Cover for No Agenda Show 907: Bias Response Team
February 26th, 2017 • 2h 52m

907: Bias Response Team


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

Trump Transition
Please ban clicking cameras from the White House press briefing room. It's distracting to listen to. | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 02:48
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Chief digital officer steps down from White House job over background check - POLITICO
Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:49
White House Chief Digital Officer Gerrit Lansing was among the six staffers who were dismissed from the White House last week after being unable to pass an FBI background check, according to sources.
A source close to Lansing said the issue with the background check was over investments.
Lansing previously led the digital department for the Republican National Committee.
The background check, security questionnaire SF86, must be completed by White House staffers for positions that cover national security.
President Donald Trump's director of scheduling, Caroline Wiles, was also among the six staffers who did not pass the intensive FBI screening. She is the daughter of Susan Wiles, Trump's Florida campaign director. Caroline Wiles resigned Friday before the background check was completed.
She was appointed deputy assistant secretary before the inauguration in January. Two sources close to Wiles said she will get another job in the Treasury Department.
Lansing left Feb. 9; his official file says he left on his accord.
The intensive background check includes questions on the applicant's credit score, substance use and other personal subjects.
Ministry of Truthiness
President Donald Trump Won't Attend White House Correspondents' Dinner | Variety
Sat, 25 Feb 2017 22:24
President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that he will not attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner, scheduled to take place on April 29.
''I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year,'' Trump tweeted. ''Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!''
The news comes after several prominent media organizations '-- namely Vanity Fair, the New Yorker and more recently Bloomberg '-- canceled their sponsorship of events surrounding the annual dinner.
More to come'...
Alternate Universes
Did Trump win because his name came first in key states? - BBC News
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 03:33
Image copyrightGetty ImagesOne of the world's leading political scientists believes Donald Trump most likely won the US presidential election for a very simple reason, writes Hannah Sander - his name came first on the ballot in some critical swing states.
Jon Krosnick has spent 30 years studying how voters choose one candidate rather than another, and says that "at least two" US presidents won their elections because their names were listed first on the ballot, in states where the margin of victory was narrow.
At first sight Krosnick's idea might seem to make little sense. Are voters really so easily swayed?
Most of them are not.
"Most of the people that voted Republican were always going to vote Republican and most of the people that voted Democrat were always going to vote Democrat," says James Tilley, professor of politics at the University of Oxford.
But a minority are.
"There is a human tendency to lean towards the first name listed on the ballot," says Krosnick, a politics professor at Stanford University. "And that has caused increases on average of about three percentage points for candidates, across lots of races and states and years."
Political scientists call this the primacy effect.
It has the biggest impact on those who know the least about the election they are voting in.
You are more likely to be affected, Krosnick says, "if you are feeling uninformed and yet feel obligated to cast a vote - or if you are feeling deeply conflicted, say between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump."
When an election is very close the effect can be decisive, Krosnick says - and in some US states, such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, the 2016 election was very close.
Image caption A ballot paper used in the 2016 presidential election in Wisconsin Image copyrightGetty ImagesImage caption A 2016 ballot paper being recounted in Oakland Count, Michigan "In the states where Trump won very narrowly, his name was also listed first on the ballot in most of those states," says Krosnick.
Some always list parties in the same order. Some allow the state's officials to make a new choice each time. Some put the party that lost in the last election at the top of the ballot. Some list alphabetically.
In 2002, a court overturned the result of the mayoral election in the Californian city of Compton, after hearing testimony about the name-order effect. The judge decided that in this instance, the decision to list one of the candidates first had been deliberate and unfair.
"Candidates whose last names begin with letters picked near the end of the lottery have it tough," Krosnick explained during the Compton court case. "They will never get the advantage that comes from being listed first on the ballot."
There are numerous cases where the primacy effect is thought to have influenced the result of an vote.
In January 2008, Hillary Clinton unexpectedly beat Barack Obama in the New Hampshire primary - part of the long battle to decide which of them would become the Democratic Party's presidential candidate. Professor Michael Traugott from the University of Michigan believes that name order enabled Clinton to pick up extra votes. Her name was at the top of a long list. Obama's was near the end.
Listen to part one of Analysis: How Voters Decide on the BBC iPlayerPart two can be heard on Radio 4 at 20:30 on Monday 27 FebruaryThe primacy effect can also affect polling.
The exit poll from the 2004 US presidential election led pundits on the night to believe that Democratic Party candidate John Kerry would win, when in fact he went on to lose to incumbent president George W Bush. The poll had listed Democrat candidate Kerry before Republican candidate Bush.
What can be done to prevent the primacy effect? One option is to randomise the ballot papers. The states of California and Ohio have both adopted this system. An equal number of ballot papers is issued with a different candidate at the top of the list. This spreads the benefit of the name-order effect across the candidates.
In 1996, Bill Clinton received 4% more votes in the regions of California that listed him first in the ballot papers than in those where he featured lower down the list.
Research by Robert Darcy of Oklahoma State University shows that, given the choice, most election officials tend to list their own party's candidates first.
In one famous example of this, Florida's rules meant that Republican governor Jeb Bush's brother George W Bush was placed at the top of the list of candidates in his state, in the 2000 presidential election.
Bush went on to win Florida - which turned out to be a decisive state - by a very narrow margin.
Image copyrightGetty ImagesImage caption George Bush was listed first in Florida in 2000 - the "butterfly ballot" used in Palm Beach (pictured) also led to arguments in court "Because of the fact that different states in the US order candidate names differently and idiosyncratically, and almost none of the states do what Ohio and California do which is to rotate candidate name order across ballots to be fair, we have unfortunately had at least two recent election outcomes that are the result of bias in the name ordering," says Krosnick.
"If all of those states had rotated name order fairly, most likely George W Bush would not have been elected president in 2000, nor would Donald Trump have been elected president in 2016."
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Thousands of furious Trump fans can't stop visiting a website that pretends Clinton won - The Washington Post
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 13:28
It's just over a month into Hillary Clinton's historic presidency, and Milo Yiannopoulos works as a Starbucks barista, the Koch brothers have fled the country and the first woman to occupy the Oval Office is the sober, exacting policy wonk that millions of Americans expected.
Her approval ratings are skyrocketing, her news conferences ''oppressively intelligent,'' ''boring'' and ''too sane.''
And her vanquished political opponent, Donald Trump, is on the verge of being charged with treason by the Department of Justice.
This liberal fantasy on steroids arrives courtesy of, a satirical news site designed to dive deeply under the skin of President Trump and anyone who supports him.
The site channels the Onion's humor, the National Enquirer's whacked-out headlines and the Huffington Post's progressive indignation. It's a parody-based parallel universe whose creator intended for it to serve as a trap for Trump supporters online, with a mocking masthead that says: ''President Hillary Rodham Clinton.''
In recent days, Breitbart, Fox News, Yiannopoulos and the Daily Caller singled out the site as ''fake news'' and a place for liberals to seek ''refuge from reality.''
The site's founder '-- a 30-year-old East Coast writer who asked spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of becoming a conservative target in real life '-- told The Washington Post that her conservative critics are partially correct: Hillarybeattrump is meant to serve as a refuge from reality for liberals.
But mostly, she said, it's a chance to troll the opposition whose party actually won the presidency.
''I wanted it to be a joyful middle finger,'' the site's founder said when reached by phone. ''I didn't want to wallow or argue with people who can't be argued with. There's something about humor as confrontation that I instinctively thought would work '-- like a good right jab that I could keep using.''
[In the Chappaqua woods, a search for Hillary Clinton]
The joke, it would seem, is not hard to get, even when the joke is just barely a joke. Using humor as protest, the site operates according to the plainly stated position that Clinton is, in fact, the 45th president of the United States.
''In the midst of a Constitutional crisis, this is our response,'' the site's ''About Us'' page states. ''Long live the true president, Hillary Rodham Clinton.''
In her first public comments since President Trump's inauguration, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton says women are the future in a video message for the 2017 MAKERS Conference. (Reuters)
How does she respond to critics who accuse her of perpetuating fake news?
''I empathize with people who feel frustrated that things they see on Facebook do not reflect reality as they see it,'' she said. ''But no, I don't think anyone can accuse me of misinforming the public en masse or undermining the collective intelligence of public's political discourse by writing fake news that is so obviously satire.''
She decided to launch the site in January as a defense of Clinton's legacy and now has five other writers providing additional content. Although fake, the stories often highlight Clinton's actual policy positions, such as raising the federal minimum wage and guaranteeing paid maternity and paternity leave.
The site also serves to remind Trump supporters that the actual president lost the popular vote to the fake president by enough voters to populate the city of Chicago '-- a fact Trump has falsely attributed to voter fraud.
['We actually elected a meme as president': How 4chan celebrated Trump's victory]
If her bulging inbox of violent and misogynistic hate mail is any indication, the bait appears to be working with some unsettling results. Since was picked up on the conservative-media radar, the site's creator says it's been getting about 200,000 visitors per day '-- enough to keep her busy deleting angry emails for a solid hour each night.
In recent days, she said, news about the site bubbled up on 4chan and various subreddits before appearing on the Daily Caller and then Breitbart and Fox News. The entire journey from the fringes of the conservative map to the news spotlight took about 12 hours, she said.
Now, as if on cue, the furious email stream gushes any time she publishes a post that identifies Clinton as president.
''You can always find your paradise in heaven,'' one reader said in an email the site's founder shared with The Post. ''Its just one bullet away.''
''I know in your fake world she won but in the real world she did not,'' another reader said. ''To the people who made this Web page go get a real job like the rest of real Americans.''
''Your dad must have abused you while mom watched, right?'' another reader added. ''YES Liberalism IS A METAL DISORDER and YOU ARE POOF!''
The founder said the vitriolic reaction says less about her content than it does about her new readers.
''I think it has to be a deep sense of insecurity, and I think they also can't abide by dissent,'' she said.
''I've been amazed by how willfully determined they are not to get the joke,'' she added.
[For the 'new yellow journalists,' opportunity comes in clicks and bucks]
Browsing the site, the notion of Clinton as commander in chief can feel temporarily real.
