasonable'.
So bitter was the dispute, that they even fell out over the arbiter they had appointed to settle disputes, meaning that Facebook's arbiter cannot even agree on its own arbiter.
The court papers also detail the substantial financial rewards 'fact-checking' brought the former couple - and how they have even fallen out over remuneration.
The divorce settlement stipulated that David Mikkelson receive a salary of $240,000 a year in 2015, while both of the former couple were due to receive $20,000 a month as a draw against profits, as well as a share of any net profit the company made after those payments.
The settlement also noted: 'Each party waives his or her claim upon Bardav's revenues received by Husband into his PayPal account and spent by him, accountant's fees for restating tax returns to reflect previously unreported income...'
The nature of those revenues and fees, and of the unreported income is not disclosed.
The settlement saw savings, IRAS and stockholdings of well over $1.5 million given to Barbara, while she renounced claim on their marital home in Calabasas, California, in return for a payment of $660,000.
David kept their joint baseball card collection, a savings account with $1.59 million balance, and other savings worth more than $300,000. They also agreed to split the company checking account's $240,000 balance at the end of 2015 after his salary had been paid and a $50,000 float left.
Accusation: The claim of embezzlement was made in court documents seen by DailyMail.com
Contentious exchange: Barbara Mikkelson suggested a plan to relocate Snopes.com might be a 'boondoggle' and David demanded a $360,000 annual salary
The arbiter needs an arbiter: How details of spending were described by Barbara Mikkelson's legal team
They later increased the $20,000 monthly payment to $30,000.
That has not ended the difficulty however; court documents show that a decision on David's salary for 2016 became bogged down in legal argument when Barbara refered it to an arbiter, and the appointment of the arbiter became itself a matter of dispute.
Snopes.com will be asked by Facebook to be an arbiter on the veracity of news.
Attorneys for the former husband and wife also conducted a lengthy exchange on what was actually true about the actions of the former couple.
In correspondence his side disputes her right to 'decide what is and is not a legitimate business expense', while her side accused of him of making false claims about the appointment of the arbiter.
In the time since the couple split, David has run the company's day-to-day operations, and authored a number of 'fact checks'.
He has also made hires '' including Elyssa Young, 47, an administrative assistant at Snopes.
She is also a long-time escort and porn star who has worked for decades under the name 'Erin O'Bryn' - and now his wife.
Mikkelson married Young last month in Washington state, and pre-wedding photos show the happy couple traveling the world and posing provocatively with tigers while wearing 'Snopes' hats and t-shirts.
The wedding party included two of the site's workers. The newlyweds honeymooned on the Jungle Cruise at Tokyo Disneyland.
Although Young lists her job as 'administrative assistant at Snopes' on LinkedIn, her escort websites and Twitter accounts still appear to be active. it is unclear if she is still working as one.
She describes herself on her Twitter page as 'a mature and experienced courtesan, idealist, activist & dreamer.'
On her escort website, she calls herself 'an elite and discreet companion' who 'understands that while pleasure and passion may be explored in the bedroom, it is hardly the only place.'
'I only accept a very limited number of new lovers because I'm only seeking long term engagements,' she wrote.
She also wrote: 'Here's the donation I request for my time, companionship, and entertainment', with 'non-negotiable' rates of $1,200 for her minimum four hours and $5,000 for 24 hours.
Fact checker: Kim LaCapria is the principal fact checker at the website but also blogged as Vice Vixen and wrote about her 'domme' side and offered sex toy recommendations
Online reviews suggest that she was working in Las Vegas as an escort in March 2015.
While David Mikkelson has denied that Snopes takes any political position, his new wife has a background in politics.
She ran for U.S. congress in Hawaii as a Libertarian in 2004, during which she handed out 'Re-Defeat Bush' cards and condoms stamped with the slogan 'Don't get screwed again'.
LUCRATIVE FACTSFinancial details of Snopes.com disclosed in court papers show that the website appears to be healthily profitable.
In February 2016, it had gross advertising sales of $216,199 and a gross profit of $150,599.50.
Expenses were notes as $2,500 for 'server expense' and $4,470 to Brooke Binkowski, which was marked as 80 per cent of payroll expenses.
Binkowski described herself as the editor of Snopes.com.
Her remuneration, which would be equivalent to $53,640 per annum, pales in comparison to that of David Mikkelson.
His 2015 annual salary was $240,000. On top of that the divorce settlement stipulated a $20,000-per-month draw on profits, with he and Barbara later upped to $30,000 - a package that would be the equivalent of $500,000 a year.
He is seeking a pay rise to '2x or 3x' the $240,000, court documents show, although he was prepared to settle for $360,000.
On top of that the court documents show that he had previously been able to charge other things to the company rather than paying for them himself.
In court papers his lawyers said: 'Prior to separation, Barbara wrote off every trip David took that involved visiting historical landmarks, sites, monuments; or museums; or any other site of pop culture significance (including baseball games), as a business expense.
Further court documents showed some of the details of the couple's personal wealth.
They included: a $205,000 home in Las Vegas; a $1,525,000 home in Calabasas, Los Angeles; two savings accounts with $3,064,993; a cash account with $81,785 and a stock account with $47,588; IRAs valued at $455,101; and a baseball card collection which was not valued.
'Let's face it, I am an unlikely candidate. I fully admit that I am a courtesan,' she wrote bluntly on her campaign website.
Her upstart campaign faced a number of obstacles '' including a lack of funding and a bad spot of media attention after Young misspelled her Republican opponent's name on her campaign website.
But Young still managed to get on the ballot without spending any money, an accomplishment she touted on her campaign website.
'NO BULS***...I got ON THE BALLOT with the least possible waste,' she wrote, adding, 'Lets get less REAL boobs in office...'
In the end she pulled in three percent of the vote, losing the seat to Democratic incumbent Neil Abercrombie.
She is not the only Snopes employee who is frank online about their sex life.
One of the lead fact-checkers, Kim LaCapria, has also been a sex-and-fetish blogger who went by the pseudonym 'Vice Vixen.'
She described her blog as a lifestyle website 'with a specific focus on naughtiness, sin, carnal pursuits, and general hedonism and bonne vivante-ery.'
She regularly provided intimate advice and reviewed sex toys, including a vibrating wand that 'drives boys mad.'
'If you are doing something to your fella, and you apply this to the base of his cash-and-prizes while you carry on, he will scream and perhaps cry,' she wrote.
She also recommended one book with the review: 'How to Tell A Naked Man What To Do seems like the perfect how-to for the dominatrix-in-waiting, or any girl looking to get in touch with her domme side. Mine, I wish I could shut her up sometimes, but there you go.'
In others posts, LaCapria claimed to be 'addicted to smutty HP [Harry Potter] fanfic.'
Describing her day-off activities on another blog, she wrote that she 'played scrabble, smoked pot, and posted to Snopes.' She added, 'That's what I did on my day "on," too.'
David Mikkelson told the Dailymail.com that Snopes does not have a 'standardized procedure' for fact-checking 'since the nature of this material can vary widely.' He said the process 'involves multiple stages of editorial oversight, so no output is the result of a single person's discretion.'
He also said the company has no set requirements for fact-checkers because the variety of the work 'would be difficult to encompass in any single blanket set of standards.'
'Accordingly, our editorial staff is drawn from diverse backgrounds; some of them have degrees and/or professional experience in journalism, and some of them don't,' he added.
LaCapria did not respond to a request for comment.
Man Charged with Murder of UPS Driver: 'I Shot and Killed Donald Trump Purposely, Intentionally and Very Proudly' - Breitbart
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 21:23
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Barkley was arrested on December 8 for the murder earlier that day of William Schumacher, 52, a UPS driver, near a Walmart store in Ithaca.
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''Prosecutors say the Dryden resident intentionally caused the death of Schumacher '-- the two men were strangers '-- early Dec. 8. Barkley was indicted last week in Tompkins County Court on felony counts of second-degree murder and menacing a police officer or peace officer,'' the Ithaca Journal reports:
After fleeing from the scene, court papers say, Barkley fired a ''sound shot'' from his rifle to keep law enforcement officers from coming after him once he pulled into the driveway of his Dryden Road home. After a nearly eight-hour standoff, Barkley was taken into custody without a struggle and no injuries to himself or police.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 25 years to life in state prison.
Schumacher was a seasonal UPS driver who had stopped to get something to eat during his overnight shift, according to Susan Rosenberg, a spokeswoman for the Atlanta-based package delivery company. He was about four weeks into his second stint as a seasonal driver of a tractor-trailer hauling packages between UPS processing hubs, she said.
On Monday, Barkley appeared before Judge John Rowley in Tompkins County court and attempted to plead guilty.
''I went there to purposely shoot and kill him and put him down,'' Barkley told the court after admitting, ''I shot and killed Donald Trump purposely, intentionally, and very proudly.''
After hearing Barkley's initial statements, Rowley ''did not accept the plea . . . and adjourned the indictment to Jan. 6''
''Rowley also ordered Barkley to be evaluated to determine whether he is competent to stand trial,'' the Journalreports.
Barkley remained convinced that he had killed President-elect Trump, and not William Schumacher. He told the court, ''he has never met a man named William Schumacher before.''
Behind him in court, victim William Schumacher's family cried and shook as Barkley made his statements.
Barkley has been indicted for the felonies of second-degree murder and menacing a police officer or peace officer.
North Country Nowreports that Barkley is ''[t]he former director of the Massena Wellness Center.''
The New York State Office of Mental Health said Barkley had resigned his position in Massena prior to the murder.
''Justin Barkley was not employed by the state of New York at the time of this incident. This former employee was a licensed master social worker from September 2008 until May 2016 at St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center, where his final position was program director of the Massena Wellness Center,'' according to Ben Rosen, OMH Public Information Office director. ''In May 2016, he voluntarily left St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center for a position with the Office of Children and Family Services.''
He began working at The Office of Children and Family Services' Finger Lakes Residential Center on May 4 and resigned effective Aug. 8, said Monica Mahaffey, New York State Office of Children & Family Services assistant commissioner for communications.
The St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center, located in Ogdensburg, New York, is part of the New York State Office of Mental Health.
The murder of Schumacher by a man convinced he had just killed President-elect Donald Trump serves to heighten the security concerns many have expressed about the safety of the New York City billionaire who will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017.
On November 9, for instance, the day after Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, the Daily Callerreported that ''Twitter is exploding with people calling for president-elect to be assassinated.''
''The Secret Service and the New York Police Department are coordinating an unprecedented security plan to protect all 68 stories of Trump Tower in Manhattan, home to President-elect Donald Trump and his business,'' CBS News reported on November 16.''Protesters have gathered outside the skyscraper since his election,'' CBS noted.
The unwillingness of many on the left to accept President-elect Trump's victory continues, despite the confirmation of that win in Monday's Electoral College results.
Trump's budget director pick: ''Do we really need government-funded research at all'' - Vox
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 19:14
President-elect Donald Trump recently picked Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina to head the White House's Office of Management and Budget. Like many of Trump's other Cabinet nominees, Mulvaney seems to have a disturbingly low opinion of science.
In a stunning September 9 Facebook post (that's since been deleted but is still cached), Mulvaney asked, ''... what might be the best question: do we really need government funded research at all.''
The post was written in the midst of a heated debate in Congress about how much more money to allocate to the fight against the Zika virus. It wasn't clear whether Mulvaney, a budget hawk, was referring to all of the government's scientific research or just to government-funded research on Zika. (We've asked his office for comment and haven't heard back.)
But Mother Jones's Pema Levypointed out that Mulvaney exaggerated the uncertainty around the link between the birth defect microcephaly and Zika to cast doubt on the need for Zika research funding. His argument, in other words, was: Scientists aren't sure what's going on with Zika, so why do we need research? Here's Mulvaney:
... before you inundate me with pictures of children with birth defects, consider this:
Brazil's microcephaly epidemic continues to pose a mystery '-- if Zika is the culprit, why are there no similar epidemics in countries also hit hard by the virus? In Brazil, the microcephaly rate soared with more than 1,500 confirmed cases. But in Colombia, a recent study of nearly 12,000 pregnant women infected with Zika found zero microcephaly cases. If Zika is to blame for microcephaly, where are the missing cases? According to a new report from the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), the number of missing cases in Colombia and elsewhere raises serious questions about the assumed connection between Zika and microcephaly.
Mulvaney is correct that at that time, there seemed to be fewer microcephaly cases in Colombia than researchers had anticipated. But he didn't note the preliminary nature of the Colombia data, the discussion about the potential alternate causes of the country's low number of birth defects at the time, or the fact that there was already scientific consensus about Zika's terrible effect on fetuses.
Mulvaney cited this New England Journal of Medicine paper on Zika's birth defects in Colombia as evidence to explain his doubt. Yet he missed the fact that the count from the country at that time was subject to change. ''It's somewhat reassuring'' that there have been few severe birth defects in Colombia, lead author Margaret Honein, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official, told Science, ''but this is by no means final.'' Unsurprisingly, we've since learned that there's been a surge in Zika-related birth defects in Colombia, and that reporting errors were the reason for the initial gap.
Mulvaney also ignored the scientific consensus and mounting data on the link between the virus and birth defects. Months before his September Facebook post, the World Health Organization, the CDC, and other international health agencies and researchers were unequivocal about the correlation and were in the throes of exploring all the potential ways Zika harms fetuses.
If Mulvaney still has any lingering doubt that Zika causes birth defects, he should look at a more recent study in JAMA, also by Honein '-- who happens to be chief of the birth defects branch at the CDC. It documents all the birth defects caused by the virus in the United States. In that paper, Honein found that of the pregnant women in the US who tested positive for possible Zika infection, 6 percent had a fetus or infant with a Zika-related birth defect. Among women with first-trimester Zika infection, 11 percent had a fetus or infant with a birth defect.
Here's Mulvaney's full post:
It's hard to know exactly how Mulvaney will approach science if he's confirmed as head of the OMB, where he'd be charged with preparing the budget and overseeing the federal agencies. In the context of Trump's other Cabinet picks '-- which include climate change deniers and advocates of intelligent design '-- his views on research are not reassuring at all.
TSA Identification Policy to Change in 2018 - Nine States Must Show Secondary ID at Airport
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 17:25
If you're one of the many people venturing to the airport to visit family over the holidays, you'll likely notice some new signs while you wait in the endless security line. This week, the Transportation Security Administration is putting up notices at airports telling people who live in nine U.S. states to get a new ID, stat.
If you live in Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, or Washington, your driver's license doesn't meet new federal security requirements. That means that when you go to the airport, even if you're traveling within the United States, you have to use an alternative form of identification, like a passport, military ID, or permanent resident card. This new policy goes into effect on January 22, 2018, so you have some time to figure this out.