Headlines regularly note the first female president's skyrocketing approval ratings (89 percent, according to one recent bulletin), new executive orders furthering liberal causes and grammatically correct tweets.
Conservative media has blasted the headlines as a sort of pathetic alternative reality for bitter liberal snowflakes.
Breitbart referred to the site as ''the ultimate safe space'' and said it offered Clinton supporters a place they can ''pretend.''
''The website's tagline is 'News From The Real America, Where The Majority Rules'' '-- a reference, of course, to the oft-cited notion that the popular vote actually means something,'' a story on Yiannopoulos's blog said.
The site's founder seems to revel in the attention '-- albeit anonymously.
''For a lot of people who feel like an important chapter was stolen from feminist history by the Russians, by Julian Assange and by the FBI director, is restorative,'' she said.
She devotes about 35 hours a week to the site and said she plans to keep it going as long as she can summon the energy, though she's not making any money and considers it ''a labor of love.'' Because Clinton offered decades of detailed policy prescriptions, many of which will remain at the center of political discourse for years, she'll have no shortage of material to work with moving forward, she said.
If's audience keeps growing, through hate clicks or otherwise, the site's founder might launch a YouTube spinoff '-- perhaps a nightly newscast with headlines from Clinton's first term in office.
Along the way, of course, she plans to continue to remind her readers that she believes the wrong person is in the White House, she said.
''I'm unwilling to concede the legitimacy of this president,'' she said. ''I will continue to gleefully, sadistically emphasize Clinton's landslide victory in the popular vote on the site to underline the point that this Trump fellow has no business being president.''
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A Day Without a Woman '-- Women's March on Washington
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 14:45
The Women's March supports the feminists of color and grassroots groups organizing the International Women's Strike on International Women's Day, March 8th, 2017. In the same spirit of love and liberation that inspired the Women's March, together we will mark the day by recognizing the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system--while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity.
Anyone, anywhere, can join by making March 8th A Day Without a Woman, in one or all of the following ways:
Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A WomanThe Women's March celebrates the labor the International Women's Strike organizers and others in planning global actions. We are also inspired by recent courageous actions like the "Bodega strike" lead by Yemeni immigrant store owners in New York City and the Day Without Immigrants across the U.S. We applaud the efforts of #GrabYourWallet and others to bring public accountability to unethical corporate practices. As we mark A Day Without a Woman, we do so in support and solidarity of these and all efforts for equity, justice and human rights.
When millions of us stood together in January, we saw clearly that our army of love greatly outnumbers that of fear, greed and hatred. Let's raise our voices together again, to say that women's rights are human rights, regardless of a woman's race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability.
Recognizing the multiple, intersecting identities of women, we support and admire these efforts:
CLICK HERE for some graphics you can share as you partake in these actions!
Women line up to get 'she persisted' tattoo -
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 14:49
Writer Nora McInerny accidentally ignited the movement when she created a Facebook event set to public rather than private. She knew a few friends who were interested in the tattoo, and thought it would be fun to get them together. Within a few days, 1,900 people said they were interested.Brass Knuckle was shocked by the turnout.
"There were already people lining up at 11 even though it started at 3," Shawn Phelps, owner of the studio, told CNN.
Graphic designer Chelsea Brink designed the phrase in three different variations, and three artists came in on their off day. There were about 150 people in line, but the artists had to stop after tattooing 70."The three of us tattooed people from 3 p.m. until midnight, and then we couldn't do anymore," Phelps said. "We were running out of supplies."
Hundreds of people have expressed interest in the tattoo since the event. "Yesterday the phone rang so much that it killed the battery," Phelps said, laughing.
Making a difference locally
The event raised more than $4,000 for Women Winning, which supports the election of pro-choice women of all political parties to all levels of public office. The tattoos cost $75, but the studio says it only kept $20 to cover the cost of supplies. The rest was donated."It was amazing and gratifying to see so many women gathered to support our mission of electing pro-choice women here in Minnesota," Lauren Beecham, executive director of Women Winning, told CNN. "We knew there were many interested on social media but we were floored by the incredible outpouring of support -- which only mirrors the energy and passion we've seen since the election."
Graphic designer Chelsea Brink designed the tattoo.
Brink is willing to share her art with anyone who wants it, under the condition that they make a donation to a woman's rights organization in exchange.
"The whole point was not just to get a tattoo but to make it an active way to get involved and make a difference in our community," Brink told CNN.
"It was pretty amazing to watch and be a part of it," Phelps said. "It ended up being such a movement that I've never seen before. It was incredible."
About that line
"She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted."
The line was delivered by McConnell after Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren read a letter written 30 years ago by Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., opposing the nomination of Jeff Sessions for a federal judgeship.Republicans accused Warren of violating Senate rules against impugning another senator, which was upheld by a vote.Democrats across the country immediately re-purposed the line as a battle cry in the form of T-shirts, phone cases, and the hashtag #LetLizSpeak. Just weeks after the historic Woman's March took place worldwide, women took to Twitter to share their stories of 'persisting' through sexism.As for the comments already piling up regarding the tattoos, McInerny isn't bothered. "This is not a tattoo for myself," she said. "It is for every woman I know or don't know. People have taken this as some sort of personal affront when it isn't. It feels personally important to have these little reminders."
Gender Ideology Harms Children | American College of Pediatricians
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 15:03
Updated January 2017
The American College of Pediatricians urges healthcare professionals, educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex. Facts '' not ideology '' determine reality.
1. Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait: ''XY'' and ''XX'' are genetic markers of male and female, respectively '' not genetic markers of a disorder. The norm for human design is to be conceived either male or female. Human sexuality is binary by design with the obvious purpose being the reproduction and flourishing of our species. This principle is self-evident. The exceedingly rare disorders of sex development (DSDs), including but not limited to testicular feminization and congenital adrenal hyperplasia, are all medically identifiable deviations from the sexual binary norm, and are rightly recognized as disorders of human design. Individuals with DSDs (also referred to as ''intersex'') do not constitute a third sex.1
2. No one is born with a gender. Everyone is born with a biological sex. Gender (an awareness and sense of oneself as male or female) is a sociological and psychological concept; not an objective biological one. No one is born with an awareness of themselves as male or female; this awareness develops over time and, like all developmental processes, may be derailed by a child's subjective perceptions, relationships, and adverse experiences from infancy forward. People who identify as ''feeling like the opposite sex'' or ''somewhere in between'' do not comprise a third sex. They remain biological men or biological women.2,3,4
3. A person's belief that he or she is something they are not is, at best, a sign of confused thinking. When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such. These children suffer from gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria (GD), formerly listed as Gender Identity Disorder (GID), is a recognized mental disorder in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-V).5 The psychodynamic and social learning theories of GD/GID have never been disproved.2,4,5
4. Puberty is not a disease and puberty-blocking hormones can be dangerous. Reversible or not, puberty- blocking hormones induce a state of disease '' the absence of puberty '' and inhibit growth and fertility in a previously biologically healthy child.6
5. According to the DSM-V, as many as 98% of gender confused boys and 88% of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty.5
6. Pre-pubertal children who use puberty blockers to impersonate the opposite sex will require cross-sex hormones in late adolescence. This combination leads to permanent sterility. These children will never be able to conceive any genetically related children even via artificial reproductive technology. In addition, cross-sex hormones (testosterone and estrogen) are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to cardiac disease, high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.7,8,9,10,11
7. Rates of suicide are nearly twenty times greater among adults who use cross-sex hormones and undergo sex reassignment surgery, even in Sweden which is among the most LGBTQ '' affirming countries.12 What compassionate and reasonable person would condemn young children to this fate knowing that after puberty as many as 88% of girls and 98% of boys will eventually accept reality and achieve a state of mental and physical health?
8. Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse. Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to ''gender clinics'' where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs. This, in turn, virtually ensures they will ''choose'' a lifetime of carcinogenic and otherwise toxic cross-sex hormones, and likely consider unnecessary surgical mutilation of their healthy body parts as young adults.
Michelle A. Cretella, M.D.President of the American College of Pediatricians
Quentin Van Meter, M.D.Vice President of the American College of PediatriciansPediatric Endocrinologist
Paul McHugh, M.D.University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital
Originally published March 2016Updated August 2016Updated January 2017
CLARIFICATIONS in response to FAQs regarding points 3 & 5:
Regarding Point 3: ''Where does the APA or DSM-V indicate that Gender Dysphoria is a mental disorder?''
The APA (American Psychiatric Association) is the author of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition(DSM-V). The APA states that those distressed and impaired by their GD meet the definition of a disorder. The College is unaware of any medical literature that documents a gender dysphoric child seeking puberty blocking hormones who is not significantly distressed by the thought of passing through the normal and healthful process of puberty.From the DSM-V fact sheet:
''The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition.''''This condition causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.''
Regarding Point 5: ''Where does the DSM-V list rates of resolution for Gender Dysphoria?''
On page 455 of the DSM-V under ''Gender Dysphoria without a disorder of sex development'' it states: ''Rates of persistence of gender dysphoria from childhood into adolescence or adulthood vary. In natal males, persistence has ranged from 2.2% to 30%. In natal females, persistence has ranged from 12% to 50%.'' Simple math allows one to calculate that for natal boys: resolution occurs in as many as 100% '' 2.2% = 97.8% (approx. 98% of gender-confused boys) Similarly, for natal girls: resolution occurs in as many as 100% '' 12% = 88% gender-confused girls
The bottom line is this: Our opponents advocate a new scientifically baseless standard of care for children with a psychological condition (GD) that would otherwise resolve after puberty for the vast majority of patients concerned. Specifically, they advise: affirmation of children's thoughts which are contrary to physical reality; the chemical castration of these children prior to puberty with GnRH agonists (puberty blockers which cause infertility, stunted growth, low bone density, and an unknown impact upon their brain development), and, finally, the permanent sterilization of these children prior to age 18 via cross-sex hormones. There is an obvious self-fulfilling nature to encouraging young GD children to impersonate the opposite sex and then institute pubertal suppression. If a boy who questions whether or not he is a boy (who is meant to grow into a man) is treated as a girl, then has his natural pubertal progression to manhood suppressed, have we not set in motion an inevitable outcome? All of his same sex peers develop into young men, his opposite sex friends develop into young women, but he remains a pre-pubertal boy. He will be left psychosocially isolated and alone. He will be left with the psychological impression that something is wrong. He will be less able to identify with his same sex peers and being male, and thus be more likely to self identify as ''non-male'' or female. Moreover, neuroscience reveals that the pre-frontal cortex of the brain which is responsible for judgment and risk assessment is not mature until the mid-twenties. Never has it been more scientifically clear that children and adolescents are incapable of making informed decisions regarding permanent, irreversible and life-altering medical interventions. For this reason, the College maintains it is abusive to promote this ideology, first and foremost for the well-being of the gender dysphoric children themselves, and secondly, for all of their non-gender-discordant peers, many of whom will subsequently question their own gender identity, and face violations of their right to bodily privacy and safety.
For more information, please visit this page on the College website concerning sexuality and gender issues.
A PDF version of this page can be downloaded here: Gender Ideology Harms Children
1. Consortium on the Management of Disorders of Sex Development, ''Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Disorders of Sex Development in Childhood.'' Intersex Society of North America, March 25, 2006. Accessed 3/20/16 from
2. Zucker, Kenneth J. and Bradley Susan J. ''Gender Identity and Psychosexual Disorders.'' FOCUS: The Journal of Lifelong Learning in Psychiatry. Vol. III, No. 4, Fall 2005 (598-617).
3. Whitehead, Neil W. ''Is Transsexuality biologically determined?'' Triple Helix (UK), Autumn 2000, p6-8. accessed 3/20/16 from; see also Whitehead, Neil W. ''Twin Studies of Transsexuals [Reveals Discordance]'' accessed 3/20/16 from
4. Jeffreys, Sheila. Gender Hurts: A Feminist Analysis of the Politics of Transgenderism. Routledge, New York, 2014 (pp.1-35).
5. American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013 (451-459). See page 455 re: rates of persistence of gender dysphoria.
6. Hembree, WC, et al. Endocrine treatment of transsexual persons: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009;94:3132-3154.
7. Olson-Kennedy, J and Forcier, M. ''Overview of the management of gender nonconformity in children and adolescents.'' UpToDate November 4, 2015. Accessed 3.20.16 from
8. Moore, E., Wisniewski, & Dobs, A. ''Endocrine treatment of transsexual people: A review of treatment regimens, outcomes, and adverse effects.'' The Journal of Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2003; 88(9), pp3467-3473.
9. FDA Drug Safety Communication issued for Testosterone products accessed 3.20.16:
10. World Health Organization Classification of Estrogen as a Class I Carcinogen:
11. Eyler AE, Pang SC, Clark A. LGBT assisted reproduction: current practice and future possibilities. LGBT Health 2014;1(3):151-156.
12. Dhejne, C, ''Long-Term Follow-Up of Transsexual Persons Undergoing Sex Reassignment Surgery: Cohort Study in Sweden.'' PLoS ONE, 2011; 6(2). Affiliation: Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Division of Psychiatry, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Accessed 3.20.16 from
UMich students demand no-whites-allowed space to plot 'social justice' activism - The College Fix
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:00
UMich students demand no-whites-allowed space to plot 'social justice' activism
A student activist group at the University of Michigan is demanding campus officials provide them with ''a permanent designated space on central campus for Black students and students of color to organize and do social justice work.''
The demand is one of several lodged by ''Students4Justice,'' who this month ratcheted up campusdemonstrations to pressure administrators to cave, complaining in a newly launched petition that President Mark Schlissel has snubbed their demands.
The clamor for a segregated space for students of color to organize social justice efforts comes even as the public university builds a $10 million center for black students and others in the center of campus.
The new center is considered a ''multicultural'' one open to all students, but is under construction at the behest of a student group called Being Black at the University of Michigan, whose members complained that black students are marginalized because the original multicultural center they use is located on the outskirts of campus.
In their demands, students explain why the new multicultural student center is not enough, ''because we want a space solely dedicated to community organizing and social justice work specifically for people of color.''
''We want documentation of past, current, and future student activism and this should be a permanent space that is staffed, and has resources for students to organize and share resources,'' the demand letter states.
Leaders of ''Students4Justice'' did not respond to requests from The College Fix seeking comment. Campus spokesman Rick Fitzgerald told The Fix that at ''this point, our colleagues in Student Life have been working with the Students4Justice leaders to better understand their concerns. This is our normal process.''
The demands caught the attention of the Michigan Review, an independent student news outlet which first reported on the issue '-- and criticized it.
''The same organization that criticizes the University for failing to create 'an environment that engages in diversity, equity and inclusion,' is calling upon the University to undermine these ideals by facilitating a sort of de facto segregation? One where space and resources are designated for students based solely on the color of their skin?'' the Review wrote.
''To advocate for the ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion, while simultaneously calling upon the University to sanction these spaces on campus is both unprincipled and laughably regressive,'' it added.
The demands were first presented last fall, but an updated version was refiled with administrators in late January after a series of incidents deemed racist, according to the demand letter.
This list of demands also call for more support for ''marginalized'' students ''when oppressive attacks occur,'' increasing the affirmative action of ''Black, Arab, and other PoC'' in tenured faculty, more readily alerting students on campus of ''bias incidents,'' and offering more financial aid for those of lower socioeconomic status.
Students4Justice bemoan what they perceive as a lack of action from campus leadership to these demands. In addition to the petition, earlier this month they held a sit-in, as well as a silent protest when prospective students visited campus.
''Our president has blatantly ignored us and it is time for us to speak up. We have been told that our demands are 'rude,''' the group states on Facebook in announcing its petition. ''We are calling on someone to care about students' concerns and to lead us with integrity and help us fight against the oppression and hateful acts that try to destroy us and our community.''
Editor's Note:An update to this article clarifies that the new student center under construction is not only for black students, but is a ''multicultural'' one open to all students.
MORE: Black students demand segregated spaces from white students
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Richard Spencer, White Nationalist, Kicked Out Of CPAC 2017 : NPR
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:44
Reporters surround white nationalist Richard Spencer on Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Imageshide caption
toggle captionChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesReporters surround white nationalist Richard Spencer on Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesRichard Spencer, a white nationalist, was kicked out of the hotel where the Conservative Political Action Conference is taking place, a CPAC spokesman confirmed to NPR.
Spencer was spotted in the lobby of the Gaylord National Resort outside Washington, D.C., talking with reporters. That's when CPAC officials were alerted to Spencer's presence.
"His views are repugnant and have absolutely nothing to do with conservatism or what we do here," said CPAC spokesman Ian Walters.
Spencer purchased a general admission pass Thursday morning, Walters said.
"He's anti-free markets, anti-Constitution, anti-pluralism," Walters added. "This was one bad egg who bought a ticket."
He described the alt-right and Spencer's views as "vile," "venomous," "horrible" and "repulsive."
CPAC is trying to send a message that it wants nothing to do with the so-called alt-right, a white nationalist movement that latched on to Donald Trump's rise. The president's chief strategist in the White House, Steve Bannon, ran Breitbart, which he called a "platform for the alt-right." Bannon and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus are speaking at CPAC Thursday afternoon.
CPAC also invited then disinvited Milo Yiannopoulos, a former Breitbart editor with controversial views, after video surfaced of him seeming to endorse pedophilia.
Dan Schneider, executive director of the American Conservative Union, which runs CPAC, spoke out forcefully against the alt-right at an earlier event.
"CPAC, we have been slapped in the face," Schneider said. "There is a sinister organization that is trying to worm its way in, into our ranks."
The alt-right, which "had been used for a long time in a very good and normal way," had been "hijacked [by a] hate-filled, left-wing fascist group," Schneider said. "We must not allow them to be normalized. They are not part of us."
Walters noted, "It's not even close to even being somewhat representative of what goes on here. And everyone here is in agreement."
He noted that Schneider's speech was a deliberate addition to a four-part series of speeches here on conservatism.
Words Matter
Pentagon: Out with 'ISIL,' in with 'ISIS' - ABC News
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 13:29
The change of U.S. administrations has produced a change of terminology in the war against the Islamic State group.
Out goes the name preferred by the Obama administration: the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.
In comes the name favored by President Donald Trump: the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.
A Feb. 13 memo from the office of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the switch to "ISIS" makes the Pentagon "consistent with" Trump's language in a Jan. 28 directive in which he called for a new plan to defeat the extremist group.
When the Islamic State group swept east from Syria to grab large swaths of Iraqi territory in 2014, the world was divided over how to refer to the extremist group, which traces its roots to al-Qaida in Iraq, which declared an Islamic State of Iraq in 2006. In 2013 the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, renamed it the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.
Al-Sham is an archaic word for a vaguely defined territory that includes what is now Syria, Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan. It is most often translated as either Syria '-- in the sense of a greater Syria that no longer exists '-- or as the Levant, the closest English term for the territory it describes and the term preferred by the Obama administration.
Al-Baghdadi later shortened the name to Islamic State, declaring that the territory under his control would be a caliphate, or Islamic state.
In English, the group's name was most commonly translated as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The Associated Press refers to it as the Islamic State group '-- to distinguish it from an internationally recognized state '-- or IS for short.
In Iraq and other Arab countries opposed to IS the group is usually called Daesh, an Arabic acronym corresponding to ISIS. The term has a mocking tone and is insulting to IS because it diminishes its claim to have revived the Islamic caliphate. It is also close to the words "dahesh" and "da'es," meaning "one who tramples," making it fodder for puns.
America's Willing Helper: Intelligence Scandal Puts Merkel in Tight Place - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 01:22
July 14, 2013 was an overcast day. The German chancellor was reclining in a red armchair across from two television hosts with the country's primary public broadcaster. With Berlin's Spree River flowing behind her, Angela Merkel gave her traditional summer television interview. The discussion focused in part on the unbridled drive of America's NSA intelligence service to collect as much information as possible. Edward Snowden's initial revelations had been published just one month earlier, but by the time of the interview, the chancellor had already dispatched her interior minister to Washington. Having taken action to confront the issue, Merkel was in high spirits.