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According to Travel & Leisure, the REAL ID Act was passed more than a decade ago to crack down on security when it comes to identification cards. States must verify the identity of every ID applicant, plus add new features like anti-counterfeiting technology and give background checks to DMV workers who give out driver's licenses.
Right now, only 24 states and the District of Columbia follow the REAL ID standards, and others have been given extensions through 2017. State legislatures are working on laws to make sure their IDs are up to par, but it may be a rocky process. The Department of Homeland Security will continue working with states and may grant extensions, and they'll update airport signs if anything changes. But until then, it can't hurt to get a passport next year just in case. If you want to check the status of IDs in your state, check out the DHS's website here.
Don't F**k The Patriarchy | The Huffington Post
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 15:28
This year has made us sick. At basically every turn, 2016 forced us to reckon with toxic masculinity, bullheaded (and barely even coded) misogyny, and the seemingly endless coddling of rape culture. And then, at the end of it, as if to put a rotten cherry on the top of a shit sundae, we voted the physical manifestation of all of those challenges into the White House.
It's hard not to feel overwhelmed. It's hard to know where to start. We've been thinking about it and talking about it constantly, and one of the simplest, most gratifying and empowering responses I can think of is for all of us to just stop giving those people pleasure. Don't fuck the patriarchy.
I can't believe that even saying this is necessary, but just to be clear: I am not saying "don't fuck men." I don't hate men and I don't want civilization to grind to a halt. I'm a queer woman who is married to a man. I have fucked lots of men, some of whom deserved it, and some of whom didn't. I AM saying don't fuck people who profit off of your disenfranchisement. I AM saying don't give pleasure to someone who doesn't respect your right to exist. This message isn't just for women, it's for anyone who fucks men.
If someone defends a rapist, instead of a rape victim, DON'T FUCK THEM.
If someone says "no fats, fems or Asians," DON'T FUCK THEM.
If someone tells you that "actually, all lives matter," DON'T FUCK THEM.
If someone tells you that hateful legislation is there for your protection, DON'T FUCK THEM.
Like all great movements with catchy slogans, we made a t-shirt. Now, old world fuckboys with antiquated ideas about how other people should act, look or speak will see you coming, without you even having to say a word. All profits from the sale of this t-shirt will be donated to Planned Parenthood.
Sex is something that nearly all adults have in common. That gives you the power to decide who you share your body with and who you don't. Rise up, speak out, and only fuck nice people who respect your right to exist.
Listen Up: 2017 Podcast Predictions | DigitalNext - AdAge
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 14:59
Podcasting - Stock image Credit: arinahabich/iStock If you have been sitting on the sidelines watching the decade-long growth of podcasting, prepare to be blown away in 2017.
After little more than a decade of experimentation and maturation, podcasting has hit its stride. Recent years have seen the medium steadily gain extraordinary traction with listeners, creators and brands. With 57 million Americans listening monthly (up 23%, year on year), the potential for podcasting's star to rise through content, discovery, monetization and technology is strong. Here's how I believe 2017 -- a year of significant opportunity -- will play out for the industry.
Content: Game on for sport podcasts
In the same way that Serial is credited with kick-starting the podcast renaissance, achieving over 230 million downloads across both series, ESPN is about to completely reimagine the power of podcasts in sports. Until now, most sports podcasts sounded like this: a predictable group of talking heads chatting while reviewing the week's games, often in aimless, circular banter.
ESPN is about to score big with an obvious winner, bringing Serial's rich narrative to sports. It's a fire-cracker of a formula that will put a rocket under sports podcasting with well-told, addictive story-telling. The sports broadcaster's 30 for 30 Podcasts, launching in early 2017, will tell original sports stories with new interviews and archival audio in the form of audio documentaries worth sharing. It's led by Jody Avirgan of FiveThirtyEight.
When the series drops, it will force sporting bodies and sponsors to look afresh at the power of podcasting and revisit their content strategy approach. As they create and monetise an increasing bank of owned content, an ESPN-inspired approach promises to succeed on many levels:
building sponsorable assets for brands that satisfy appetites to own original content;extending the sporting season with year-round, marketable content;attracting sports fans away from traditional broadcasters to the sporting body;providing a cost-effective way to leverage archival audio and talent; anddelivering a product with a longer shelf-life and greater "shareability."Discovery: What is this podcast thing?
Podcast listeners get hooked. Those in the UK listen to over 6 hours per week and those in Australia listen to 5.5 hours per week. With 55% of America's population aware of the term and 21% listening monthly, there's a huge opportunity to convert the remainder. The majority of terrestrial radio listeners have yet to discover that the "Netflix of Radio" exists and delivers content on demand. More will make this life-changing discovery each year.
In 2017, television networks will play a vital role in helping their viewers get wise to podcasts. In part, this will be through networks creating more companion podcasts. From exclusive interviews to insider commentary, b-roll audio to subseries storylines, podcasts will ensure fans get their fix across reality, drama and current affairs.
Podcasting is the zeitgeist of 2017. Multiple series' inspired by the medium are about to hit our screens, giving broadcasters an established format and ready-made audiences, while delivering podcasters greater reach and awareness. Fox 21 is adapting "Serial," which will follow the making of a podcast as it explores a case, as well as developing a "This American Life" project. ABC is recreating "Startup," starring and directed by Zach Braff, a podcast that follows the creation of podcast company Gimlet Media. "Lore," the winner of iTunes' Best of 2015 award, which focuses on dark historical tales, is also set for Amazon, backed by the producers of "The Walking Dead."
The proliferation of connected cars across Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is another key and unstoppable factor driving podcast discovery. Podcasts will go into hyperdrive with more than 200 models to carry the technology in the next 12 months. Platforms like Google Home and Amazon's Alexa will further boost take-up, breaking down barriers between discovery and play.
Monetization: Content over interruption
A number of major brands are cementing podcast advertising and creation into their marketing. In 2016 brands like GE, eBay, Slack, The Intercontinental, Virgin Atlantic and Tinder led the charge. Continued audience fragmentation is spurring advertisers to take advantage of podcasting's ability to target niche audiences. Advertising is forecast to grow in the US about 25% a year through to 2020.
Geo-aware dynamic ad insertion will increase to integrate timely, targeted, host-read, advertising into evergreen formats. In 2017, the technology will flip, with dynamic content insertion placing fresh content alongside lasting stories.
With people preferring ads in podcasts over any other digital medium, platforms must resist the temptation to serve up generic, programmatic advertisements. In some corners of the industry, this has led to radio style ads (designed to stand out from the crowd), weaseling their way in and letting down the intimate listener experience.
Custom or branded podcasts will also gain momentum. Advertisers will press their content marketing strategies to produce audience-first content aligned to their brand's purpose and values. The non-negotiable foundation is for brands to give creators the freedom to do what they do best -- create content that listeners seek out -- rather than producing thinly veiled, brand-centric messaging that will be left on the shelf.
Technology: The industry within
Since podcasting inherited half its name from Apple, the giant has backed its growth. In 2005, Apple gave birth to podcasts as a feature of iTunes. In 2012,e Apple gave podcasting its own app and watched as 1 billion subscribers signed on. From 2014, it recognized the industry's maturity and durability by pre-installing the app on all iOS devices.
But Apple has been lax in responding to demand from podcast creators and advertisers for more comprehensive consumption data. Although the scope of podcasting data is well ahead of that available for radio, print and outdoor, there is capacity to turn on even more detailed feedback. Apple may account for 60% of all podcast downloads, but the giant also has to focus on more intricate, time-consuming and profitable challenges in its stable. An entire industry has evolved in this vacuum, cobbling together various supporting metrics until Apple turns its attention back to podcasting.
Many think that 2017 could be the year that Apple takes another look at its industrious offspring. I concur with the views of media analyst Ken Doctor, who predicts a scenario in which Apple provides paid-for access to non-invasive, actionable data, and thereby avoids quashing podcasting's thriving sub-industry.
Nielsen has seized the challenge, bringing order to the wild west of podcast metrics. It has announced a plan to provide creators and brands with robust consumption data, installing audio-measuring SDK units on streaming players to deliver more reliable analytics.
The potential for podcasting and its evolving industry in 2017 is immense. Leaders must combine to take on the challenges and create a blueprint that ensures the star performer continues to rise.
'Propaganda': Top MIT climate scientist trashes '97% consensus' claim
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 13:53
Dr. Richard Lindzen is sick and tired of the media repeating the so-called ''97 percent consensus'' statistic to show just how strong the global warming agreement is among climate scientists. It's purely ''propaganda,'' argues Lindzen.
''It was the narrative from the beginning,'' Lindzen, a climatologist at theMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), told RealClear Radio Hour host Bill Frezza Friday. ''In 1998, [NASA's James] Hansen made some vague remarks. Newsweek ran a cover that says all scientists agree. Now they never really tell you what they agree on.''
''It is propaganda,'' Lindzen said. ''So all scientists agree it's probably warmer now than it was at the end of the Little Ice Age. Almost all Scientists agree that if you add CO2, you will have some warming. Maybe very little warming.''
''But it is propaganda to translate that into it is dangerous and we must reduce CO2,'' he added.
Lindzen is referring to the often cited statistic among environmentalists and liberal politicians that 97 percent of climate scientists agree human activities are causing the planet to warm. This sort of argument has been around for decades, but recent use of the statistic can be traced to a 2013 report by Australian researcher John Cook.
Cook's paper found of the scientific study ''abstracts expressing a position on [manmade global warming], 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.'' But Cook's assertion has been heavily criticized by researchers carefully examining his methodology.
A paper by five leading climatologists published in the journal Science and Education found only 41 out of the 11,944 published climate studies examined in Cook's study explicitly stated mankind has caused most of the warming since 1950 '-- meaning the actual consensus is 0.3 percent.
''It is astonishing that any journal could have published a paper claiming a 97% climate consensus when on the authors' own analysis the true consensus was well below 1%,'' said Dr. David Legates, a geology professor at the University of Delaware and the study's lead author.
A 2013 study by Andrew Montford of the Global Warming Policy Foundation found that Cook had to cast a wide net to cram scientists into his so-called consensus. To be part of Cook's consensus, a scientific study only needed to agree carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and that human activities have warmed the planet ''to some unspecified extent'' '-- both of which are uncontroversial points.
''Almost everybody involved in the climate debate, including the majority of sceptics, accepts these propositions, so little can be learned from the Cook et al. paper,'' wrote Montford. ''The extent to which the warming in the last two decades of the twentieth century was man-made and the likely extent of any future warming remain highly contentious scientific issues.''
Despite the dubious nature of the consensus, liberal politicians used the figure to bolster their calls for policies to fight global warming. President Barack Obama even cited the Cook paper while announcing sweeping climate regulations.
''Ninety-seven percent of scientists, including, by the way, some who originally disputed the data, have now put that to rest,'' Obama said in 2013, announcing his new global warming plan. ''They've acknowledged the planet is warming and human activity is contributing to it.''
Lindzen disagreed with politicians who cite Cook's paper to call for stricter energy regulations. He said it's part of a political machine that's used by scientists and politicians to direct more taxpayer dollars to pet projects.
''If you can make an ambiguous remark and you have people who will amplify it 'they said it not me' and he response of the political system is to increase your funding, what's not to like?'' Lindzen said.
''If I look through my department, at least half of them keep mum. Just keep on doing your work, trying to figure out how it works,'' he said.
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This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller
Austin Mayor, Feds Colluded as Texas Gov. Sued to Keep Syrian Refugees Out - Judicial Watch
Wed, 21 Dec 2016 13:49
After the governor of Texas announced that the state would stop accepting Syrian refugees, the Obama administration went behind his back secretly conferencing with a mayor that offers illegal immigrants sanctuary and Syrians a welcome mat. The plan, evidently, was to continue sending Syrian refugees to the Lone Star State, even as the governor initiated litigation to halt the flow. This week Judicial Watch obtained records of the administration's behind-the-scenes efforts to keep sending Syrians to Texas despite fierce opposition from state officials over the security threats created by refugees from an Arab nation that's a hotbed of terrorism.
The White House looked to Austin Mayor Steve Adler, going around the governor to confer with a city leader who espoused the controversial Syrian resettlements, the records show. Shortly after Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that the state wouldn't accept any more Syrian refugees, the administration responded by colluding with Adler, according to records of a conference call between the mayor's office and the White House. The administration also furnished Adler with ''talking points'' involving the refugee resettlement and the parties discussed Abbott's lawsuit. It seems bizarre that the feds would discuss legal action with a town mayor operating in the state suing them.
Texas and California resettled the overwhelming majority of refugees in 2016, according to federal data, and Texas has absorbed the most Syrians. More than half of the nation's governors oppose letting Syrian refugees resettle in their state for security reasons. Among them are Michigan, Arizona, Illinois, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Georgia and New Hampshire. A recent national poll found that the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose accepting Syrian refugees. Just 36% said they were in favor of ''accepting Syrian refugees into the United States,'' the poll found. The figures show a big decline in support for accepting Syrian refugees in the last year and a half.
At least two of the terrorists who carried out the deadly attack in Paris last year entered Europe as Syrian refugees, according to French prosecutors, who say the jihadists came through Greece by posing as refugees fleeing from the Syrian conflict. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has confirmed that individuals with ties to terrorist groups in Syria have tried to infiltrate the United States through the Obama refugee program that has admitted more than 12,000 Syrians and counting. FBI Assistant Director Michael Steinbach has also conceded that the U.S. government has no system to properly screen Syrian refugees.
Texas Governor Abbott cited this in the lawsuit, which eventually got dismissed by a federal judge in Dallas who ruled that the state didn't have grounds to sue the federal government. In the complaint, Texas accused the federal government of breaching its legal duty because the state was prevented ''from receiving vital information to assess the security risk posed by the refugees in advance of their arrival'' and that federal authorities refused ''to consult with the state in advance on placement of refugees in Texas.'' The state appealed the ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals but quietly withdrew it a few days after a separate appellate court rejected a similar appeal from Indiana.
While the legal process was taking place, the Obama administration reached out to a friendly official to assure the Syrian refugees would have a place to land in Texas. Adler, Austin's mayor since 2014, had publicly proclaimed that Syrian refugees would be received in his city of about 900,000 residents. He even wrote a piece in a local publication last year titled ''Syrian Refugees are Welcome in Austin.'' Adler assures his constituents in the state's capital city that ''any Syrian refugee coming to the United States faces the most stringent background checks of anyone entering the country.'' He proceeds to write that the U.S. only considers refugees screened by the United Nations (the famously corrupt world body) who are then vigorously vetted by the FBI Terrorist Screening Center and other federal agencies. Last month Adler participated in an immigration rally outside City Hall to reiterate his commitment to protecting illegal aliens.
Obama Blocks Offshore Driling In Arctic, Atlantic Oceans
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:34
In a move that will likely be overturned promptly by the administration of Donald Trump, president Obama on Tuesday formally blocked offshore oil and gas drilling in most of the Atlantic and Arctic Ocean, responding to a call from environmentalists who say the government needs to do more to prevent drilling in environmentally sensitive areas of U.S.-controlled oceans.
The president had been expected to take the action by invoking a provision in a 1953 law that governs Outer Continental Shelf offshore leases, and he did just that to block drilling in federal waters in the Arctic's Chukchi Sea and most of its Beaufort Sea. He also protected 21 underwater canyons in the Atlantic Ocean from drilling. Furthermore, Canada will block drilling in all of its Arctic Ocean acreage, a moratorium officials will review every five years, the White House said.
The provision, contained in the 1953 Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, has been invoked in the past to set aside smaller portions of the Outer Continental Shelf, such as coral reefs or natural habitats. Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton used the provision to block drilling in much of the Outer Continental Shelf, but for limited periods.
The Obama administration's action marks the broadest use of the statute ever because it would be far-reaching in terms of the lands it would protect and come without an expiration date. Provision 12(a) of the law states, "The President of the United States may, from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf." Momentum to use the provision has been building this year according to CNBC. In May, a coalition of environmental groups circulated a fact sheet that highlighted the authority provided under 12(a).
Fifty-nine percent of voters surveyed in September said they would support blocking leasing in the Arctic and Atlantic, according to a study from Hart Research Associates that was paid for by the NRDC and the League of Conservation Voters. The survey polled 1,103 registered voters by phone and had a margin of error plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
''These actions, and Canada's parallel actions, protect a sensitive and unique ecosystem that is unlike any other region on Earth,'' Obama said in a statement. ''They reflect the scientific assessment that, even with the high safety standards that both our countries have put in place, the risks of an oil spill in this region are significant and our ability to clean up from a spill in the region's harsh conditions is limited.''
In his statement, Obama said the oil market makes now an acceptable time to block off future drilling.
''It would take decades to fully develop the production infrastructure necessary for any large-scale oil and gas leasing production in the region '' at a time when we need to continue to move decisively away from fossil fuels,'' he said.
The announcement locks in a decision Obama made last month to block drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans during an offshore leasing plan that runs through 2022. As the Hill notes, it also cements Obama's legacy as a president who has taken aggressive unilateral action against climate change and protected more land and water than any previous president.
Environmentalists supported Obama's November leasing plan, but many said he needed to go further and block drilling in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans once and for all.
And here lies the rub: after he takes office, Donald Trump will likely undo the 2017-2022 leasing plan, although it could be a lengthy process. But it's unclear how Trump could undo Obama's Tuesday announcement: The White House said no previous president has tried to undo a drilling withdrawal under the 1953 law, and that there is no provision to do so.
Let's be clear: Trump will try, especially since the oil and gas industry is certain to push lawmakers to reverse Tuesday's decision.
U.S. acreage in the Arctic is estimated to contain 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
The industry has opposed government efforts to block drilling there, saying the U.S. will hurt the rural Alaskan economy if it prevents oil production, and also cede an economic advantage to other Arctic countries like Russia, which has more relaxed rules on drilling.
Tuesday's announcement does leave 2.8 billion acres of the Beaufort Sea near Alaskan state waters open to leasing. The White House said that area is close enough to existing drilling infrastructure that ''the president deemed it prudent to leave that area for further study and further consideration.''
There is no traditional drilling industry in federal waters in either the Arctic or Atlantic oceans, and many companies that own drilling leases in the Arctic have yielded them in the face of low oil prices globally.
Drilling in the Atlantic has also faced challenges from a number of other sources, including coastal states that could be affected by a spill, as well as the Pentagon, which said drilling in the Atlantic could disrupt naval exercises.
The federal government spent $1.5 billion to compensate drillers whose offshore leases were canceled due to local and state opposition in North Carolina, Florida, California and Alaska, according to a 2012 Congressional Budget Office review.
The Gulf of Mexico is the hotbed for the American offshore drilling industry, and Obama's 2017-2022 leasing plan allows for more drilling there.
In his statement, Obama said significant production in the Arctic will not occur in the current low oil price environment, citing the Department of the Interior analysis. He said Arctic communities must focus on economic diversification.
Lead Investigator In Murder Of Navy Sniper Chris Kyle Found Dead
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:31
... one week after reports started surfacing that he was ...
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One of the lead investigators in the murder of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle was found dead in his home early Tuesday morning from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
A Texas Rangers statement reported that Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant's death occurred at 12:05 a.m. but did not mention the cause. However, local officials told the Stephenville, Texas, Empire-Tribune that it was an apparent suicide.
Bryant's death comes one week after reports started surfacing that he was cheating on his mandatory continuing education.
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A week before his death, Bryant addressed the accusations, claiming he was confused about why there was an investigation against him in the first place.
''I don't know of any investigation against me and I don't know why there would be one,'' Bryant said. ''I have done nothing wrong.''
The Texas sheriff told the Empire Tribune he had self-reported an incident this summer after a deputy completed a training course for him, but that he had otherwise not been contacted by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement about any wrongdoing.
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The commission confirmed that it had opened an investigation against Bryant in June.
Kyle, a decorated Navy sniper whose memoir, American Sniper, was turned into a hit film directed by Clint Eastwood, was murdered Feb. 2, 2013, along with his friend Chad Littlefield.
The killer was Eddie Ray Routh, a former Marine with PTSD whom Kyle was trying to help.
Routh was convicted Feb. 24, 2015, and sentenced to life in prison.
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Empire-Tribune columnist Tim Turnbeaugh, concerned about the well-being of Bryant's family, made a Facebook post Tuesday urging people to focus on the positive aspects of the deceased sheriff instead of his shortcomings.
''Let's really lift his family up in prayer and love and offer them words of encouragement because it's gonna be a tough holiday for them,'' Turnbeaugh wrote. ''Due to all this, there's gonna be an empty chair at dinner and a few unopened presents so no matter what you thought of him, let's try and refrain from any negative comments about Mr. Bryant.''
Bryant is survived by his wife, Donnie, and son, Thom Allen.
What do you think?Scroll down to comment below.
FBI Warrant For Clinton Emails Released As Democrats Slam Decision: "I Am Appalled" | Zero Hedge
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:29
Since November 8th, disaffected Democrats have tried and failed repeatedly to undo the 2016 Presidential election. First their was the failed recount effort launched by Jill Stein, an obvious front for the Clinton campaign, in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Embarrassingly, that effort actually resulted in a wider margin of victory for Trump but not before Stein wasted $7 million raised from devastated Hillary supporters.
Then there was the coordinated efforts of the White House, other prominent democrats and the mainstream media to turn the Electoral College against Trump, because Russia. Ironically, that effort too resulted in a wider margin of victory for Trump as only 2 electors refused to vote for him while 5 electors abandoned Hillary. Anyone else noticing a theme here?
Now, with the Electoral College vote done and no other options left, the angry, demoralized dems have turned their fury toward the FBI with allegations that the warrant issued for Anthony Weiner's computer did not "give rise to probable cause" which must therefore imply some nefarious collusion between James Comey, Trump and Putin.
Per Bloomberg, attorney Randol Schoenberg sued for the warrant to be released and has since expressed that he is "appalled" by its contents which failed to present "probable cause."
Schoenberg said he sought the documents because he couldn't figure out why a judge found there was probable cause that a crime was committed, given that the FBI had already concluded its investigation of Clinton's e-mails and not charged her.
"I see nothing at all in the search-warrant application that would give rise to probable cause," attorney Randol Schoenberg, who sued on Dec. 12 for the release, said in an e-mail after reviewing the documents. A judge is required to find probable cause that a crime may have been committed before issuing a warrant.
"I am appalled," he added.
We assume Schoenberg simply missed the following two paragraphs which point out that FBI agents, without reviewing contents, happened upon "thousands of emails" sent to/from Huma Abedin using State Department email addresses around the same time they know that classified information was sent out over unclassified systems.
If that's not enough, perhaps Mr. Schoenberg could comment on whether the following Reddit thread from Hillary's IT guy "would give rise to probable cause" (see "Dear FBI, This Is Intent: Hillary's "Oh Shit" Guy Sought Reddit Advice On How To 'Strip VIP's Emails'").
Combetta started the thread on July 24, 2014 with the following question seeking technical advice on how to "strip out a VIP's (VERY VIP) email address from a bunch of archived email[s]." "Ironically," the day before the Reddit thread appeared, the Benghazi Committee reached an agreement with the State Department on the production of email and other records related to their investigation.
But sure, Mr. Schoenberg, we'll take your word for it. No reason at all for alarm when "thousands of emails" from State Department addresses, which could contain sensitive, classified information, just happen to show up on the computer of a man under active investigation for pedophilia.
Here is the redacted warrant released earlier today:
Switzerland: 3 Shot, Injured in Attack at Zurich Islamic Center
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:25
Media reported that the shooting suspect was on the run after the attack.
Three people were hurt in a shooting at an Islamic center in central Zurich on Monday, the Blick newspaper reported.
Zurich police confirmed some people had been hurt in the vicinity of the center, but gave no more details.
Swiss media said police had sealed off the area. The 20 Minuten newspaper said a suspect was on the run after the incident near the main train station in Switzerland's financial capital.
Brilliant PIZZAGATE Satire To Send To Disbelieving Friends | The Millennium Report
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:22
And this is where things get weird. (Understatement?) Wainman writes:
Appendix A
UPDATE 1: A good friend of Monica picked up a thread and posted it on Facebook. Search Monica Petersen Haiti and you'll see, name is Bella. LOOK AT THE COMMENTS. Bella found out what happened and saw it fit to share this Reddit thread. Says quite a lot. http://imgur.com/a/kNEuC
UPDATE 2: Close friends are in the dark and unsure what to make of it. One of them wants to go down to Haiti to investigate: https://i.sli.mg/03JA2Y.png
''It seems that Monica was in Haiti investigating the Clintons possible ties to a paedophile ring. Monica's family hasn't been able to get any straight answers about her death''
UPDATE 4: MONICA FOUND CLINTON TRAFFICKING CONNECTION AS EARLY AS JANUARY 2016: Check out what her friend Bella posted back in January to the Facebook group ''Woman's Work Goes On''. You can find it by searching the group for ''Monica Peterson'' '' with the quotes, and note the misspelling of Monica's last name. Scroll down a bit to January 4. This is the screenshot: https://i.sli.mg/PsLtmj.png ''UPDATE 8: Close friend of Monica, /u/DominaElle confirmed in this thread that the family has not seen Monica's body yet (and of course meaning no proper funeral/burial for Monica). She died a week ago and a memorial was held on Friday. This means no credible autopsy done yet in the US. Family is relying on information coming from Haiti. Why is the State Department not stepping in?Your compilation is absolutely appreciated! Here is what I recently found '' reported by USDefenseWatch, political insider and here on another thread: The publishing of the Podesta email by WikiLeaks and spiritual cooking opened the door to another report from the abduction of a young child in Haiti while the Clintons were active there after the earthquake. While the parents of that missing child were able to stop the transport out of the country by these Clinton foundation individuals '' an investigator '' Monica Peterson '' working on the investigation of the trafficking involving the Clinton Foundation was found dead. She worked for the Human Trafficking Center and travelled to Haiti to investigate the abduction of this young child connected with the Clinton foundation. I would warn all those who are investigating this 'black and big taboo' to be careful. Murder is not out of the question for these evil monsters. Please stay safe!!
The real significance of this scandal '... is human trafficking happening through the Clinton's Caraol Complex. ****That's two huge human trafficking scandals, an environmental degradation scandal, a social displacement scandal, a Presidential election scandal, a scandal with billions in unaccounted for earthquake aid'.... all leading directly back to the Clintons racist cronyism in Haiti.
Hillary: The New York Times Will Never Tell Us This
First appeared at Journal New Eastern Outlook http://journal-neo.org/2015/03/20/hillary-the-new-york-times-will-never-tell-us-this/Article by F. William Engdahl
March 20, 2015
New York Times shareholder Carlos Slim is ranked ''the Richest Man on earth.'' The Mexican telecom mogul is The NY Times' largest stockowner and long-time business partner of Hillary's foundation in Haiti.
The richest person in the world is Carlos Slim, a Mexican. Yet, the people of Mexico remain largely poor and impoverished.
If she wasn't such an ice-cold-hearted person, one might almost feel sorry for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Now, before she even officially declares her candidacy for the Democratic Party nomination in 2016 to become successor to Barack Obama as President, she lands in the middle of another very ugly scandal. This new scandal might well spell the end of her presidential obsession, and that of her obsessive husband Bill Clinton to get back into the power loop.
The new scandal involves Haiti, that tormented island in the Caribbean which gets hit not only by earthquakes but also by the ravages and looting acts of the Clintons and their friends and relatives. It involves obvious misuse of Bill Clinton's position in Haiti since the January 2010 earthquake that killed more than 300,000 Haitians. It involves nepotism with the brother of Hillary Clinton. It involves Hillary directly, and it involves a foundation owned by the Clinton family which works closely with a reputed Mexican narco kingpin and some of the dirtiest Clinton political associates from their days in Washington.
Charity begins at home'...
The timing of events here is important. On March 5, the popular web blog Breitbart published a story taken from an about-to-be-released new book by award-winning journalist, Peter Schweitzer titled, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich. The book details facts around an unprecedented award for a gold mine, the first such granted in Haiti by the government in 50 years, to an obscure North Carolina company named VCS Mining to mine the Morne Bossa.
VCS Mining according to Schweitzer, had on its board of directors Tony Rodham. Never heard of him? Hillary Clinton's family name is Hillary Rodham and Tony is her brother. Not only that, but the mining company also lists another board member, former Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive. Bellerive co-chaired the ''charitable'' Interim Haiti Recovery Commission with former US President and Hillary's husband (at least legally), William Jefferson Clinton.
Moreover, the terms of the first new gold mining license granted by the Haiti government were made with no Congressional involvement and the state of Haiti got royally cheated. The terms of Rodham's gold windfall upset members of Haiti's senate: The government's royalties under the deal were just 2.5 per cent, half the customary rate. And VCS mining has an option to renew the terms for 25 years.