Merkel's interviewers wanted to know exactly what data had been targeted in Germany. Reports had been making the rounds, they reminded her, of "economic espionage." Merkel sat quietly. "So, on that," she said, "the German interior minister was clearly told that there is no industrial espionage against German companies."
Only a few hundred meters away from the red armchair, though, more was known. In Merkel's Chancellery, staff had long been aware that the information provided by the United States wasn't true.
By 2010 at the latest, the Chancellery had received indications that the NSA had attempted to spy on European firms, including EADS, the European aerospace and defense company that is partly owned by German shareholders. They also knew that the Americans were seeking to join forces with Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), in their spying efforts. It would be astonishing if Merkel herself had not known about these occurrences long before she sat down for the interview. Indeed, she would look even worse had she not known.
Total Failure
Officially, the chancellor is in charge of oversight of foreign intelligence and Merkel has an entire department in the Chancellery responsible for formulating the BND's assignments, managing them and, most importantly, keeping an eye on the agency. But the Chancellery wasn't just sloppy in exercising this oversight. It failed completely. As such, the scandal surrounding NSA spying, and the evident cooperation between the BND and the NSA, is an affair for Chancellor Merkel, as well.
An online report by SPIEGEL triggered the latest intelligence service scandal a week ago Thursday. SPIEGEL reported that the NSA had made massive efforts to target and spy on German and European targets using BND facilities. Despite having had indications for years, the Chancellery had essentially done nothing to stop it.
The scope of the affair became increasingly apparent over the past week. It now appears that the NSA, via its cooperation with the BND, didn't just spy on companies, but also on politicians and institutions in Europe. The conclusion can be drawn from search criteria the Americans supplied to their German partners. The German Federal Prosecutor's Office is now reviewing whether there is "initial evidence for a criminal offense that would fall under our jurisdiction." Within the federal public prosecutor's jurisdiction is the prosecution of crimes relating to espionage and treason.
Reporting by SPIEGEL has now found that the BND's willingness to cooperate was even greater than previously known. In the top secret operation Monkeyshoulder, the BND also planned a partnership with Britain's GCHQ intelligence service in a program that involved the NSA's participation as well. In the beginning, even the Chancellery was kept in the dark about the dubious partnership.
A further suspicion has also emerged in recent days, raising questions about whether the US targeted Chancellery staff in Berlin or spied on journalists.
Thus far, those who may ultimately be responsible have merely let their spokespersons do the talking. But the affair nevertheless has the potential to become a major scandal. In order to protect Germany from terrorist attacks, the American intelligence services were permitted to scoop up millions of data sets from German territory -- with the BND's help and without any real political oversight.
Questions for Merkel
The chancellor now faces questions about how these actions can be reconciled with her oath of office. What is being done to ensure that German law is respected? Are German interests betrayed when American intelligence services are able to spy on German companies -- or at least attempt to -- with impunity? What has gone wrong in a country whose own intelligence services simply look away or even provide their support as this happens? And what about the damage the latest scandal has done to relations between Germany and its neighbors? Is having good relations with the Americans more important than maintaining the trust of European partners?
To better understand how an agency can begin writing its own rules, even in a system robustly outfitted with laws and regulations, it helps to look back at what happened on Oct. 23, 2001.
On that day, German Interior Minister Otto Schily found himself seated in a conference room in Washington, DC next to US Attorney General John Ashcroft. The subject of the meeting was the terrorist attacks that had taken place six weeks earlier in New York and Washington. Ashcroft said that three of the pilots and three of their accomplices had lived in Hamburg. It was a simple statement of fact, but it was also a resounding slap in the face. Later, a US investigative committee concluded that Germany shared responsibility for failing to prevent the attacks.
A New Era for German Intelligence
Then-German Chancellor Gerhard Schr¶der quickly promised the Americans "unconditional solidarity." For German intelligence agencies, it marked the beginning of a new era. Authority for their work was no longer Berlin's exclusive domain. Washington had a say too.
It also transformed the relationship the German government had with its secret services. The BND, which is based near Munich, became much more independent of the government, and officials in Berlin did nothing to stop it.
Michael Hayden, who served as the head of the NSA at the time, says he undertook an intensive effort to develop strong relations with the BND in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. "I didn't want to come across as an occupier," he says. "I wanted to increase our cooperation." He met with then-BND President August Hanning, who promoted the cooperation wherever possible.
The result was hundreds of US agents in Germany, monitoring terror suspects in places ranging from Hamburg to Wiesbaden. Very few of those agents had been registered by name with the German government in accordance with established rules. A former Chancellery staffer describes the German foreign intelligence service as the "CIA's and NSA's best branch office." Former NSA staffer Thomas Drake told SPIEGEL last summer that Germany had become "target nation No. 1."
But Germany has also profited from the powerful surveillance apparatus. Officials foiled a terrorist cell known as the Sauerland Group based on information provided by the United States. And so far, no major Islamist terror attack has taken place on German soil.
That could be one of the reasons that the BND and other services allowed the Americans to continue their activities, even after they had stumbled across clues about the extent of the spying. Those inside the Chancellery who were charged with oversight, many of whom had started their careers in intelligence, were similarly indifferent. It was a clique loyal to the intelligence services, a group receptive to the Americans' concerns and not open to external criticism. That continues to be the case today.
"In the eyes of the Americans, we were a US aircraft carrier in the middle of the Continent," says one high-ranking Berlin official.
Even if Germany had wanted greater distance, greater control and more autonomy, it would scarcely have been possible for the country to emancipate itself from the US. One reason for that is that the BND was slow to recognize the need to radically change its technological approach and its reconnaissance objectives. In order to keep pace in the digital revolution, the Germans had little choice but to rely on the NSA. An internal Chancellery paper states that the NSA offers the possibility "to catch up to developments in communications technology and to keep up with them in the long run."
Deep Dependence
This dependence prevented an open and honest discussion within the German government about the problems associated with the cooperation. In April 2002, a "Memorandum of Agreement" -- a six-page document with more than 70 pages of addendums -- laid the foundations for a new and particularly close level of cooperation. It included provisions for a new eavesdropping alliance and was intended to prevent Germans or Americans in Germany from being spied on. Data tapped from Europe was only to be used in instances of a clear terror threat. The partners provided mutual assurances that each would have oversight of the assignments. Over the years, however, it appears that the terms of the agreement were largely forgotten.
One of the American's best-performing listening posts in Europe was the antenna facility at Bad Aibling, which the US built and officially turned over to the BND in 2004. Secretly laid cables lead from the facility to the nearby Mangfall Barracks, where the BND has since covertly conducted large-scale monitoring of satellite communications.
The Americans set up their operations on the barracks property within view of the radomes. They built a large, black, windowless building connected to the NSA data network by fiber optic cable. The barracks is also home to the so-called Special US Liaison Activity Germany (SUSLAG), the liaison office between the NSA and the BND.
With the Americans' help, the BND, from Bad Aibling, has been intercepting huge numbers of signals from crisis regions around the world for more than 10 years now. Telephone calls, emails and text messages are all intercepted. The basis for this interception is, not least, search terms provided by the Americans, so-called selectors. New lists are downloaded from American servers each day, with a sum of 4.6 million such terms downloaded as of 2015. BND technicians then feed the selectors into the system for their colleagues at the NSA. The results are forwarded to the NSA.
A River of Data
A broad river of data flows through Bad Aibling each month. But, according to the BND, it is filtered so as to remove both German and American targets in accordance with the memorandum. Data from connections with the country code +49 and Internet addresses ending in ".de" is not supposed to fall into the Americans' hands. The only exceptions are if the data is believed to belong to serious criminals, like terrorists or arms smugglers.
In 2010, when the Chancellery was provided with evidence that the American hunger for data was larger than thought, Ernst Uhrlau had already been president of the BND for five years. During his first years in office, it looked publicly as though his agency had revised its policy of "unlimited solidarity." Those were the years in which America was showing its ugly side. Images of naked prisoners and torture were emerging from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the world was learning what it means to "waterboard" a person and the CIA was "rendering" people arbitrarily.
Uhrlau installed lawyers at the BND to review and address legal concerns about every operation, especially those involving the Americans. He also drastically reduced the number of joint operations.
Despite this new distance, the joint surveillance conducted by the BND and the NSA continued. Uhrlau, it seemed, didn't want to completely sever connections to the better equipped US. For their part, the Americans also knew how to take advantage of this trust for their purposes.
12,000 Active Selectors
The scope of the US espionage at the Bad Aibling listening station became clear in August 2013. After the Snowden revelations, the BND asked its staff to take a closer look at the search terms provided by the Americans. A specialist sat down at a computer and began combing the NSA's selector data using the abbreviations that are common in email addresses of diplomats, ambassadors and employees of German government authorities. He tested the abbreviations "diplo" and "bundesamt," or "federal office."
Even the search for these terms itself is telling, demonstrating as it does that the BND -- in the wake of the Snowden revelations -- suspected that the NSA may in fact have been ignoring all conventions and agreements and targeting Germans after all. The BND staffer also conducted a search with the abbreviation "gov," which is used as part of the email addresses of many European governments. He immediately was able to find the term in almost 12,000 active selectors, including a number of email addresses leading to high-ranking French diplomats. It was an explosive list, and it clearly violated the provisions of the 2002 Memorandum of Agreement. Email accounts for EU institutions and those of other European governments were also found in the US search terms, according to reports. At first, though, it appears no steps were taken to stop the searches. If it is true that BND President Schindler first learned about the results of the inquiry on March 12 of this year, that would mean that the Bad Aibling unit held on to its findings for quite some time.
Potential proof for this version is provided by a piece of correspondence that was as terse as it was explosive. On August 14, 2013, the BND staffer sent a message to the BND official in charge at Bad Aibling, with the initials R.U., about his finding. "What should I do with it?" he asked the official. The answer was: "Delete."
The fact that the US had also been using its cooperation with the BND to conduct electronic eavesdropping against European defense company EADS and its subsidiary Eurocopter had been known by the government internally since 2005. In January 2006, the satellite station in Bad Aibling cabled information about it for the first time to BND headquarters. In the message, the employee used the terms "EADS" and "Eurocopter," in addition to attaching an Excel spreadsheet with countless terms. Is it really plausible that the BND president at the time was never informed of the suspicion the message documented -- namely that the NSA was spying on companies and perhaps conducting industrial espionage? Or did it just wind up in a drawer somewhere in the BND's Signals Intelligence directorate?
Currently, it looks as though the explosive information only reached Angela Merkel's Chancellery four years later. The recipient was Guido M¼ller, the chief official in charge of the BND at the Chancellery's Department 6. Today he is the BND's vice president. The memo carried the subject line, "Status Report on Cooperation between (BND) Signals Intelligence and the NSA." The memo states clearly and in no uncertain terms: "The fact that the NSA continues to monitor German targets pursuant to US interests cannot be prevented." Although the report states that US specialists at the Joint Signit Activity (JSA) in Bad Aibling aren't pursuing that target, it does state, "However, the NSA did discontinue recognition criteria in 2005 for the firms EADS, Eurocopter and diverse French authorities at JSA." The document notes that the BND made the discovery that the search terms had been used and "subsequently stopped them."
The background to the surprise briefing was a visit made by the US leadership at Bad Aibling to Chancellor Merkel's intelligence coordinator, G¼nter Heiss, who had only been in office for a few months at the time of the meeting. During the following months, the information popped up several times, including in reference to a planned meeting between Heiss and then NSA chief Keith Alexander. Seven different memos included the warning, with the last one on Dec. 2, 2011.
But it appears that no one found it necessary to examine the telltale search terms in greater detail. Doing so would have provided a further opportunity to closely examine what the US was up to in Germany.
Far-Reaching Implications
If a report in the April 26 edition of the weekly Bild am Sonntag is true, then another incident several years ago should have made the Chancellery suspicious that US intelligence was, perhaps, monitoring the conversations of German government officials. In 2011, the paper reported, the top CIA official in Berlin told Chancellery officials that a senior Merkel staffer had been trying to plant "good stories" in the media. The newspaper reported that the CIA representative called a group leader in Department 6 a "suspected mole." The official was stripped of his duties a short time later and was supposed to get transferred to another ministry. After the staffer sued in a Berlin administrative court, he was allowed to remain in the Chancellery's intelligence division, although he was only entrusted with archival duties and was not allowed to attend sensitive meetings. Personnel matters at the time were handled by Merkel's then-chief of staff, Ronald Pofalla, and, in this instance, Department 6 unit leader G¼nter Heiss.
The report allows for several different scenarios for how the NSA got wind of the suspected Chancellery mole, all of which must certainly have been looked into by the Chancellery at the time. Was the NSA comprehensively monitoring conversations in Berlin's government quarter? Were the Americans targeting Chancellery staff? Or was US intelligence targeting specific German journalists? Any one of these scenarios would mean a scandal with far-reaching implications for the trans-Atlantic relationship.
In hindsight, in light of the revelations that the NSA monitored the Chancellor's mobile phone, anything seems possible. But even in 2011, well before the Snowden archive revealed the extent of NSA data collection, all of the warning lights in the Chancellery should have begun blinking. A list of questions sent to Merkel's staff by SPIEGEL had not yet been responded to by the time this article went to print. But the Chancellery will ultimately have to address the issue before the parliamentary investigative committee -- which is looking into the new allegations -- if not sooner.
The same holds true of the suspicious activities in Bad Aibling. The BND itself recently estimated there were up to 40,000 suspicious search parameters directed against European and German interests. Traces of those suspicious search parameters can also be found in the archive of whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The document in question is called "JSA Restrictions," and it originated with the British intelligence agency GCHQ. It says that the US-German surveillance unit known as Joint Sigint Activity possesses "unique access," but is subject to "several restrictions" when it comes to choosing surveillance targets.
Those restrictions preclude the monitoring of Germans in addition to citizens of any of the so-called Five Eyes partners, a reference to the intelligence agencies of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain. Furthermore, there could be no "European economic targeting" during spying and "sensitive" selectors such as Internet address endings for Germany, Austria and the Five Eyes countries were "not accepted".
A list follows, identifying companies "that should not be targeted due to them being German companies or entities." The names on the list are surprising. On the one hand, "European economic" targets were allegedly off limits anyway. On the other, the list only has 31 entries, making it surprisingly short.
Industrial Espionage?
It also seems a bit erratic. It includes the companies EADS and Eurocopter, both of which make a later appearance in the seven Chancellery memos. In other documents from the Snowden archive, the aerospace concern EADS, which is now called the Airbus Group, is even connected to a specific name together with a Saudi Arabian telephone number.
The EADS employee works in a sensitive department in the company: He is responsible for securing arms exports licenses for the company's defense division. Many such deals are top secret and are reviewed only by the Federal Security Council, a cabinet committee that is not under parliamentary supervision. The man is marked as a hit and as a potentially interesting new surveillance target.
Airbus head Tom Enders, who is very much pro-American, is vexed and extremely upset by the silence of the German government, says a high-ranking Airbus manager. He has demanded that Berlin address the accusations of industrial espionage and his company has filed a criminal complaint against persons unknown for industrial espionage.
It isn't difficult to see why Airbus, or EADS before it, might be of interest to foreign spies. It is the largest defense company in Europe and manufactures goods that compete with American firms -- with products like the Eurofighter, surveillance satellites and missiles for the French nuclear program. A few years ago, the company found itself in direct competition with Boeing for a $35 billion contract to supply the US Air Force with aerial refueling tanker aircraft.
Intense Competition
Outside the defense sector, Boeing and Airbus are also in intense competition for leadership in the civilian aircraft market. In both Europe and the US, the rivalry is also about prestige.
The list from the Snowden archive also lists other companies, including Siemens, the pharmaceuticals firm Boehringer-Ingelheim, Deutsche Bank and the telecommunications concern Debitel. The electronics company Rohde & Schwarz, which provides equipment to German intelligence agency BND, is also on the list, as are Mercedes-Benz, the jet engine manufacturer MTU and ND SatCom, which provides satellite communications. Two other entries of interest are Deutsche B¶rse subsidiary Clearstream, which provides security services from its headquarters in Luxembourg, and the logistics giant DHL.
The one thing the companies all have in common is that their company domains do not end with ".de," signifying a German web address, but ".com," ".org," or ".net." As such, they wouldn't be immediately recognized as German companies by automated filters, which perhaps explains why they are explicitly listed.
The question is whether the companies on the list are selectors that were sent by the Americans to the BND only to be rejected -- or whether the companies had been spied on for years before they were later removed from the target list. Were the companies on the list of 2,000 selectors discovered by the BND to have been contrary to German and European interests? Neither the German intelligence agency nor the Chancellery has provided an answer to that question.
Even without the benefit of the recent revelations, Merkel should have been well aware, when answering the public television interviewers' questions, that foreign intelligence agencies also perform industrial espionage. For most intelligence agencies, including those in France and the US, economic espionage is even explicitly mentioned as being one of their tasks.
'No Risk, No Fun'
Gerhard Schindler, head of the BND, is said to have learned of the full extent of the impermissible spying operations only on March 12. He immediately reported the transgressions to the Chancellery. One week later, Merkel's Chief of Staff Peter Altmaier, together with a large entourage, traveled to BND headquarters. It was clear that it wasn't just he who had a problem. Rather, the entire agency was in hot water.
Schindler is a man who enjoys confronting problems head on, though sometimes he lacks sensitivity. After he took over leadership of the BND three years ago, he demanded that the BND take "carefully calculated risks" more often. He then said: "No risk, no fun," a postscript that many saw as overly flippant. Schindler was, however, the right man to improve cooperation with the Americans, a partnership that had suffered under his predecessor Uhrlau.
Before making his first visit to the US in 2011, Schindler asked every department in the BND to provide three suggestions for possible joint operations with the Americans. It was a strategy that did in fact result in a more intensive cooperation, with Germany helping out in places, such as some crisis regions, where the NSA could only operate on a limited basis or not at all. In some cases, the BND and NSA also cooperated with a third country, with the Germans acting as intermediary. "We always became involved when the Americans were unable to make progress on their own," says an employee of a German intelligence agency.
On April 30, 2013, Schindler sent a delegation to NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. The BND officials were eager to present their ongoing surveillance programs in China, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen and North Korea. But the NSA also wanted to ask the Germans to propose "new areas of cooperation" in order to close gaps in global surveillance.
Similar motives had led Great Britain to earlier pursue greater cooperation with the Germans. In 2012, the British intelligence agency GCHQ, which is responsible for signals intelligence, made an offer to the BND to work together on the Internet hub in Frankfurt operated by Deutsche Telekom, Germany's leading telecommunications firm. GCHQ offered a sophisticated acquisition and processing system that would help the BND to finally solve its capacity problems. In exchange, GCHQ asked for the raw data from German transit data lines that originated in Russia and China, for example. Were a deal to be struck, Britain was also prepared to give the BND data from its foreign surveillance activities -- data that the Germans could normally not access for legal reasons.
It was to be a lucrative exchange allowing each intelligence agency to eliminate a blind spot. BND head Gerhard Schindler was highly interested, even putting a halt to an internal upgrade project known as "Packeis" in the hopes that cooperation with GCHQ would obviate the need for it. Instead, the joint operation Monkeyshoulder was launched.
Legal and Political Concerns
Within the BND, there were significant concerns, both legal and political, about the planned cooperation. If details of the deal somehow emerged, the media would have a field day, critics said. But BND leadership continued to push the project forward despite the complaints. It did, however, take the precaution of not informing anyone: not the Federal Office for Information Security nor the Chancellery, which has political oversight of the BND. The agency, it seems, discovered the allure of complete autonomy, and absolute secrecy was to be its protection.
Before the operation could really get going, it expanded: The Americans had gotten wind of it and offered their cooperation. The BND had nothing against welcoming its old partner on board -- and the resulting triumvirate may also explain the operation's name Monkeyshoulder, the name of a blend of three different single-malt whiskeys.
Starting in mid-2012, BND agents took part in several workshops to receive training in the technology used by the British. Those workshops took place at GCHQ stations in Scarborough and Bude, from where, according to documents from Edward Snowden, the British intelligence agency tapped into the underwater telecommunications cable TAT-14. But British agents also came to Germany to share their knowledge with their technically inferior partners.