On March 6, one day after the March 5 story hit, VCS Mining on its scanty website (which reveals no single name of any officers or directors nor any annual report or financial report), published an ''Immediate Press Release.'' It denied that Rodham or Bellerive played any role in the highly suspicious and strange deal. Even more bizarre is that the press release is the only statement on the company's entire website.
Further search in the company directories of Bloomberg/BusinessWeek to find names of the current board turned up'.....nothing. In a report on the company dated March 12, 2015, Bloomberg wrote, ''There is no Other Board Members data available.'' Did the company scrub their records to hinder further embarrassing scandals that would jeopardize Hillary's presidential bid which, until two weeks ago when the State Department email scandal broke, looked like a done deal?
Appendix B
The Clinton Foundation, State Department and Haiti
It is looking more and more likely that the emails Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote in the years she was Secretary, which she refuses to turn over in full as required by law to the US Government, would contain explosive revelations about her role in Haiti after the earthquake.
It has just been revealed that she used a private email address run on her own server, during her years at the State Department, and never had a 'state.gov' address as required for government official business. She ran all her professional emails through her own Internet domain, 'clintonemails.com.' When she left office her emails left with her. That included emails that would have dealt with her response to the Haiti earthquake. The Federal Records Act requires employees of executive branch agencies to keep all of their emails and make all of them available for permanent retention.
She was Secretary of State from January 21, 2009 to February 1, 2013. In December, 2012 Hillary's brother's company got the lucrative gold mining contract. During her time in State, the State Department through its USAID disbursed $3.6 billion for Haitian ''earthquake relief.''
The plot gets uglier. While she was doling out billions in US taxpayer dollars to unspecified projects in Haiti, husband Bill Clinton was serving as UN Special Envoy for Haitian earthquake relief as co-chair with Jean-May Bellerive of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission. At the same time, Bill was head of the Clinton Foundation, which claimed to have raised $36 million from ''private contributors'' for Haiti relief. However, the Clinton Foundation, at the time Hillary was Secretary of State, also accepted money from countries that Hillary Clinton dealt with while Secretary, including the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran, brazen conflicts of interest should Clinton become president. In one case the Clinton Foundation accepted a ''gift'' of $500,000 from the Algerian government to ''benefit earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.'' Hello?
So to sum up, to date Hillary as US Secretary of State handed out billions in USAID money in Haiti. Husband Bill was taking money for his private foundation from foreign governments that Secretary Hillary deals with in an official capacity. Then the day she resigns from the State Department in February 2013, Hillary joined their daughter and Bill to become a named principal in the now named Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. And brother Tony Rodham just happens to be lucky and land a lucrative gold mining contract in Haiti at the same time? I think the trials and tribulations of Hillary Rodham Clinton have only begun.
The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation
Then we have to look more closely into the Clinton Foundation and there we find interesting people chosen to be on their Board of Directors. Bruce Lindsey serves as the chairman of the Board for the Clinton Foundation. He has been described as Bill Clinton's consigliere, as in the mafia lawyer who cleans up messes in the family. Lindsey has been at Bill's side since their days in Little Rock when Bill was governor and Hillary a lawyer with the Rose law firm.
Lindsey was Clinton's White House Counsel for all eight years. Now he is chair of the Clinton Foundation. During the Clinton presidency, Lindsey was accused by Republicans of soliciting Asian money for Democrats and for Clinton's legal defense fund on the Monika Lewinsky-ted impeachment trial. Lindsey was present at White House meetings with shady Clinton fund-raising figures such as John Huang and James Riady. Republicans at the time also suspected Lindsey''who oversaw White House document-gathering in response to congressional subpoenas''was ''cleansing'' documents to keep information from the Congressional panels.
Now we continue looking at today's Clinton Foundation board of directors and lo and behold we find Ms Cheryl Mills. Never heard of her? She was Hillary's Chief of Staff at the State Department and as it states in her bio, she ''served as counselor and chief of staff at the US Department of State where she managed the foreign policy and operational priorities for the $55 billion agency.'' Mills was Manager of foreign policy and operational priorities for Hillary Clinton? Did she also play a dirty role in the Haiti scandals with Bill Clinton's Interim Haiti Recovery Commission when Hillary's USAID was splashing billions of US taxpayer dollars into something or some ones in Haiti? We may never know because it comes out in the latest State Department ''email-gate'' scandal that not only Hillary refused to use official US Government internet email for state business. Fellow member of the board of directors of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, Cheryl Mills also used the private clintonemail.com email address for her government correspondence.
'World's Richest Man'
Then another member of the exotic Clinton Foundation board is a mining and motion picture mogul, Frank Giustra. In 2007, Frank Giustra and Bill Clinton launched something called the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership. Their stated purpose was to create ''social and economic development programs in parts of the world where poverty is widespread, including Colombia, Peru, Mexico, and Haiti.'' That morphed into the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI). The two men then brought in a third, a Mexican named Carlos Slim, who matched their initial $100 million fund. The three men apparently enjoyed working together so in 2010, just after the Haiti earthquake, with Clinton as Special UN Envoy to Haiti, they established another $20 million fund to finance small businesses in earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
According to the annual Forbes list of the world's richest people, Carlos Slim is probably the richest, just passing Bill Gates to be worth an estimated $81.6 billion. He owns Telmex, the largest telecom in Mexico and a network of banks and companies and airlines. He even bought himself blue-blood WASP respectability several years ago by rescuing the ailing New York Times for a mere $250 million.
As well, Carlos Slim is in the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the RAND Corporation, a major Pentagon contractor and leading neo-conservative think tank behind the US CIA strategies of Color Revolutions, ''swarming'' and such. That has interesting implications for US national security.
The most interesting parts of Carlos Slim's career however are its overlaps with the Mexican drug cartel. Mexican journalists speak openly that Slim amassed his colossal fortune not just by charging the highest phone rates in Latin America. According to award-winning journalist Daniel Hopsicker, Carlos Slim, the philanthropy partner of the Clinton Foundation, ''has long-standing business ties with wealthy Mexican businessmen suspected of involvement in Mexico's so-called 'Cartel of the Southeast,' the drug trafficking organization based in Cancun which came to light two years ago with the crash on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula of an American-registered (N987SA) Gulfstream jet carrying nearly four tons of cocaine.''
According to Hopsicker, Fernando Chico Pardo, a top level business associate of Carlos Slim, left Slim's employ with the latter's blessing, to take over Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, S.A. de C.V., (ASUR), a publicly-traded corporation which Mexican sources say moves large quantities of cocaine through Cancun International Airport, which ASUR runs and manages. ASUR controls a dozen Mexican airports. Pardo, according to these reports, was Slim's alter-ego and right-hand for 16 years. He still has a seat on the board of Carlos Slim's holding company and Pardo's brother, Jaime Chico Pardo, is President of Slim's major holding, Mexican telecommunications giant Telmex.
Mexican well-researched press reports claim that Fernando Chico Pardo's Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, S.A. de C.V., (ASUR) is involved in the drug trafficking major leagues, and was reportedly complicit in the big ''drug move'' in September of 2007 which ended with an American Gulfstream jet carrying 4 tons of cocaine crashing in the Yucatan.
Hopsicker adds, ''the Gulfstream (N987SA) was known to belong to the CIA in Columbia and Central America, and to fly for the DEA as well'...according to exclusive reporting in NarcoNews.''
Hillary and 'Sweet Mickey' Martelly
Presumptive US Democratic Presidential candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton's Clinton Foundation has activities in Haiti with Carlos Slim, Mexican giga-billionaire and reputed business associate of leading Mexican drug cartel figures, who sits on the Executive Board of Washington's Pentagon and CIA-linked RAND Corporation and who owns a major stake in the New York Times. Hillary's kid brother, Tony Rodham, wins the sweetheart gold mine concession in Haiti with a company that barely exists. It all begins to stink like the cesspool outside the factory pig farm manure dump of Smithfield Foods in Mexico.
Leading Haitian lawyer and a genuine human rights activist, Ezili Dant², charges that UN Envoy to Haiti, Bill Clinton as head of the Haitian relief fund was responsible for some $6 billion of international relief aid received. ''Less than 1% of this amount made it to the Haitian government. Bill Clinton had total control of the balance.'' She adds, ''Hillary and Bill Clinton 'opened Haiti' as their private asset to liquidate. They used the resources of the World Bank, the State Department, USAID, the UN, the Private Military Security Contractors, the US military, and the Fed's passport and visa issuance capabilities. They got kickbacks called 'donations' from anyone who wished to buy from them a piece of Haiti lands, oil, iridium, uranium or gold. The Clintons have used governmental power to conduct their private business and called it 'helping poor Haitians.'''
Dant² adds that Bill Clinton made no attempt to conceal his Haiti aid corruption. Neither did US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: ''They pushed their own Haiti staff members into nominal positions of power to rubber stamp their edicts. Haiti Prime Minister Gary Conille, who succeeded Jean Max Bellerive, worked as chief of staff for Bill Clinton and as a UN development expert.
''Cheryl Mills, another Clinton staffer named in the Clinton ''email-gate'' scandal and who today is on the board of the Clinton Foundation, also served as the United States' representative on the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC).
Dant² elaborated further that, ''Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Cheryl Mills, her chief of staff at the State Department, brought intense US pressure to bear on the Haitian government and Electoral Council to advance Martelly, who finished third, to the first place in the runoff, insuring his election as President in March, 2011. Hillary Clinton revoked the visas of several Haitian officials she felt were not complying, prematurely announced the election dispute was over, threatened to cut off aid if the doctored elections and OAS ruling to advance Martelly to the second rounds were not accepted by Haiti. The US even threatened to forcibly remove Haiti president Preval if he didn't comply and put Martelly in the elections.''
Martelly, known in Haiti by his musician name, Michel 'Sweet Mickey' Martelly, backed the CIA-created right-wing paramilitary Front for the Advancement and Progress of Ha¯ti and proposed to re-instate the Armed Forces of Haiti, which were disbanded by former Haitian President Aristide in 1995 because they were the terror arm of deposed dictator 'Baby Doc' Duvalier. The CIA ousted the popular Haitian nationalist, democratically-elected Aristide, and forced him into South African exile. According to Ezili Dant², Hillary and Bill Clinton engineered the Presidency of Martelly, a cocaine-loving rock keyboard musician, to cover up their corruption.
She adds, ''The quake monies benefited Clintons' cronies, the Clinton Foundation big business donors, the Clintons' luxury spa resort and hotel partners, the military industrial/intelligence complex and the usual Washington beltway bandits, like Chemonics. The holocaust for Haiti continued. What's worst was the Clintons' use of shock and trauma-the cataclysmic 2010 earthquake and 2010 UN-imported cholera traumas-to push the 2010 doctored elections down the Haitian people's throats to outright dictatorship.''
It's beginning to look like Hillary Rodham Clinton faces far more scrutiny for her dealings than she hoped for. But one thing is certain. The New York Times, formerly America's most respected newspaper of record, will never tell us this about Hillary's murky dealings in Haiti. Why? Look no further than Carlos Slim, that paper's second largest stockowner and long-time business partner of Hillary's foundation in Haiti.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine ''New Eastern Outlook''.
Appendix C
For example, the following 2015 email was taken as an inquiry about providing sexual services.
WALNUT SAUCE IN PASTA?
These emails prove nothing other than the Podesta brothers are famous in Washington circles for their Italian cooking and big salon and fund-raising dinners, often cooked by their mother.
Death toll in alcohol poisoning incident in Irkutsk reaches 58
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:18
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The number of people in eastern Siberia's Irkutsk who have died of poisoning after drinking a bath essence has reached 58, sources from the region's healthcare ministry told TASS on Dec. 20.
"As of 21:00 local time (16:00 Moscow time) the death toll from poisoning has reached 58 people. Ninety-seven people have been affected," the press service said. According to the ministry, 34 people have died in hospital, while others - at home or at other places.
According to the ministry, medics are fighting for the lives of 38 people, most of them in a grave condition. One patient was discharged from hospital earlier on Dec. 20.
Investigators say all the victims are the residents of one Novo-Lenino neighborhood. A criminal case has been opened into the sale of goods failing to meet safety requirements and resulting in the death of two or more people.
A ban on sales of all nonfood alcohol-containing products has been imposed in Irkutsk and in the region. The ban will stay in place as long as checks continue at local stores as to whether they have on sale the lethal bath lotion called Boyaryshnik (Hawthorn) and similar products.
Source: Tass
'The pain should be felt only by those who prepared this provocation'
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:18
On Dec. 19 Russia's ambassador to Turkey was assassinated in Ankara, on the eve of important talks between Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers and as a fundamental shift was taking place in the situation in Syria. Why did the attack occur precisely now, who is behind the killing and what will Russia's reaction be? Dmitry Yevstafyev, a Middle East scholar and professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, spoke about the incident in an interview with Eurasia.Expert.
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Russia's ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov (R) speaks just before he was shot by a gunman at the art exhibition in Ankara, Turkey, on Dec. 19. Russia's ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, has been shot at an art exhibition in the Turkish capital of Ankara. Source: EPA
Dmitry Gennadievich, why was Russia's ambassador to Turkey assassinated?
Dmitry Yevstafyev: We are currently observing unprecedented Russian-Turkish convergence on a whole series of crucial issues '' economic and political. In the future this convergence may produce enormous results from the viewpoint of restructuring all relations in the Middle Eastern and Central Asian region.
Obviously, many forces, primarily outside Turkey, but also in Turkey, are interested in having this convergence break down. This is a classical provocation, a provocation that was successful and one that, unfortunately, will have consequences regardless of all our understanding that the Turkish government was "set up."
Why did the assassination occur precisely at this moment?
D.Y.: I would look at four events. First, the vote in the UN Security Council, in which the council basically adopted the Russian approach to the situation in Aleppo. Secondly, the Russian State Duma's approval of an inter-governmental agreement on the new gas transportation corridor between Russia and Turkey, which has already been ratified by Turkey.
Thirdly, the meeting on Syria between the Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers that is being held on Dec. 20. Fourthly, the contacts on regulating the situation around Aleppo that included Syria, Russia and Turkey and which in the upcoming days, Dec. 20-21, were supposed to lead to the final stabilization of the situation inside Aleppo.
Therefore, the moment of the assassination was thought out very well and excludes the possibility of the assassin being a "lone fanatic" or a psychologically unbalanced individual.
Who's behind the assassination?
D.Y.: Forces that lost completely, first on the battlefield in Aleppo, then at the UN Security Council and were forced to accept the Russian logic on the Aleppo resolution. They had to admit their defeat. These are people who have serious connections within the Islamist movement and for many years were sponsoring the various "moderate" and "immoderate" opposition groups.
We can be fully certain that the organizers of this terrorist act were outside Turkey, although they counted on forces within Turkey as well.