One of the workshops took place in August 2013, two months after the initial Snowden revelations and after the German government had insisted that it knew nothing about American surveillance programs like Prism and Tempora. It was only that month that BND head Schindler put a stop to Monkeyshoulder. He apparently only then became cognizant of the sensitivity of the operation.
Apparently no oversight agency had learned of the operation by that time. Yet German intelligence agencies are considered to be well monitored -- at least that's what the heads of Germany's foreign, domestic and military intelligence agencies have often maintained. Indeed, three different parliamentary bodies keep an eye on the activities of Germany's roughly 10,500 spies. It isn't an easy task. The four members of the so-called G-10 Commission, for example, meet once a month with high-level intelligence officials in a surveillance-proof room in Berlin's official parliament building, the Reichstag. They are given piles of requests to initiate surveillance operations that they then have to rule on within the space of just a few hours.
In addition, the intelligence operations undertaken by the BND overseas are not legally regulated -- which the BND has interpreted as tacit permission to do as it pleases outside of Germany's borders. However, that may change soon. The German government has said it plans to introduce draft legislation before the summer parliamentary break.
Nine members of parliament are on the Parliamentary Control Panel. But they are almost entirely dependent on the good will of the intelligence agencies, which are required to notify the panel of "notable occurrences." But it is up to the agencies themselves to decide what classifies as a "notable occurrence."
Still, there is an entire department in the Chancellery whose job it is to keep tabs on the agencies. And in the wake of the NSA scandal, a state secretary was put in charge of monitoring the country's three biggest intelligence agencies. When Klaus-Dieter Fritsche was installed in the new office at the beginning of 2014, some observers criticized Chancellor Merkel, accusing her of only wanting to erect an additional buffer between herself and the intelligence agencies. Now, the downsides of the decision have become apparent.
Graphic: Oversight of the German foreign intelligence service
The blame game has long since begun in the German capital, as have efforts to determine who knew what and when and who misled which supervisory authority and when. Interior Minister Thomas de Maizi¨re has become entangled in inconsistencies. Chancellery head Peter Altmaier and several of his predecessors are under fire. And then there is BND chief Schindler. His agency offered up its services to the Americans, often with -- but also occasionally without -- permission from the Chancellery. Perhaps most importantly, though, the BND's decision to circumvent Chancellery oversight has made Angela Merkel, who has made a career of staying out of scandals, suddenly appear very vulnerable indeed.Trapped in Solidarity
The consequences of the BND's self-imposed dependence on the US have now become apparent. The BND appears as America's willing helper and Angela Merkel looks helpless, not knowing how to react. She appears trapped by her solidarity with the US.
Merkel is sparing in her use of terms like "raison d'etat. She uses it when referring to Germany's obligation to protect Israel, and she uses it to underline her commitment to keeping the euro zone together. But there is a third thing, something she calls her "maxim" when talking with her closest advisors: to do everything in her power, with the help of German intelligence agencies and the Americans, to prevent a terrorist attack on German soil. That is how she interprets her oath of office, she once said.
But that oath goes much further, and that has now become her problem. Protecting Germans from harm also means preventing German targets from being spied on, no matter who is doing the spying. Allowing a foreign power access to German data and secrets, silently acquiescing to the same, or declaring German companies to be a pawn in a larger game is tantamount to betraying German interests.
From this perspective, the situation in which Merkel now finds herself is remarkably similar to that of the BND itself. She willingly became dependent on the Americans, a position that is now radically limiting her options. That, in fact, goes a long way toward explaining the silence that has descended over political Berlin during the past week. Rarely have those responsible in the cabinet been so withdrawn.
The press statement released by the government in reaction to accusations that the BND had tolerated industrial espionage, by contrast, was unusually terse. Indeed, the chancellor herself read and approved the statements, which were withering in their rebuke of the BND.
A Turning Point for Merkel?
For now, the Social Democrats, Merkel's junior coalition partners, have benefited most from the affair. The party's reaction to the news of the BND's transgressions was swift and sharp. "What's happening here is scandalous," blustered SPD head Sigmar Gabriel. The system of checks and balances failed, added SPD General Secretary Yasmin Fahimi. The outrage was well coordinated, with party leaders agreeing over the course of several telephone conversations to not let the Chancellery off the hook this time. "The chancellor's shiny finish could certainly stand a bit of tarnishing," said one SPD leader.
The affair also presents party head Gabriel with an opportunity. As economics minister, he can now pose as the protector of companies that were perhaps the victims of espionage. More than that, he can once again revert to his favored role of a take-charge party leader who isn't afraid of going after the chancellor. Indeed, the SPD is beginning to feel something it hasn't in a long time: the conviction that it has the upper hand on an issue relative to Merkel's conservatives. Relative to a chancellor who has seemed so unassailable for so long.
It is, in fact, not wrong to say that the affair is the greatest challenge to Merkel that we have seen in some time. The chancellor has enjoyed Germany's trust for so long because voters have long believed that she is adequately protecting their interests and those of the country. But this scandal of the BND, NSA-spying, a lack of control and lying cabinet members could seriously shake the foundations of her power. It could indeed mark the turning point in her chancellorship.
Reported by Maik Baumg¤rtner, Nikolaus Blome, Matthias Gebauer, Hubert Gude, Frank Hornig, Martin Knobbe, Veit Medick, Gordon Repinski, Sven R¶bel, Marcel Rosenbach, J¶rg Schindler, Fidelius Schmid, Holger Stark and Gerald Traufetter
SPIEGEL Exclusive: Documents Indicate Germany Spied on Foreign Journalists - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 01:20
February 24, 2017 06:00 PMArnaud Zajtman, 44, is not exactly the kind of person you would mistake for a terrorist, weapons trader or drug dealer. The Belgian journalist has been reporting from Africa for almost 20 years, with a keen interest in Congo. For 10 years, he was stationed in Kinshasa as a correspondent, first for the BBC and then for the television broadcaster France 24. His stories focused on the forgotten children of Congo, on the battles fought by the rebels and on the country's first free elections since 1965.
In that election year, in September 2006, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency, took an interest in the journalist's work. Agents included Zajtman's two Congolese telephone numbers in the agency's surveillance list as so-called "selectors."
Zajtman knew nothing about it. German officials never informed him that his phone had been tapped, the journalist says. He was horrified when he was contacted by SPIEGEL regarding the alleged surveillance by the Germans. "It isn't a good feeling to know that somebody was listening in when you're dealing with highly sensitive sources."
The Belgian journalist isn't the only reporter who was spied on. According to documents seen by SPIEGEL, the BND conducted surveillance on at least 50 additional telephone numbers, fax numbers and email addresses belonging to journalists or newsrooms around the world in the years following 1999.
Included among them were more than a dozen connections belonging to the BBC, often to the offices of the international World Service. The documents indicate that the German intelligence agency didn't just tap into the phones of BBC correspondents in Afghanistan, but also targeted telephone and fax numbers at BBC headquarters in London.
State Meddling
A phone number belonging to the New York Times in Afghanistan was also on the BND list, as were several mobile and satellite numbers belonging to the news agency Reuters in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. The German spies also conducted surveillance on the independent Zimbabwean newspaper Daily News before dictator Robert Mugabe banned it for seven years in 2003. Other numbers on the list belonged to news agencies from Kuwait, Lebanon and India in addition to journalist associations in Nepal and Indonesia.
Journalists in Germany enjoy far-reaching protection against state meddling. They enjoy similar legal protection to lawyers, doctors and priests: occupations that require secrecy. Journalists have the right to refuse to testify in court in order to protect their sources. German law forbids the country's domestic intelligence agency from conducting surveillance on persons who have that right.
The German chapter of Reporters without Borders says that the BND's systematic surveillance of journalists is an "egregious attack on press freedoms" and "a new dimension of constitutional violation." Christian Mihr, head of the German chapter of Reporters without Borders, says that press freedom "is not a right granted by the graciousness of the German government, it is an inviolable human right that also applies to foreign journalists."
The allegations come as the German parliamentary investigative committee focusing on U.S. spying in Germany is completing its inquiry. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who appeared before the committee last Thursday, was the last witness called and now the committee members are working on their closing report. But even as the committee also addressed extensive BND spying, the surveillance of journalists was only a fringe issue.
Constitutional Challenge
Committee members, for example, referred in their questions to the scandal surrounding SPIEGEL reporter Susanne Koelbl, whose emails were read by the BND for a several-month period in 2006. Agency employees said at the time that their target had been the Afghan minister for industry and trade, with whom Koelbl was in contact. The journalist's emails, they insisted, had been inadvertently intercepted and the agency issued her an apology.
But the surveillance of journalists documented in the papers SPIEGEL has seen was almost certainly not inadvertent. The search terms used clearly targeted the journalists or the newsrooms whose contact information is on the BND list. The German intelligence agency declined to comment on the allegations. "Regarding operative aspects of its activities, the BND comments exclusively to the German government or the committee responsible in the German parliament," the BND press office stated.
Reporters without Borders is concerned that the BND will continue conducting surveillance on foreign journalists. And the new law governing the BND, which went into effect in January, won't change that. "What is missing from the new law is an exception for journalists of the kind that exists (in the law governing domestic intelligence)," says Mihr. And he is prepared to fight for it. Together with other journalist associations and under the leadership of the Society for Civil Rights, Reporters without Borders is preparing a constitutional challenge to the new BND law.
Wikileaks Exposes John McCain's Illegal Request for Campaign Cash From Russian Ambassador Who Suddenly Died Monday in NYC | True Pundit
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 13:25
FeaturedPoliticsThe John McCain Russian saga keeps getting more bizarre. Sen. John McCain as a presidential candidate in 2008 directly and illegally propositioned Vitaly Churkin, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, to donate to the McCain/Sarah Palin GOP ticket, according to documents released by Wikileaks.
Since the 2016 presidential election in Nov., Sen. McCain has accused Russia of hacking and meddling in U.S. politics and President Donald Trump's successful campaign. But ironically it was McCain himself who forced Russia to interfere in the 2008 presidential campaign by asking the ambassador and Russian embassy for a campaign contribution.