Why is the UN Security Council resolution of which you speak so important?
D.Y.: The resolution adopted by the UN Security Council basically signifies Bashar al-Assad's government's return to a legitimate juridical field. All Western diplomatic efforts in the last years, including in the UN Security Council, were aimed at delegitimizing Assad's regime and squeezing him out of the juridical field, isolating him from UN institutions.
The mass media did not report on this much but experts know that one of the co-authors of the UN Security Council resolution is the Syrian government.
Basically, the UN Security Council voted for a resolution in which "Assad's regime" played an active part, a regime that had often been declared "illegitimate."
This means that the U.S. and its satellites within the U.S. Security Council have recognized the legitimate character of Bashar Assad's regime, recognizing his control of Aleppo.
This is a very difficult choice for Western countries, especially for France and the UK. They were the main "political intercessors" for the opposition that was located in Aleppo.
In the future this will remove the numerous impediments to returning the official government in Damascus to the channel of classical official diplomacy, from which in 2012, under the pressure of the U.S., it was practically exiled. That is why the adoption of the resolution on Aleppo is a momentous event, one that for a long time will determine the essence of what is happening in Syria.
How will the assassination of the Russian ambassador influence the talks between the Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers on Dec. 20?
D.Y.: I think that these talks are one of the key events in our relations with Turkey that was supposed to be undermined. The atmosphere of these talks will obviously be very heavy.
Russia will inevitably raise the issue of how well the Turkish government is controlling the situation in its country. The assassin was a recently dismissed employee of the Turkish police.
But for Russia this tragedy, as well as everything that will happen in the upcoming days, is a big test for its geopolitical maturity.
Today, after the collapse of the 1990s and the glamour of the 2000s, when our politics in many aspects was limited to propaganda, we have entered the sphere of realpolitik.
Contemporary realpolitik somewhat differs from the way politics are described in textbooks. For the sake of achieving immediate results, sometimes narrow circles within the political elites of certain countries choose to assassinate ambassadors, support and finance terrorists, blow up planes and do many other things that respectable countries did not permit themselves in the 1990s.
And despite this, we must be responsible in our understanding of the choice we made. We must show a high level of maturity and distance ourselves from our emotions. Russia has assumed a burden, the burden of a global player, and we must show that our society is capable of carrying that burden.
Unfortunately, we were unable to save our man, the Russian ambassador. And this is also our fault as a state. This means that there was something that we didn't predict, something that we didn't take into consideration.
But we must clearly understand that when we reply, the pain should be felt only by those who prepared this provocation. And no one else.
Our response must be proportioned, targeted, extremely harsh. Yes, extremely harsh. All moral-ethical limits have been removed from us and for these limits to be put back in place, we must show our capability of "raising the level" by carrying out, as they say in professional circles, a vertical and horizontal escalation.
Otherwise those forces that, at least, sanctioned the terrorist act against the Russian ambassador, will not be contained.
But our response should not worsen Russia's position as the leading country in today's restructuring of the world economic and political order.
What might Russia's concrete response be?
D.Y.: The reaction will mostly be political. I think that some international forces "will be rejected from Russia's court" and they will not be able to count on our support in difficult times.
Relations with other countries will be frozen until they demonstrate that they were not involved in this terrorist act. In this case the presumption of innocence does not exist. I am speaking primarily about Saudi Arabia, which, taking into account some former circumstances, must prove that it was not involved in this act. Preferably with actions.
Concerning the "response with force," about which many people are speaking now, let's leave this question to the specialists. And let's not harbor the illusion that we will read about this "response with force" in the mass media.
First published in Russian by Eurasia Expert
Read more: Turkish TV says man who killed Russian ambassador was among police guard
Russian Methbot Operation Makes up to $5 Million per Day from Click-Fraud
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:17
Russian Methbot Operation Makes up to $5 Million per Day from Click-FraudDecember 20, 201611:50 AMA bot farm involving hundreds of servers and over 570,000 different IP addresses has caused losses for online video advertisers ranging from $3 to $5 million per day.
This bot farm, nicknamed Methbot, dates back to September 2015, when US security firm White Ops had first detected signs of automated traffic coming from the crooks' infrastructure.
The volume of this automated traffic sky-rocketed in October 2016, which led security researchers to start an investigation into its source.
Biggest ad fraud operation discovered to dateWhat White Ops discovered was a massive cybercrime operation that used 571,904 dedicated IPs, many falsely registered as US ISPs, and deployed between 800 and 1,200 dedicated servers in data centers in the Netherlands and the US.
The purpose of these data centers was to host lightweight JavaScript-based browsers that would carry out fictitious clicks, logins, and ad views for video advertisements shown on legitimate or spoofed sites.
The Methbot crew, named so because of the many "meth" references in the infrastructure's source code, earned money by posing as operators of high-profile websites and offering ad spots, which advertisers rented out.
The crooks then unleashed their bots on the rented ads, generating fake views by loading the page inside their Node.js-based browsers, viewing the ad, and sometimes clicking on it.
By switching their geo-location data and the source IP (they had 571,904 available), the crooks extracted click-per-impression fees from advertisers.
According to statistics gathered by White Ops, researcher believe that Methobot generated between 200 million to 300 million fraudulent video ad impressions per day.
White Ops: Methbot operators are RussianAccording to a 30-page report on Methbot operations released today by White Ops, the group, suspected of being located in Russia, targeted the most expensive ad slots and high profile sites such as ESPN, Fortune, Huffington Post, Economist, CBS, Fox News, and Fortune. White Ops says the crooks spoofed over 250,000 URLs on over 6,000 domains.
Compared to similar ad and click-fraud operations, Methbot is unique because it relied on data center servers, instead of botnets of computers and smartphones infected with malware, such as ZeroAccess, Chameleon, Ponmocup, Million-Machine, and HummingBad.
In fact, this was an advantage, because the Methbot crew earned from 3 to 5 times more from their operation, compared to a classic malware botnet system.
"The current complexity, interconnectivity, and resulting anonymity of the advertising ecosystem enabled the Methbot operators to exploit the entire marketplace," researchers noted. "An impression may pass through many hands before it lands on a page and the ad isserved.
"Tracing that complete path back through the various marketplaces proves difficult due to walled gardens, reselling, competing interests, and limitations on human capital to devote to this initiative," researchers added. "Close relationships between publishers and their advertisers may help circumvent much of this obfuscation and increase transparency, which will make it more difficult for evenadvanced operations like Methbot to take advantage of the system."
CDC: US abortion rate falls to lowest level in decades
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:17
NEW YORK (AP) '-- The number and rate of abortions tallied by federal authorities have fallen to their lowest level in decades, according to new data released Wednesday.
The latest annual report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, incorporating data from 47 states, said the abortion rate for 2013 was 12.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years. That is down 5 percent from 2012, and is half the rate of 25 recorded in 1980.
The last time the CDC recorded a lower abortion rate was in 1971, two years before the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that established a nationwide right for women to have abortions. Abortion was legal in some states at that time.
The CDC tallied 664,435 abortions in 2013 from the 47 states, down 5 percent from 2012 and down 20 percent from 2004. The CDC does not receive abortion data from California, Maryland and New Hampshire '-- and thus its total is less than the widely accepted current estimate of more than 900,000 abortions per year in all 50 states.
Back in 1990, when California was supplying data, the CDC recorded a peak of more than 1.4 million abortions.
The CDC's latest findings meshed with an Associated Press state-by-state survey conducted last year '-- with extensive data from 2014 '-- showing that abortions had been declining in virtually every state since 2010. There were big declines in conservative states passing laws to restrict abortions and also in more liberal states that protected abortion rights.
The CDC report suggests there are several factors behind the abortion decline, including a sharp drop in adolescent pregnancies, expanded coverage of contraception costs by health care plans, and increased use of effective, long-lasting contraceptive methods such as intrauterine devices and hormonal implants.
Among the CDC's detailed findings:
'--Women in their 20s accounted for more than 58 percent of abortions and had the highest abortion rates. Young women and girls aged 19 and under accounted for 11.7 percent of abortions.
'--Two-thirds of abortions were performed within the first eight weeks of gestation, and nearly 92 percent by 13 weeks. Only 1.3 percent were performed after 20 weeks '-- a point at which many anti-abortion activists want a federal abortion ban to be imposed. President-elect Donald Trump has promised to support such a ban if legislation reaches his desk.
'--State abortion rates varied widely, from 3.6 per 1,000 women age 15-44 in Mississippi to 24.3 in New York. Mississippi is among a handful of states with only one functioning abortion clinic.
'--Medical abortions '-- generally using the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol '-- accounted for about 22 percent of abortions; surgical procedures accounted for nearly all the others.
'--About 15 percent of women who obtained an abortion were married. About 60 percent had previously given birth to at least one child.
___
Follow David Crary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CraryAP
U.S. widens sanctions against Russia
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:14
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The United States broadened the sanction list against Russia related to developments in Ukraine. Source: Reuters
The United States broadened the sanction list against Russia related to developments in Ukraine, the U.S. Treasury Department said in its statement on Dec. 20.
Seven individuals, several dozens of organizations and two vessels under the Russian flag were included into the list.
Nine regional units of Russian gas producer Novatek are now in the sanction list. Furthermore, Crimean Ports, Crimean Railways, Stroiproekt Institute, Transflot, and others are in the hit list as well.
Marshal Zhukov and Stalingrad, two vessels bearing the Russian flag and subjected to sanctions, belong to Transflot company.
The United States and the European Union introduced sanctions against Russia in view of developments in Ukraine and reunification of Crimea with Russia. Sanctions were repeatedly extended and renewed.
Source: TASS
U.S. softens sanctions on Rosoboronexport to buy digital cameras>>>
Who is behind assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey? | Russia Beyond The Headlines
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:14
In the wake of the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, political analyst Geogry Bovt discusses a few of the possible scenarios that provoked the murder in Ankara.
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OpinionFlag-wrapped coffin of late Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov is carried to a plane during a ceremony at Esenboga airport in Ankara, Turkey. Source: Reuters
Moscow and Ankara agree that the assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov was a terrorist act. If the objective was to upset the reconciliation process that has begun between the two nations, then it has only led to the opposite: solidarity before the face of a common enemy, terrorism, and continued efforts to resolve the Syrian conflict.
The assassin has been killed, which will complicate the investigation. Who was behind the 22-year-old murderer, who had previously served in the Turkish police force? Here are several theories.
Theory 1: Fethullah G¼lenIn Turkey, the theory that militants connected to preacher Fethullah G¼len were behind the assassin couldgain strength. G¼len is in self-imposed exile in the U.S.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused G¼lenof inspiring the unsuccessful attempt to overthrow his government last summer. Erdogan considers G¼lenthe main "enemy of the people," and it is common to link many government problems with him. After the coup's failure, Erdogan began large-scale purges and repression within the country, including within the security services.
However, no purge can be 100 percent effective, everyone cannot be removed. Among the coup organizersthere were indeed people who spoke in favor of Ankara's harder line in Syria and consequently, against Russia and Assad. They obviously did not like Russia and Turkey's cooperation, and they could have struck against it. Most of all, they may have not liked how Turkey acted when practically full control of Aleppo was transferred to the Russian-backed Syrian forces.
There are grounds to believe that Moscow and Ankara had concluded if not a formal than an "informal" understanding related to the "demarcation" of spheres of responsibility in Syria. Within the framework of such an informal "understanding," Turkey may have lowered the level of its support for the Syrian opposition fighting against Assad in eastern Aleppo. This could have helped Assad successfully take the city while militants, their families and civilianstried to leave the city through the humanitarian corridor. Ankara does not need a full defeat of the rebels, they will still be useful for Ankara to promote its interests in Syria "after Assad."
Theory 2: Islamic extremistsPotential cooperation between Ankara and Moscow could have resulted in a larger constructive collaboration on the post-war order in Syria. However, other Islamists may not have taken a liking to this scenario, including those linked to rebel groups.
Turkey itself has a complicated history "playing games"with Islamist extremists and is now facing the consequences of such games: terrorist acts have increased in the country. A faction of the extremists could have felt "betrayed" and decided to strike against Russia and Russian-Turkish reconciliation simultaneously.
Other Islamist forces could have been behind the assassination, such as groups linked to the Al-Nusra Front or Ahrar al-Sham. Russian and Iranian intervention in Syria have seriously hinderedthese groups. And, in this sense, it is possibly not a coincidence that the terrorist act was organized on the eve of the trilateral meeting between the Russian, Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers in Moscow, in an attemptto undermine this meeting.
Forces close to ISIS could have been behind the assassin. Turkish special services have had numerous encounters with ISIS. No purges "for links to ISIS" were conducted, therefore these links could just have been "hushed up." But some connections could have remained, as well as sympathies for the militants.
Theory 3: Lone terroristThere is a simpler version. It is possible that the assassination is the work of a lone terrorist or a small group of Islamist terrorists.
Terrorists groups consisting of 1-3 people (basically, suicide bombers indoctrinated with Islamist extremist ideology) have become active in many countries recently. The assassination of the Russian ambassador could be such a case.
The 22-year-old assassin could have been emotionally driven by media reports of Russia's and Assad's actions in eastern Aleppo. Turkish media also reported on the slaughter, which increased even more as the Iraqi Army and the Shiite and Kurdish units launched a large-scale military operation to liberate Mosul from ISIS. Media sources that shout about the "barbarian bombing" of eastern Aleppo and mass losses among the population are categorically silent about the same situation in Mosul, where the population is larger, the scale of the operation is broader, the inter-ethnic conflictis more acute, and ISIS's actions are more barbaric. Under the influence of such media coverage, the assassin decided to "avenge Aleppo."
Theory 4: The KurdsThe "Kurdish theory" is also possible. The Kurds are taking revenge on Ankara for everything that it is happening in northern Syria, having organized an "exclusion zone" on territories the Kurds liberated from ISIS.
However, this theory is the weakest. It is difficult to imagine that a person linked to the Kurds could have been a Turkish police officer. The ethnic principle there has incredible significance.
Theory 5: NATO operationFinally, there is one more crazy theory. Some Russian politicians affirm that the ambassador's assassination was possibly the result of "a secret NATO operation."
For spy novels, this is perfect, and just as ridiculous asthe theory of "Obama's revenge on Putin."However, this theory, if it is considered seriously for a moment, leads to a simple question: why does NATO need a casus belli with Russia? Since, indeed, this assassination is a casus belli.
The fact that some politicians entertain such theories just shows how poor relations are between Russia and the West in general, and between Russia and the U.S. in particular. In such a situation, it is better not to fall for propagandistic hysteria.
It is clear what it can lead to. Karlov was assassinated in the hysteria surrounding Aleppo. And this is crucial, regardless of the theories about this assassination.
The opinion of the writer may not necessarily reflect the position of RBTH or its staff.
'Avoid going to Turkey': Russians react to ambassador's assassination>>>
ISIL Gains Access to US-Made Weapons | Friends of Syria
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 22:56
TEHRAN (FNA)- An expert disclosed that the ISIL has gained access to tactical weapons made by the US such as missiles and mortars by paying large amount of money to purchase them from the US-backed militants in Northern Syria.
''The ISIL has transferred the US weapons to its controlled areas, specially Mosul,'' the Arabic-language service of Sputnik news agency quoted a historian expert as saying on Saturday.
He said that the ISIL has transferred the US-made weapons to Mosul before Nineveh Liberation Operation when the border crossings were still open.
The historian noted that the ISIL had bought the US-made weapons from arms traders in lieu of selling the oil it extracted and stole from al-Qayyara and other areas in Nineveh and Salahuddin provinces in the Southern part of Mosul.
He reiterated that the ISIL's biggest purchase was related to a truck loaded with missiles in 2015 which was paid back by a huge amount of oil.
In late October, Iraqi army and popular forces discovered a number of US-made missiles from a military position of the ISIL in the Southern part of Mosul, informed local sources disclosed after the first group of pro-government troops opened their way into Southern Mosul on Monday.
''Several US-made missiles were found in al-Shoura region to the South of Mosul,'' a local source said.
The Iraqi army and popular forces had found US-made missiles in Anbar province several times before. Provincial officials confirmed that the US-made weapons were sent by the US-led anti-ISIL coalition airplane for the ISIL terrorists in Anbar province.
Meantime, Iraqi security officials announced that the ISIL has sent US-made military equipment to Tal Afar region in the last two days to stand strong against Iraqi popular forces' impending attack to capture the region.
''The ISIL terrorists have sent US-made TOW anti-tank missiles to Tal Afar and it is quite evident that they are preparing for a long-term war,'' the Arabic-language media quoted an Iraqi security official as saying.
In late August 2015, a senior Iraqi intelligence official revealed that the US helicopters drop weapons and other aids for the ISIL terrorists in the Western province of al-Anbar.
''The fighters present at the forefront of fighting against the ISIL always see US helicopters flying over the ISIL-controlled areas and dropping weapons and urgent aids for them,'' the official who called for anonymity told FNA.
Yet, he said the helicopters could have also been sent from Turkey or Israel.
He added that in addition to dropping aids, the helicopters transfer the ISIL ringleaders and wounded members from the battleground to some hospitals in Syria or other countries which support the terrorist group.
The official cautioned that such assistance further prolongs the conflicts in Anbar, adding that when the Iraqi army and popular forces purge the terrorists from Anbar province, the US helicopters will transfer the ISIL ringleaders to other regions to prevent the Iraqi forces' access to ISIL secrets.
Also in March 2015, a group of Iraqi popular forces known as Al-Hashad Al-Shabi shot down the US Army helicopter that was carrying weapons for the ISIL in the Western parts of Al-Baghdadi region in Al-Anbar province.
Meantime in February 2015, a senior lawmaker disclosed that Iraq's army had shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province.
''The Iraqi Parliament's National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL,'' al-Zameli said.
source
Rebuilding a New Haiti: Supporting the IHRC | Clinton Foundation
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 22:29
APPROACH AND METHODOLOGYMcKinsey will work together with the Government of Haiti to establish and prioritize the needs of the IHRC. The work will have three primary elements: (1) diagnosing the specific needs and priorities for the recovery; (2) designing a recovery strategy and a coordinating authority with the means and operating processes to execute the strategy; and (3) staffing and launching the organization.IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLESMcKinsey estimates the commitment to last 6-10 months, and will deploy a team of consultants to work full-time in Haiti with the full knowledge and resources of the firm to support the effort. The work will be divided into clear 3-month phases and checkpoints in which progress will be assessed and adjustments made to the approach as needed. As part of the commitment, McKinsey will conduct an impact assessment at the conclusion of work to ensure lessons and best practices are captured and disseminated for future relief and recovery work.
The earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12 set off one of the worst humanitarian crises in recent history. An estimated 230,000 people died as a direct consequence of the quake, with an estimated 300,000 injured and 1 million rendered homeless. Haiti was already the poorest country in the Americas, ranked 149 out of 182 on the UN Human Development Index. Its state institutions were incapable of responding effectively to the catastrophe, with a disproportionate burden falling to international humanitarian agencies. With the establishment of the IHRC, the Government has a critical opportunity to strengthen their capacity to deliver meaningful improvements to the lives of its citizens both now and in the future. McKinsey's commitment is aimed at supporting the success of this crucial institution.
Richard Marx and Daisy Fuentes Help Take Down Attacking Passenger | TMZ.com
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 22:05
Richard Marx heroically fought off and restrained an out-of-control passenger during a flight from Vietnam to South Korea ... and his wife, Daisy Fuentes, captured the whole ordeal.
Daisy took a bunch of pics as Korean Air flight attendants and the '80s hitmaker teamed up to take down the man. You can see Richard was throwing elbows and even holding the rope tied around the guy.
According to Daisy and Richard ... the flight crew was "completely ill trained" for combat. One of the flight attendants had a taser, but had no clue how to use it ... at least that's how Daisy saw it.
She says they battled the attacker for 4 hours, and 2 passengers and a crew member were injured. Seoul police arrested the guy when they landed.
Richard Marx. Badass. Who knew?
How Low Can You Go? Ukrainian MP Calls Russian Ambassador's Murderer a 'Hero'
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 18:52
On December 19, the Russian ambassador was murdered by a terrorist gunman at the opening of an art gallery exhibition in Ankara; he was reportedly shot in the back nine times. Three others were injured in the attack, and the gunman, 22-year-old Mevlut Mert Altintas, was killed by Turkish security forces shortly thereafter.
(C) Sputnik/ Natalia Seliverstova
Karlov's murder was met with shock and condemnation from around the world, with leaders and diplomats worldwide offering words of support to Moscow. Even countries with which Russia has had difficult relations in the past have condemned the killing.However, in every orchard there are a few bad apples, and for some, even Karlov's reprehensible murder seemed to be no exception.
Volodymyr Parasyuk, a Ukrainian nationalist lawmaker, who was suspected of committing war crimes in Kiev's war in the Donbass before being elected to the country's parliament in 2014, decided to try and make a name for himself by praising the murder and calling Karlov's killer a 'hero'.
In a post on his Facebook page, Parasyuk posted a photo of Altintas from immediately after Karlov's murder, along with the phrase "when a man is ready, at the cost of his own life, to take extreme measures for the sake of an idea, for the sake of truth, then it can be said with confidence that he is a hero."
(C) Sputnik/ Maksim Blinov
Getting into a heated argument with some of his readers, Parasyuk kept insisting that Karlov's killer was "a hero to his people." Users countered, pointing out that Turkish social media is now filled with anything but flattering words toward Altintas. Users also slammed Parasyuk for his stupidity, pointing out that every other European government has condemned the terrorist act. Some called the Ukrainian lawmaker's remarks a manifestation of extremism in its own right.
Amazingly, even users who sympathize with Parasyuk and his radical ideas told him that "killing an unarmed ambassador is not an act of heroism, but a terrorist attack." Others also pointed to the killer's alleged sympathies for the jihadists in Syria, and asked whether Parasyuk thought that maybe "the guys who crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 were also heroes" in the lawmaker's eyes.
(C) AP Photo/ Burhan Ozbilici
Others simply pointed out that as a politician serving in the country's parliament, Parasyuk should engage in trying to solve Ukraine's many social, political, and economic problems, instead of trying to whip up scandal.Some Ukrainian media sources, which had at first eagerly jumped to report on Parasyuk's remarks, soon began deleting their articles, apparently understanding that the matter was embarrassing to the country's image, and deciding it was unworthy of coverage.
The History You Know Is Wrong
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 18:05
The received understanding of the outbreak of World War I goes something like this. A Serbian nationalist gunman, Gavrilo Princip, assassinated Franz Ferdinand. Austria-Hungary demanded justice from Serbia and in relatively short order the overlapping series of alliances that strung together the various powers of Europe sucked each into a ruinous war that none of the powers actually wanted but were unable to avoid. Germany backed Austria. Russia backed Serbia. France and Great Britain backed Russia. Toss in a bunch of secondary powers bound to one of the major powers and within a matter of weeks the entire continent was at war. This portrayal is most memorably and masterfully captured in Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August: The Outbreak of World War I.
This is probably the version of events you know. But it is almost certainly wrong. Since the 1960s, it has been widely understood among historians that far from being a collective failure of diplomacy or the result of entangling alliances, World War I was engineered deliberately by Germany.
This may seem like a bold statement. But it is amply backed up by the available evidence of which there is a great deal.
Of course, one may step back and say that the great power rivalry between Germany and the United Kingdom, the arms race of the first years of the 20th century, nationalism, imperialism, the decline of the multinational empires of Eastern Europe and various other isms and trends were deep causes of the war. But the actual war, which emerged from the crisis of Franz Ferdinand's assassination, happened because Germany wanted to go to war.
Why did Germany drive Europe and the world into war which would led to the collapse of the German state? The simplest explanation is that the German government and general staff believed that a European war would eventually come, that such a war was essential to its territorial ambitions and - most importantly - that time was not on Germany's side. The Germans believed that they were better prepared for a war in 1914 than the Entente powers of Britain, France and Russia. But over time they believed their position would weaken.
Why would Germany, the rising power of the early 20th century, believe that time was running against it? In large part because Germany's ability to win a continental war rested on her junior partner, Austria-Hungary. The problem was that Austria-Hungary was an increasingly decrepit and declining power, slowly being eaten alive by the competing and often febrile nationalisms growing up within its multinational domain. So even though Germany was the emerging industrial giant of Europe with the continent's greatest land army and a navy which increasingly rivaled that of Great Britain, its ability to win a European war would decline over time. Or at least that is how the decision makers in Berlin saw the matter. And based on that belief they drove Europe to war on what they thought were their own terms, their moment of maximum advantage.
There is a voluminous literature on this topic. Some of the most interesting comes from German Historian Fritz Fischer of the University of Hamburg and his students, whose interpretation of the origins of the war have been broadly confirmed over the last half century while being modified in various ways. But if you're looking for an accessible and contemporary account, a good one is Europe's Last Summer: Who Started the Great War in 1914? by David Fromkin. Ironically, Tuchman's book was published in 1962, one year after Fischer's key work was published in 1961. But the pervasive influence of Tuchman's narrative has continued along more or less untouched.
Of course, Germany did not know the ruinous outcome of the war. They probably foresaw something more like their rapid victory over France in the Franco-Prussian War almost half a century earlier. Significantly, they did not want a war with Great Britain. But they were willing to risk it.
What does this tell about today? In itself, not terribly much. Assassinations don't cause global cataclysms. More to the point, great powers don't generally stumble into wars unless one or more of the powers want to go to war. In 1914 Germany wanted to go to war.
The one lesson that shines through most vividly from these events a century ago is the immense danger caused when one power believes it is running out of time to secure the advantages it believes it can secure only or most easily through war. I remember thinking of this ominous parallel as the US forced its war in Iraq, even after the notional premise for threatening war - the return of weapons inspectors - had been conceded. This pessimism, this need to provoke or escalate crises, is the root of all sorts of mischief. It is the best prism through which to understand the increasingly unstable moment we are now living through. Which countries if any want a general war? Which countries, if any, believe they can gain from one and at what cost? And how do we collectively prevent any major power from believing its interests can best be secured or only be secured by war?
Your new civic duty: Flagging fake news
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 16:55
The real weakness exposed by fake news may be this: critical thinking skills.
Many people are woefully unable to separate fact from fiction, and even young ''digital natives'' are duped by ''sponsored content'' and are clueless as to the political bias of social messages, according to a new study from Stanford University.''It seems clear that we have failed to teach critical thinking, media literacy, and basic research skills to the American public,'' said Victoria Bernal, a professor of anthropology at UC Irvine who studies digital media, cyberspace and the public sphere.
''This leaves people very vulnerable to manipulation and scamming. The problem is compounded by American anti-intellectualism that undercuts the value of conclusions drawn on the basis of professional journalism and expert studies.''
Digital media has changed the game by speeding blatantly false information to millions in a matter of seconds, the eagerness of people to embrace ''evidence'' that supports their opinions, and the ''monetization of viewing'' that makes fake news lucrative.
Censorship, Bernal said, is not the answer. Education is the best antidote to deception.
Jestin Coler, Huntington Beach resident and purveyor of ''faux news'' sites, agrees. He has been trying to jump-start the conversation for years, he said. People need to become news-media literate, and responsibility lies with both the consumers of content as well as its producers.
Dan Chmielewski, publisher of TheLiberalOC who also runs a technology PR firm, said it's up to the reader to question stories that seem to back their preconceived notions and political beliefs.
He tries to be mindful of that, checking stories via established, nonpartisan fact-checking sites like Snopes.com, Politifact.com and Factcheck.org. But he still has fallen prey.
''I shared some fake news on social media simply because I liked the story at hand and wanted it to be true,'' Chmielewski said. ''But you can't call every story you disagree with 'fake news' because you don't like it. Trusted media sources and government reports that track data regardless of which party holds the Oval Office can help separate real from fake.
''If a story is aggregated on only partisan websites with no independent media coverage, it's fake,'' he said. ''And fake news has consequences, like the child sex ring/pizza shop story that's so unreal, its hard to see how anyone could have believed it.''
A Pew study released this week found that 64 percent of adults said fabricated news stories cause a great deal of confusion about the basic facts of current events, and that nearly a quarter of them had shared fake news online.
There are tools to help:
Facebook has rolled out a new feature allowing users to flag fake stories, and is considering tweaking its algorithms to help spot hem.
Slate has created a new tool to combat the proliferation of bogus stories. The Chrome browser extension can be downloaded for free and is called ''This Is Fake.'' Once installed, stories that Slate has identified as fake are flagged with a red banner over the preview image, linking directly to an article from a reputable source that debunks the story in question.
Check urls, read the ''about us'' section, check comments and keep your thinking cap on, experts say. Combating fake news is being framed as a new civic responsibility of us all.
Full disclosure: Our editors were wise enough to discourage us from testing the waters with a fake O.C. news site whose first story would be headlined ''Cryogenically frozen heads of Walt Disney and George Lucas to be displayed at Disneyland's new 'Star Wars' attraction.'' But we suspect it would have gotten a lot of clicks.