Adding intrigue to an already bizarre story, True Pundit recently contacted Russia's Permanent Mission (embassy) in New York for comment from Ambassador Churkin regarding McCain's unorthodox written request for money. By Tuesday, however, diplomatic staff reported Ambassador Churkin had died suddenly at the embassy late Monday. NBC News has framed the death as suspicious.
Nonetheless, at the time of McCain's presidential campaign, however, Churkin and the Russian government fired off a terse letter and official statement to the senior U.S. senator's request for thousands in cash to his campaign.
''We have received a letter from Senator John McCain requesting financial contribution to his Presidential campaign.
In this connection we would like to reiterate that Russian officials, the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations or the Russian Government do not finance political activity in foreign countries.''
Russian officials clearly understood that McCain's request was not legal per U.S. law which forbids foreign governments from contributing money or assistance to presidential campaigns and U.S. presidential candidates from seeking foreign donations. Apparently McCain didn't know this or simply ignored it before sending his Sept. 29th letter addressed directly and personally to Churkin at the Russian embassy on 67th Street in Manhattan.
McCain offered the Russians a chance to use any major credit card to donate $5,000 or even more. To be fair, McCain's letter reads much like a normal campaign fundraising letter seeking contributions and likely would have gone unnoticed except that Churkin was compelled to release an official statement from the Russian government rebuking the request, which in part read:
Contributions to McCain-Palin Victory 2008 (''Victory 2008'') are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Victory 2008 allocates contributions to the Republican National Committee (''RNC''), the state parties' federal accounts, and the McCain-Palin Compliance Fund (''Compliance Fund'') in conformity with federal limits. Unless a contribution would exceed federal limits or a contributor designates otherwise, Victory 2008 will divide contributions as follows:
For Individuals '' The first $28,500 will go to the RNC, the next portion will be divided evenly between the Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania state parties' federal accounts up to a maximum of $9,250 for each Committee, and the final $2,300 will go to the Compliance Fund.
The Russian response to McCain's campaign which was leaked to and verified by Wikileaks is below and at Wikileaks.
RELATED STORY: BUSTED: Open Borders Hero John McCain Lives in Exclusive $15 Million Remote Mountain Compound Surrounded by Water, Fences, RidgesRELATED STORY: EXCLUSIVE: White House Fingers John McCain As Media Leak; Believes U.S. Senator Eavesdropped on Trump's Classified Phone
'White Helmets': New Breed of Mercenaries and Propagandists, Disguised as 'Humanitarians' in Syria | Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 01:31
''The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.''- Malcolm X
After four and half years of relentless propaganda being flung around western mainstream media by propagandists, NGOs and Empire serving mouthpieces, one wonders how this stream of effluent still manages to stick to the consciences of the public it serves to deceive.
MEET THE WHITE HELMETS: Propaganda image designed to reinforce Washington's policy of 'regime change' in Syria.
Yesterday, a Facebook post caught our attention. A Palestinian person based in Gaza posted two photos of child victims in Syria. The photos were accompanied by the caption, ''The massacres of Assad regime in Syria #Douma''. The subsequent barrage of comments consisting of the usual plethora of outpouring against Syrian President Bashar al Assad and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) provoked us to investigate further.
What we discovered was a highly organised, western-centric propaganda ring'...
We discovered that both photos were taken by photographer Khaled Khatib, and were of ''reported'' Syrian Air Force 'barrel bomb' attacks, allegedly on unclassified areas of Aleppo. Bearing in mind, most of Khaled's photos on Google appear to be of the immediate aftermath of such an attack, and one wonders why he does not specify the specific area and exact time, offering a verified claim of the attack being from barrel bombs, rather than the rather non committal ''reported'' tag.
Further investigation revealed that in reality, Khaled Khatib works for and with the 'White Helmets' and his photos are used extensively by the well known EU-backed and UK-based, one man propaganda band, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The SOHR is actually Mr Rami Abdul Rahman, who runs this propaganda feed from his house in Coventry, UK, and who bases the majority of his information on Skype calls to Syria.
This information, however, is unilaterally used by the Axis of Interventionism [US, Europe in particular] to justify their proxy invasion of a sovereign nation and their clumsy, murderous 4 and half year-long attempt at the ''regime change'' of Syria's elected government, engendering, in the process, the widespread loss of civilian life in Syria at the hands of their proxy armies. More than any other single information source, the SOHR's propaganda dispatches are used to justify western policy of arming and supporting the multi-headed insurgency in Syria.
Thanks Eva Bartlett for the photo below:
The White Helmets are equally suspect. This is a quote from Rick Sterling's excellent article on the ''Highly Effective Manipulators'':
''White Helmets is the newly minted name for 'Syrian Civil Defence.' Despite the name, Syria Civil Defence was not created by Syrians nor does it serve Syria. Rather it was created by the UK and USA in 2013. Civilians from rebel controlled territory were paid to go to Turkey to receive some training in rescue operations. The program was managed by James Le Mesurier, a former British soldier and private contractor whose company is based in Dubai.''
''The trainees are said to be 'nonpartisan' but only work in rebel-controlled areas of Idlib (now controlled by Nusra/Al Queda) and Aleppo. There are widely divergent claims regarding the number of people trained by the White Helmets and the number of people rescued. The numbers are probably highly exaggerated especially since rebel-controlled territories have few civilians. A doctor who recently served in a rebel-controlled area of Aleppo described it as a ghost town. The White Helmets work primarily with the rebel group Jabat al Nusra (Al Queda in Syria). Video of the recent alleged chlorine gas attacks starts with the White Helmet logo and continues with the logo of Nusra. In reality, White Helmets is a small rescue team for Nusra/Al Queda.''
''But White Helmets primary function is propaganda. White Helmets demonizes the Assad government and encourages direct foreign intervention. A White Helmet leader wrote a recentWashington Post editorial. White Helmets are also very active on social media with presence on Twitter, Facebook etc. According to their website, to contact White Helmets email The Syria Campaign which undmgerscores the relationship.''
This illustration from Rick Sterling's article demonstrates clearly the role of White Helmets in justifying the No Fly Zone
Now lets have a look at Mr. Khaled Khatib and his role in this propaganda chain. He appears to be exclusively embedded in Aleppo. I have been unable to locate any photos by him that are not from this region [on google search]. The majority of his photos are taken between January and June 2014. Now bearing in mind the mounting evidence of the civilian casualties and fatalities as a result of the ''rebel'' hell cannon, mortars, and snipers in Aleppo, it should be surprising that not one of his images records the devastation and bloodshed caused by these wildly inaccurate and lethal weapons employed by the so called opposition cells positioned all over Aleppo.
Instead every photo and every statement from this propagandist focuses only on the Syrian Government's ''reported'' use of the legendary barrel bombs. ''There is great danger for civiliansfrom the Syrian army, the militias who are fighting with them, and ISIS,'' said Khaled Khatib, a photographer with the Aleppo branch of the Syrian Civil Defence, a volunteer rescue organization. ''But the weapon that kills the most Syrians '-- by 90 percent '-- is the barrel.''
We have demonstrated that the White Helmets are an integral part of the propaganda vanguard that ensures obscurantism of fact and propagation of Human Rights fiction that elicits the well-intentioned and self righteous response from a very cleverly duped public. A priority for these NGOs is to keep pushing the 'No Fly Zone' scenario which has already been seen to have disastrous implications for innocent civilians in Libya, for example.
Khaled Khatib is quoted by the Guardian as being reserved on the 'No Fly Zone', but vehement in calls for a radar or ''early warning'' system that will ensure that ''civilians'' can flee areas that are about to be bombed by the Syrian Government forces. Lets just examine this statement, echoed by The Syria Campaign director, James Sadri: ''If we could only get warning that the planes were coming, we could warn families, tell people to run from the markets, get the children out of the schools, let the medical centers know so that they can take cover,'' Khatib said. ''Every airport in the world has this technology '' it is common, it is civilian. Why can't they share it with us?''
Hmmm so, this makes an assumption, regularly echoed by the HRW brigades like Annie Sparrow and Ken Roth '' who have become increasingly rabid in their barrel bomb narrative, that the Syrian Government is going to deliberately target civilian areas like hospitals and schools. This seems absurd when one takes into account that most families in Syria have family members in the Syrian forces combating foreign proxy armies made up of terrorists and mercenaries. To suggest that these forces would be turned against their own families is delusional if not downright criminal and inhumane. Therefore we must assume that the Syrian forces are quite rightly targeting embedded terrorist cells, cells that are nested within civilian areas. We know that Aleppo has shrunk to one fifth of its size thanks to the infiltration of many areas by these mercenary fighters. This infiltration has driven many civilians into safe pockets within Aleppo away from terrorist strongholds. The SAA is marooned on the Acropolis Hill in the strategic centre of the Old Citadel in Aleppo and is surrounded on all sides by ''rebel'' encampments.
With this information in mind, we must ask the question, who would benefit most from this early warning system '' the civilians or the ''rebels''?
I have created a collage of the most dramatic of Khaled Khatib's images, many of which are credited to AFP and Getty Images so we know they will be extensively used by the mainstream media to convey the ''situation'' in Syria. I will in no way detract from the very real suffering of the people of Syria caught up in a war not of their making and fuelled by Western arming, funding and logistic support for the ''opposition'' to the Government that is steadfastly resisting their interventionism.
MONTAGE: Khaled Khatib's images taken in Aleppo Jan '' June 2014. All ''reportedly'' of 'barrel bomb' attacks.
However, I would ask anyone to view these photos with an impartial eye and to appreciate their importance as a propaganda tool. We know that Al Jazeera, for example has fabricated evidence before now and used artistic license to ''create'' images that pull on our heart strings. Even the BBC, the erstwhile reputed bastion of British media integrity has been caught out lying and deceiving on a terrifying scale when it comes to Syria. I leave it up to you, but here are some of Khaled's images (graphic).
The final point that I would like to make is that during my investigation I noticed one important fact. Even when a report is written about an ISIS atrocity, we often will see Khaled Khatib's photograph accompanying that report. I will give you an example. In March 2014, The Daily Star [Lebanon] reported on horrific mass executions carried out by ISIS throughout Syria, including Aleppo. ISIL jihadists conduct 'mass executions' in Syria: UN probe. Despite this article describing the hideous killings and torture of civilians by ISIS, the caption on the accompanying photo by KK reads '' The bodies of two children lie in the rubble of a residential building targeted by [yes you guessed it] barrel bombs launched by ''regime'' forces.