'Russen kunnen ook Nederlandse verkiezingen be¯nvloeden' | Nieuwsuur
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 15:32
De Nederlandse verkiezingen volgend jaar maart kunnen doelwit worden van spionage en hacking. Daar waarschuwt D66-Kamerlid Sjoerd Sjoerdsma voor. "Ik maak me meer zorgen dan ooit dat de Nederlandse verkiezingen worden be¯nvloed door buitenlandse mogendheden, in het bijzonder Rusland."
Volgens Sjoerdsma willen de Russen niet een bepaalde kandidaat of partij helpen, maar gaat het om het verstoren van westerse democratien.
De Russen gebruiken daarbij steeds slimmere methoden. "De wijze van be¯nvloeden is steeds geraffineerder en moeilijker aan te tonen. Kijk naar de Amerikaanse verkiezingen, pas na de verkiezingen is het bewijs rond", zegt Sjoerdsma.
De Amerikaanse inlichtingendienst CIA zegt dat hackers in opdracht van de Russische regering hebben geprobeerd de presidentsverkiezingen te be¯nvloeden. Onlangs waarschuwde ook de Duitse inlichtingendienst voor hacks en desinformatie-campagnes uit Rusland in aanloop naar de Duitse verkiezingen volgend jaar september.
Astrid Oosenbrug van de PvdA denkt dat de Nederlandse verkiezingen minder gevoelig zijn voor hacking omdat er met potlood wordt gestemd. "Wij stemmen niet via de email of via stemcomputers, maar met potlood. Dus ik denk dat wij redelijk veilig zijn voor de Russen op dit gebied."
Extra maatregelen zijn volgens haar niet nodig. "In Nederland hebben we onze systemen behoorlijk goed op orde, we hebben een goede digitale infrastructuur, die wij goed in de gaten houden. Het is heel lastig om ons systeem omver te gooien."
Maar Sharon Gesthuizen van de SP vindt dat het risico niet onderschat moet worden. "Er is altijd een zekere dreiging geweest en bepaalde sectoren zijn daar gevoeliger voor dan andere. In deze tijd ben je als politicus echt een risicogroep. Je bent interessanter om te hacken dan wie dan ook."
Spionage of hacks hoeven niet alleen van de Russen te komen, denkt Gesthuizen. "Iedereen die een belang heeft, kun je verdenken."
Het is volgens het SP-Kamerlid belangrijk dat politici bewust zijn van de gevaren. "Let goed op, twijfel niet en meld iets verdachts zo snel mogelijk aan de veiligheidsdiensten", drukt ze haar collega's op het hart.
Bekijk hieronder de reportage en de toelichting van hoogleraar cybersecurity Bart Jacobs.
'Russen kunnen ook Nederlandse verkiezingen be¯nvloeden'Politici maken zich zorgen over mogelijke Russische hacks in aanloop naar de verkiezingen volgend jaar maart.
PizzaGate Is A Giant Step For Investigative Journalism
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 15:20
Just when it looked like investigative journalism was dead and buried, there came along PizzaGate, which is busting open a new era of cyber-sleuthing to expose and take down once-untouchable criminals in high office. This most heartening rebirth, with the surge by a vigilant posse of blogs and websites, is accomplishing what the late Aaron Swartz of reddit (prior to its new role as self-appointed censor) was attempting before he was cut down in his tracks with an ''assisted suicide'' ordered by murderous pedophiles. The damning evidence gathered so far against the powerful Podesta brothers, who ran the Hillary for America campaign and served as advisers to Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton is crucial to demolishing the corrupt and unrepresentative Democratic National Committee and its bedfellows among so-called establishment Republicans. The foolhardy response of those high-level felons is to order an illegal cover-up and unconstitutional crackdown by America's law-enforcement agencies, intelligence bureaus and NATO allies with the pretext of combating ''fake news.'' Caught with their pants down, the panicked perverts in power, from the Bilderbergers who denied association with pimp Marc Dutroux to the predators of the Franklin child-abuse scandal, now dare to accuse truth-tellers of running ''fake news'' in a lame attempt to scare off angry fathers who want answers to why missing kids are outnumbering milk cartons at the supermarket. The next line of defense for the cowardly political class is to plant cookies from their own hastily assembled fake sites as if their crumbs are IEDs. None of those namby-pamby tactics, like speaking in code words derived from pizza terminology, have deterred the online anti-pedophile crusaders, so the idiotic clandestine-ops bosses had to stage a phony lone-gunman attack on Comet Ping Pong Pizza. The assailant turned out to be an unemployed movie actor-writer named Edgar Madisson Welch, who previously appeared in the horror movie ''The Bleeding'' and worked as go-fer for ''A Tale about Bootlegging''. This pathetic a ploy is yet another waste of newsprint and taxpayers' money. The trans-Atlantic war on ''fake news'', as documented on the European side of the pond by Thierry Meyssan of Voltaire network, had to have been ordered by the Office of the President or it simply wouldn't be involving NATO command, which has nothing better to do, for example, fighting the cutthroats of ISIS. Instead of being the Mini-me of that criminal dictator Suharto from your Indonesian boyhood days, Barry, grow up and act like a real man for once in your life. And get ready for more stench out of the overflowing the sewer pipe, you own next time. Instead of trying to plug the streaming flow of facts, you'd better prepare for a safe retirement where you can feel at home, somewhere like Kenya. Never mind trying to protect Hillary and the Podestas, because they smoked their own chicken at Cheryl Mills' Moloch Barbecue. That White House email, now available for all to see at Wikileaks, promised Hillary Clinton a sacrifice to that ancient Canaanite idol, knowing full well that it's not KFC and that the bull-headed demon demands burnt offerings with a child sacrifice. In this case, it may not be a metaphor, as will be explored later in this essay. Scotland Yard stares across the Atlantic One of the patently false claims from Hillary's occult crackpots is that ''Trump supporters'' concocted the accusations against Podesta. Excuse me for raising inconvenient truths, but this entire episode was started by the London Metropolitan Police in 2013. Back then, Trump supporters did not yet exist, except at the Miss Universe contest. As reported by ABC News in a video clip online, Scotland Yard released police artist sketches from witness accounts of two men who were spotted stalking the Portuguese vacation apartment where Madeleine McCann was abducted while her parents were away at a tapas restaurant. A bouncer at a tourist bar, along with other locals, recognized the pair as being Americans. Police notices are routinely filed with Interpol and, therefore, the FBI was obligated to run a facial-recognition check on the drawings. Only three years later, starting this autumn, did whispers emerge that the two depicted suspects have a stunning resemblance to beefy Tony Podesta and brother John with the sad eyes. According to yet-unverified leaks from law enforcement, the Podestas were in Praia do Luz, southern Portugal, on the very day of 4-year-old Maddie's disappearance in that seaside town. May 3, 2007, a date to remember. Freud's Tavistock as forerunner of MK-ULTRA In Praia do Luz, the brothers stayed in the plush villa of Clement Freud, a British TV personality and parliamentarian who was accused postmortem of being an insatiable pedophile. His grandfather was psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, founder of the Tavistock Institute in London. That psychiatric research lab developed the theory of sexual pleasure behind the sadistic methods adopted by the CIA's MK-ULTRA mind-control assassination program (which are described in the Jason Bourne movies). Immediately after Maddie was nabbed, the Podestas flew to Oxford, for some yet undisclosed meeting, perhaps to thank Clement for the hospitality in Portugal and to arrange the more complicated flight to the US, where there are strict immigration controls over children traveling without a parent or legal guardian. Following Clement Freuds's death in 2009, the British press carried accounts of several women, exposing him as a sexual predator of underage girls. At the BBC, Freud was a close friend of Jimmy Savile, the head of an organized pedophile ring. Clement's son Matthew Freud owns Britain's most influential publicity company called Freuds, formerly Freud Communications. In an obvious giveaway, Freud hired the McCann's spokesman, thereby muzzling their demand for a wider police probe. Matthew Freud, until a recent divorce, was married to Elizabeth Murdoch, the daughter of Rupert. Her grandmother was Jewish, and the publishing empire News Corp. and The Australian are financed by the NM Rothschild Bank. Freud is a confidant of Lord Jacob Rothschild, David Cameron, Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson. In a step toward truthfulness in advertising, Freud should rename his PR firm as ''Frauds''. Podesta's Girl Friday is a Rothschild watchdog Now get this: Matthew's former ace at Freud Communications, Sara Latham, was on the White House staff of Bill Clinton, a consultant to the Clinton Foundation and Microsoft, and she is the Chief of Staff for Podesta Associates and his liaison staffer to the Hillary for America campaign. Latham is the Rothschild watchdog over Podesta, the Clintons and the Democratic Party leadership. She is also a mentor to Chelsea Clinton. Why then should anyone be surprised that Rothschild Bank has just set up its new U.S. headquarters in Chicago, the Podestas' hometown now run by Mayor Rahm Emanuel? The Rothschilds are managing Bayer's takeover of Monsanto and selling off the Green Giant division of General Mills. Not that any of this lucrative business would ever be blocked under the globalist trade regime in a belated response to the Rothschild dynasty's role in provoking the British imperial aggression against the United States in the War of 1812 and the Civil War, which killed untold thousands of Americans and caused the burning of the White House. If your clan hates American democracy and openness so much, then why don't you Rothschilds just stay out? Payoff for the Portuguese caper Now here's the capper: In spring 2007 immediately before departing to Portugal to fetch a prize, Tony Podesta had purchased a 7-bath house with swimming pool in the Kalorama area of Washington D.C. for a mere $3.9 million. At exactly the same moment, for a cool $1.7 million, James Achilles Alefantis (the owner-operator of Comet Ping Pong Pizza) and his partner James Brock, the anti-Trump editor of Media Matters attack site, bought a 6-bedroom rowhouse in the same neighborhood as Podesta. That amounts to a pile of pepperoni, paesani. A few years later, in early 2012, while the British police were starting to trace the Maddie McCann kidnapping to America, David Brock paid an out-of-court settlement of $850,000 to an ex-lover named William Grey, who threatened to tell all to law enforcement authorities. To raise the money to silence what he called ''blackmail'', Brock sold his house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, at huge profit for more than $1 million to a realtor in McLean, Virginia, where coincidentally the CIA Langley headquarters is located. Oddly, the new owner tore down the valuable house but did not erect another structure, leaving the expensive lot empty. So that raises the obvious question: Were their little bodies buried below the basement? Until their recent separation, Alefantis and Brock operated the now-infamous Comet Ping Pong Pizza in the Chevy Chase area of Washington D.C., near the Maryland state line. Comet is the favorite hangout of in-house lawyers and staffers from the Center for American Progress, founded by John Podesta and funded by George Soros and Bill Gates. A pizza parlor is a public place that cannot be readily used as a crash pad for teenage boys. Chickens are taken home to roost, as inside 7-bathroom mansions with a heated pool where they can cavort without a lot of clothing before retiring to one of the bedrooms. The upmarket for children The next obvious question: When you have so much chicken in your backyard, why fly to Portugal for an English bird? This paradoxical point raises the many purposes and functions of pedophilia other than immediate gratification from young flesh. In the closet of pedophilia as in a classroom, children are graded on their merits. Rowdy young lads will never get past being fresh meat for the gay bathhouses. Smarter ones with neat habits can be assigned as Senate pages, if they show some eagerness to please the powerful patricians despite the bad body odor and flaky skin of old age, for example, Dennis Hastert congressional leader from, here once again, Illinois. And the utterly useless kids just might be given to a cult for an upcoming sexual rite and a blood feast served up by one of Fat Tony's favorite artist and chief torturer Marina Abramovic. Then, at the top of the class are those exceptionally talented students with charismatic appeal, who are ideal as future movie stars or even might make a fine-looking president. Although by no means smart at math or homework, as an example, little Barry had an appealing smile and knitted his brow so cutely when he was serious. Athletic as a boy and mild as a girl, he was irresistible and therefore electable. Since looks can be deceiving, and the ruling elite is mindlessly superstitious, natal astrology is the basis for predicting future prospects. In the case of Barack Obama, born allegedly in Honolulu on August 4, 1962, the birth signs are Sun in Leo (charismatic leadership); Aquarius ascending (visionary); Moon in Gemini (a dual emotional-sexual nature); and Uranus (inciter of rebellion). Remember ''Change'', the revolution that birthed the Arab Spring and ISIS? That come out of Uranus. Signs of a shaman-queen Next, Madeleine McCann. Before gazing at her planets, let's look at the lineage. Her father's a physician and medical researcher (intelligent with focus on the corporeal). She is of Scottish descent, and the core cultural group in the USA is Scots-Irish. Now with a head's up: Sun in Taurus (strong and durable as an ox Moloch and the Minotaur); Libra ascending (balanced judgment, just desserts); Moon in Libra; and her dominants are Venus (desirable, sensual); Jupiter (power) and Mars (aggressive). This astrological combination of power and sexual attractiveness indicates that this little girl snatched from Praia do Luz can easily become the high priestess of a mystery cult or a respected political leader. Which is why the Controllers of the Cabal were willing to spend millions on acquiring her to establishing an enduring realm for the Illuminati. By the way, her point of departure, Praia do Luz translates as ''shore of light'', auspicious for the Prince of Light, Lucifer. The cult option would probably be something like the present-day Minoans, the worshipers of sexual power as symbolized by the Minotaur and the Cretan priestesses. Their rites are head underground in Crete, where Hillary Clinton spent time after her Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was violated and blood-sacrificed in Benghazi, the North African soil of Baal Hammon, the Carthaginian Moloch. There's huge political potential for the woman president who completes the feminization of American society, transforming the once-macho nation into an androgynous matriarchy, which is the goal of more radical feminists and other advocates of demasculation. Rescuing the abducted If she's still alive, Madeleine McCann, along with the tens of thousands of child captives like her around the world, must be rescued, by force as required, from their Illuminati captors. Instead of being protected by U.S. law enforcement and the intelligence agencies pretending that the facts are fake, the Podestas should be arrested, robustly debriefed and sentenced to minimum of life with hard labor, perhaps tossing pizzas on death row. These sorts of grotesque violations of human rights will not end until the secretive cabal including and surrounding the Rothschilds, Freuds, Goldsmiths and other Illuminati filth are confined to a remote prison without parole or possibility of escape, inside a retirement home like Devil's Island. If justice is not served, then the alternative solution will have to be more like the outcome in Blade, the Wesley Snipes ninja epic, or Selene of Underworld. Law or action, take your pick. This new Dark Age of captivity under demonic spells cause the deadly Ghostship cult fire that swept through a crowded Oakland warehouse. These sorts of felonies are not simply legal lapses of a secular nature. There are laws that apply to religion-related practices under the moral injunction that in civilized societies no preacher or cult leader is permitted to subject other humans to physical harm. This principle of law and ethics was incontrovertibly and irrevocably decreed in the 5th Century CE by the brilliant philosopher Saint Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo in Roman Africa. Forceful arrest by the state is ethically allowable to protect the weak, the helpless, the naive and ignorant. His ethical-legal ruling signaled the beginning of the end for an era of pagan horrors under superstitious despots and heralded the age of voluntary and reasoned consent by citizens. We either stand with the rule of lawful reason or kneel in fear as abject slaves. Mothers, make your choice and take your stand, and fathers do what you must to protect the children from sadistic oppressors. For parting shot about ''fake news'', here's an email from a staffer at the Sandler Foundation to John Podesta, who dropped something from his back pocket:"Hi, John. The realtor found a handkerchief. I think it has a map that seems pizza-related. Is it yours? They can send it if you want. I know you're busy so feel free not to respond if it's not yours or you don't want it.''Podesta replied: ''It's mine.'' How can anyone ever eat pizza again? Yoichi Shimatsu was the editor in charge of a team of investigative journalists probing the Aum Shinrikyo cult in the wake of the Tokyo subway gassing, and later fought against high-ranking American pedophiles who violated subteen children and produced explicit kiddie porn in Cambodia.
Google Wants Driverless Cars, but Do We? - The New York Times
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 15:16
Yes, jobs will be created by these new cars, but many will be lost. Millions of truck and taxi drivers will be out of work, and owing to the rise of car-sharing and app-based car services, people may buy fewer vehicles, meaning automakers and their suppliers could be forced to shed jobs.
Then there's infrastructure. Huge investments in new infrastructure are a given, but huge investments in old infrastructure will also still be needed. Many of these new-generation cars require smooth roads, with clearly painted lines, to safely position themselves. Potholes, worn paint and other irregularities '-- standard fare on too many of today's roads '-- will potentially become even greater safety hazards than they are now. Where will the resources to maintain and repair roads and bridges, an effort already underfunded by more than a trillion dollars, come from?
And have we thought about security? Today's cars can be hacked easily. New protocols must be agreed on, and even then, nefarious actors will learn how to remotely start and stop cars, steer them, steal them, crash them or even take them hostage. Senator Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, attempted to address security issues at the hearings last spring '-- proposing rules governing consumer privacy and antihacking requirements '-- but the invited companies balked at regulation. For those of a dystopian bent, imagine the day when the local constable locks your doors and instructs your car to drive you to the station for questioning.
And what about the interim period when conventional vehicles share the road with automated ones? One of the claims made for autonomous cars is that they can be lighter, shedding heavy metal crash cells and expensive safety gear, like airbags, saving fuel. That's great until the old-school pickup with the old-fashioned drunken driver T-bones your Google car.
What's more, are we ready to give up on mass transit? In a world where our elected officials can't see fit to fund and fairly price much-needed public transportation, it's hard to imagine these new automated-car expenses will free up money for trains and trams. And yet many cities are so crowded they don't have room for more cars '-- even automated, electric cars congest.
We humans can't seem to put our phones down, and industry leaders don't want us to. The risk of distracted driving may be one of the strongest arguments for driverless cars. But distracted driving could be reduced simply by disabling phones in moving cars.
When it comes to the practical direction of technology, the government too often defers to industry. Shouldn't society have a say in what amounts to a public works project larger than the Interstate System of highways '-- run by and for private industry, but underwritten by taxpayers? Congress needs to articulate their goals and answer this burning question: Are driverless cars really what we need?
Jamie Lincoln Kitman, a lawyer, is the New York bureau chief for Automobile Magazine.
A version of this op-ed appears in print on December 19, 2016, on Page A21 of the New York edition with the headline: Behind the Wheel, Doing Nothing.
Continue reading the main story
Murder of Russian ambassador in Turkey is 'like Franz Ferdinand and WW1 all over again' | World | News | Daily Express
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 13:46
The deadliest conflict in human history was sparked when Archduke Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914.
The murder of the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary rapidly sparked a diplomatic crisis which ultimately led to the deaths of 16 million people, including seven million civilians.
Within one months of the shooting, major powers were at war as nations felt compelled to honour complex treaties and pacts - and the conflict soon spread around the world.
Chillingly, the murder of a very senior Russian diplomat on Turkish soil, just yards from the main parliament building, has many parallels to the Ferdinand killing.
Franz-Ferdinand-WW1
WW1 all over again: Mevl¼t Mert Altintaş, left, and Gavrilo Princip who shot Franz Ferdinand in 1914WW1 started with a shot. The shot of Russian ambassador is declaration of war
Kremlin analyst on Russian state TV
Turkey is a key member of NATO and tensions with Russia, which is already furious about the eastern expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, are at an all-time high.
Only last month Russian President Vladimir Putin moved nuclear-capable missiles closer to Europe in response to Nato's expansion in the Baltic states.
Moscow's S-400 surface-to-air missiles and a ballistic Iskander system were deployed in Kaliningrad, situated between Lithuania and Poland. The weapons have a range of 450 miles, which means they could hit Berlin.
Article Five of the NATO treaty states that if an armed attack occurs against one of the member states, it should be considered an attack against all members, and other members shall assist the attacked member, with armed forces if necessary.
With relations between Turkey and Russia already in dire straits after the shooting down of a Russian yet along the Turkish-Syrian border last November, President Putin may see this as a very real opportunity to test NATO's resolve.
Express Newspapers
Franz Ferdinand was assassinated on 28 June 1914There are many other eery parallels between the two assasinations.
The 1914 shooting was not perceived as a major international incident at the time and world stock markets barely reacted - today the Dow Jones is up more than 40 points, much as it was before the killing of Andrei Karlov. US TV networks are barely covering the incident.
Princip, who murdered Archduke Ferdinand, was also a very young political activist at the time of the assasination, aged just 19 at the time. Mevl¼t Mert Altintaş, the fresh-faced killer of Andrey Karlov, is just 22 and bears a striking resemblance to Princip. He was motivated by Russia's actions in neighbouring Syria.
In 1914, Princip acted as a professional assassin, killing the Archduke opportunistically when his driver took a wrong turn after an earlier bomb plot - carried out by Princip's co-conspirators - had failed.
A witness talking to Turkey's CNNTurk television said today that Karlov's killer, a policeman, was cold-blooded and calm as he assassinated Karlov. "[The attacker] said that I will not leave this place alive," he said.
Getty
Franz Ferdinand's assassination sparked WW1In 1914, Princip was one of seven Serbian military conspirators led by the chief of Serbian Military Intelligence Dragutin Dimitrijević, his right-hand man Major Vojislav Tankosić. Tankosić armed the assassins with bombs and pistols and trained them.
Reports from Turkey this evening suggest that the 22-year-old killer may have been backed by a well organised and armed pro-Syrian rebel movement.
AHABER.COM
Turkish policeman Mevl¼t Mert Altıntaş shot the Russian ambassador to Turkey in cold bloodLike Karlov, Franz Ferdinand was visiting a seemingly innocuous art event when he was murdered.
The Archduke's Sarajevo visit included opening the State Museum with his wife Sophie and they were riding in an open-top car on their way from the Sarajevo Town Hall when Princip struck.
Andrei Karlov was also attending an opening, of an exhibit at a contemporary arts centre when he was attacked. He was several minutes into a speech at the photography exhibition when his killer shouted ''Allahu Akbar'' and fired at least eight shots into his back.
Perhaps most chilling is the reaction in Russia. One analyst with links to the Kremlin told a Russian TV station immediately after the shooting: ''WW1 started with a shot. The shot of Russian ambassador is declaration of war.''
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Turkish official links Russian envoy killer to exiled cleric | Reuters
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 06:27
Mon Dec 19, 2016 | 4:49 PM EST
ByOrhan Coskun|ANKARA
ANKARA A Turkish security official said Ankara saw "very strong signs" the gunman who killed Russia's ambassador there on Monday was a follower of a U.S.-based Muslim cleric blamed for orchestrating a failed coup in July.
A representative of cleric Fethullah Gulen, Alp Aslandogan, denied any link and said the exiled cleric condemned the murder as a "heinous act".
The Turkish official, who declined to be identified, said the current investigation was focused on the gunman's links to the network of Gulen's followers, which the government calls the "Gulenist Terrorist Organisation" or "FETO".
The government says Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999, created a "parallel network" in the police, military, judiciary and civil service aimed at overthrowing the state. Gulen denies this.
President Tayyip Erdogan identified the attacker, who was later killed by security forces, as a member of the Ankara riot police who had spent 2-1/2 years on the force.
"The people he lived with before school were detained over FETO. It was determined that the people with whom he graduated from school were from a FETO team," the senior security official said of the attacker.
"Information was obtained to the effect that people who helped him get into school were from FETO. There are very strong signs that the person who carried out this attack was from FETO. The investigation is currently focused totally on this."
The official also cited the fact that the attacker had taken July 15-17 as holiday. The government may argue the timing of his holiday demonstrated foreknowledge of the July 15 coup.
Gulen adviser Aslandogan, who advises Gulen on media issues, said the allegations by the Turkish official were "laughable" and intended to cover up for lax security.
"Mr. Gulen categorically condemns this heinous act," he told Reuters.
(Additional reporting by Matt Spetalnick in Washington; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Tom Heneghan)
Brussels on lockdown as terror police swoop in | World | News | Daily Express
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:51
A number of streets were sealed off and people were escorted back to their homes by the police while public transport was also halted.
Fri, March 25, 2016REUTERS
1 of 61
Damage seen inside the departure terminal following the March 22, 2016 bombing at Zaventem Airport, in these photos made available to Reuters by the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad
There is speculation that the operation is linked to terrorism investigation.
According to Belgium press, one armed person was arrested during the lockdown.
A police officer said: "Several streets have been blocked, operations are in progress, but we will not give any details tonight."
The police lifted the lockdown at around 8pm.
RTL
Trams in Brussels have been haltedRelated articlesSeveral streets have been blocked, operations are in progress, but we will not give any details tonight
Police officer
One Twitter user said: ''Lock down in our part if Brussels. Police sent me back in. Lots of sirens out there.''
In October, two Belgian police officers were attacked in Schaerbeek in an incident classified as a suspected terrorist act.
The political journalist, Thomas Gadisseux, tweeted: "Terrorist operation happening in Schaerbeek near to the Liedts place. A large number of police officers have been deployed since the beginning of the day."
EPA
A number of streets in the capital of Belgium have been seeled offSchaerbeek is just five kilometres away from the principally Muslim area of Molenbeek where the Abdeslam brothers lives, who were behind the Paris terrorist attacks.
A press announcement is due to take place at 11am tomorrow morning with more information about the police operations.
Related articles
Obama pardons 78, shortens sentence for 153 convicted of federal crimes - World - CBC News
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:49
U.S. President Barack Obama has pardoned 78 people and shortened the sentence of 153 others convicted of federal crimes, the greatest number of individual clemencies in a single day by any president, the White House said Monday.
Obama has been granting commutations at rapid-fire pace in his final months in office, but he has focused primarily on shortening sentences of those convicted of drug offences rather than pardons. Pardons amount to forgiveness of a crime that removes restrictions on the right to vote, hold state or local office, or sit on a jury. The pardon also lessens the stigma arising from the conviction.
Neil Eggleston, Obama's White House counsel, said Obama has now pardoned a total of 148 people during his presidency and has shortened the sentences of 1,176 people, including 395 serving life sentences.
Obama and his daughters Malia, left, and Sasha arrive on Air Force One on Friday in Hawaii. The commutations were announced as Obama vacations in Hawaii during the holidays. (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)
Eggleston said each clemency recipient's story is unique, but a common thread of rehabilitation underlies all of them. Pardon recipients have shown they have led a productive and law-abiding post-conviction life, including by contributing to the community in a meaningful way, he said.
Commutation recipients have made the most of his or her time in prison by participating in educational courses, vocational training, and drug treatment, he said.
"These are the stories that demonstrate the successes that can be achieved '-- by both individuals and society '-- in a nation of second chances," Eggleston said.
The commutations were announced as Obama vacations in Hawaii during the holidays.
IMF's Lagarde keeps job, escapes penalty after negligence conviction in France
Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:22
By Chine Labb(C) and David Lawder
PARIS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde kept her job and escaped punishment on Monday despite a conviction on negligence charges by French judges over a state payout made while she served as France's finance minister in 2008.
The Washington-based IMF executive board reaffirmed its full confidence in Lagarde's abilities to perform her duties leading the Fund, hours after the verdict was issued in Paris.
"The Executive Board looks forward to continuing to work with the Managing Director to address the difficult challenges facing the global economy," the board said in a statement.
In Monday's ruling, the judges did not find negligence in Lagarde's decision to seek an out-of-court settlement with tycoon Bernard Tapie. But they said her failure to contest the award to him of about 400 million euros ($417 million) was negligent and led to a misuse of public funds.
"The context of the global financial crisis in which Madame Lagarde found herself in should be taken into account," Martine Ract Madoux, the main judge on the case, said in explaining the absence of any sentence.
She also cited Lagarde's good reputation and international standing as reasons why the court did not order a punishment. The charge against Lagarde could have carried a sentence of up to a year in prison.
Lagarde, whom IMF members reappointed in February, has won respect from global finance leaders for pushing governments to do more to boost economic growth and helping to include China's yuan in the fund's currency basket.
Lagarde's lawyer, Patrick Maisonneuve, said immediately after the ruling that his team would look into appealing the decision. Though an appeal could clear her name, it could also turn out worse for Lagarde.
"Since Madame Lagarde was not sentenced, I wonder about whether to appeal or not to the highest court," Maisonneuve told reporters outside the court.
Lagarde, who described the case as a five-year ordeal, argued in the trial last week that she had acted in good faith, and with the public interest in mind.
She said she had signed off on the arbitration - against the advice of some Finance Ministry officials - to end a costly 15-year-old legal battle between the government and Tapie, a supporter of then-President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The case dates back to when Tapie sued the French state for compensation after selling his stake in sports company Adidas to then state-owned Credit Lyonnais in 1993.
He accused the bank of defrauding him after it resold its stake for a much higher price. With the case stuck in the courts, the two sides agreed to a private settlement and Tapie was awarded a 403 million euro payout, including interest and damages.
The case was only the fifth ever heard by a special French court created in 1993 to try government ministers. The court of 15 judges, including 12 lawmakers, has never handed down a firm prison sentence.
(Additional reporting by David Lawder in Washington; Writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Dan Grebler)

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