My marketing background alerts me to this insidious form of subliminal ''advertising'' that will ensure that the public psyche absorbs the message of ''regime'' atrocities in preference to the information regarding ISIS depravity. A brief check on other mainstream media reports demonstrates that this is not an isolated case. Some may argue that the media outlets have simply made a ''mistake,'' I would refute that argument..once maybe, ten times, twenty times is no coincidence.
Tim Anderson explains ''war porn''.
Author Vanessa Beeley is a contributor to 21WIRE, and since 2011, she has spent most of her time in the Middle East reporting on events there '' as a photographer, writer, and peace activist,and a member of the Steering Committee of the Syria Solidarity Movement, and a volunteer with the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine. See more of her work at her blog Will The Fall.
Roundup: Wilders suspends campaign, security detail compromised
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 02:11
Translated: ''Horrible. These used to be my direct bodyguards, who would enter my safehouse. This is very, very scary.''
Earlier reported on the leaking of sensitive information with regard to the protection of Dutch Party for Freedom leader Geert Wilders. Today, more news was unveiled about the Moroccan-Dutch officer involved in the leak. The suspended officer, referred to as Faris K. for privacy reasons, was indicted in 2005 for leaking information and appeared before a police judge. He was convicted of violating the official secrets and his punishment was community service, which was suspended.
Not only was K. not fired, he was allowed to continue his career as a police officer. Employees of the Service Safety and Security (DBB) are subjected to vetting, and it is unclear how he could have been allowed to serve in view of his criminal record. Especially in view of the fact that Faris K.'s brother, Mohammed K. was also fired from the police, in 2007, for violating the official secrets act. He was paid for leaking information regarding the murder of one Abdel Edoujaji.
Besides this affair, Wilders was told today, that two DBB officers, one of whom was directly charged with guarding him, were removed from his protection team in 2015 for involvement in criminal activities. The Minister of Justice, Stef Blok, declined to state exactly what the two officers, the brothers, Omar El M. and Anouar El M., were suspected of doing.
In response to this news, Wilders has decided it is impossible to continue his campaign.
According to Prime Minister Mark Rutte, there is no reason to stop the campaigning for the parliamentary elections on 15 March. He is quoted in Dutch newspaper Telegraaf as stressing that all this has nothing to do with terrorism, but simply with less serious criminal activities and that:
''One of course always tries to do everything possible to avoid taking disciplinary actions. But if they should be taken, we do take them, in the interest of the safety of the politicians.''
A more meticulous vetting, with care being taken to not select offenders to bear responsibility for the safety of politicians and the Royal Household, seems to have been an option not entertained by the PM.
Wat koninkje Schulz deed, is in veel Europese landen normaal -
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 14:10
Het Europees Bureau voor Fraudebestrijding OLAF verricht vooronderzoek naar de handel en wandel van ex-voorzitter Martin Schulz (SPD) van het Europees Parlement. Schulz is namens de socialisten kandidaat voor het Duitse bondskanselierschap. In de peilingen blijkt hij een geduchte concurrent te zijn voor Angela Merkel.
Wat heeft Schulz (61) gedaan? Hij gaf loyalisten promoties en keurde prettige arrangementen goed zoals bonussen en extraatjes voor zijn entourage. Een grote entourage. Alleen al zeventig mensen werkten direct voor de voorzitter. Schulz' campagneleider voor de Duitse verkiezingen, Markus Engels zou zich hebben mogen verrijken. Ook vloog Schulz per priv(C)jet de wereld over.
Schulz was sinds 2012 voorzitter en mocht van een meerderheid van het parlement zijn gang gaan. De Duitser, van net over de grens met Limburg, pompte de macht van het parlement namelijk op. Hij kreeg een voet tussen de deur bij de Europese Raad en de Europese Commissie. De christendemocraten waaronder de CDU, Schulz' socialisten als ook de liberalen en groenen vonden dat prima.
Nederland heeft geen begrip voor politici die het breed laten hangen
Nederlanders vinden het moeilijk te begrijpen dat in veel Europese landen politici grote auto's, veel personeel en grote gebouwen nodig hebben om macht uit te stralen. Vooral in voormalige koninkrijken en keizerrijken hebben politici zelf de mantel van de keizer of koning aangetrokken.
In Den Haag is het de Koning die met paleizen, een hofhouding en een gouden koets de eerbiedwaardigheid en macht van de natie uitdraagt. De Tweede Kamer is sober bedeeld.
Het EU-parlement lijkt vooral op de parlementen van de republieken Duitsland, Frankrijk en Itali, niet op dat van calvinistisch en koninklijk Den Haag.
Het uitbundige gedrag van koninkje Schulz past helemaal in de Brusselse en Straatsburgse sfeer. Zijn daden waren niet geheim. Waarom immers zou je iets geheimhouden als het 'normaal' is? Het parlement wilde ook nooit een rem op Schulz gedrag want ook een heel aantal parlementarirs eet ruimhartig uit de ruif. Een onderzoek naar Schulz zou ook hen kunnen raken
CDU zoekt nu de aanval op Schulz
Nu Schulz serieus kans maakt, heeft de CDU van Angela Merkel de aanval geopend. De voorzitter van de controlecommissie van het Europees Parlement is CDU'er Ingeborg Gr¤ssle. Zij deed niets tegen Schulz tot nu.
Europarlementarir Dennis de Jong (SP) zegt tegen persbureau ANP: 'Gr¤ssle heeft dit waarschijnlijk ingestoken, want het is niet echt nieuw. In het rapport van vorig jaar werden die benoemingen en het gebruik van priv(C)jets al genoemd. Dat wordt nu in de politieke strijd opgerakeld.'
Wat de reden voor het vooronderzoek van OLAF ook is, het zou niet onaardig zijn als dit leidt tot echt onderzoek naar Schulz en de rest van het parlement. Elsevier-medewerker en oud-Europarlementarir Derk Jan Eppink publiceerde in 2015 over het Europees Parlement al het hilarische 'Het rijk der kleine koningen'.
Die kleine koningen zijn zich sindsdien allemaal maar uitbundiger gaan gedragen.
Hollywood Whackers
Oscars red carpet:`The gravy train is over' for TV stations and networks - LA Times
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 02:06
A spot on the Oscars' red carpet now comes with a price.
For the first time, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is charging a license fee to TV stations and networks that broadcast live shows with interviews of movie stars on the red carpet before Sunday's 89th Academy Awards telecast.
The Beverly Hills nonprofit group for decades has allowed multiple media outlets to shoot live from the red carpet as a way to promote its prestigious Oscar telecast. But now the academy is charging fees that are said to range from about $75,000 to $500,000 for outlets that want to broadcast a live show from the red carpet, according to three people with knowledge of the situation who were not authorized to publicly discuss it.
The new fees have stunned the faithful scrum of celebrity watchers.
''The gravy train is over,'' Miro Copic, a San Diego State University marketing professor, said Friday. ''The academy has realized the value of its content and the shifting landscape in the media world.''
The move comes as the academy steps up its efforts to raise nearly $400 million to build a movie museum at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles, and the introduction of a new TV rights deal with its long-term partner, the Walt Disney Co.-owned ABC Television network.
ABC has been broadcasting the Academy Awards since 1976. Its new TV contract signed last summer requires the network to pay the academy substantially higher fees than before '-- nearly $100 million annually by some estimates. Some speculate that ABC is likely seeking ways to protect its investment.
''These are always intense negotiations,'' said Copic, who previously worked as a marketing executive with PepsiCo, Hasbro and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
The new deal keeps the show on ABC through 2028 and gives the network more sway in the production. Its late-night comedian, Jimmy Kimmel, will host the program Sunday. ABC will be allowed to rule the red carpet beginning at 4 p.m. to showcase its New York-based ''Good Morning America'' team as they mingle with movie stars on the red carpet until the awards show begins at 5:30 p.m.
''Maybe ABC, during the negotiations, said to the academy: 'Hey, we need an extended red carpet time, and it's not fair that these other guys can go for free,' '' Copic said. ''In negotiations, everyone is trying to find an edge.''
Representatives of ABC and the academy declined to comment Friday. ''We do not disclose details on confidential contractual information,'' a spokesperson for the academy said in an email.
Not every news outlet must pay. Organizations gathering snippets of interviews with celebrities can remain on the carpet but they are limited to ''no more than five-minute segments'' to their studios, according to a memo sent from the academy to TV outlets in December.
In addition, ABC and the academy this week announced a new arrangement to stream red carpet and backstage moments on Facebook Live '-- a nod to the growing importance of social media to big entertainment events. Personalities from Disney networks '-- ESPN, ABC and Disney Channel '-- will host the Facebook Live social media stream.
Meanwhile, other outlets have been told that their access will be more restricted than in years past.
One rival TV executive privately complained that the academy is treating long-timers like ''carpetbaggers'' rather than respected outlets whose telecasts help promote the Oscars.
In the past, the E! cable channel and broadcast stations, such as KTLA-TV Channel 5, were allowed to air live interviews from the red carpet until 4:30 p.m. '-- an hour before show time. This year, they are being told to stop transmitting video at 4 p.m. to provide ABC with its exclusive 90-minute window.
That restriction means that some crews, including those who traveled from as far away as Mexico City, will be packing up their cameras when the crush of arrivals is in full swing. They worry that they could miss face time with big-name stars stuck in the notorious Oscar traffic jam or other late arrivals, such as Brad Pitt, who might show up at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood shortly before the show.
''We devote considerable time and resources to covering entertainment '-- and this is a news and entertainment event of major proportions,'' KTLA station manager John Moczulski said. ''And to say that our value to them is to collect a license fee is unfortunate.''
KTLA (which, until 2014, was part of the same corporate family as the Los Angeles Times) has been a fixture on the Oscars carpet since 1995. Because of the new restrictions, KTLA must start its show an hour earlier '-- at 2 p.m. '-- when there are just a few early-bird celebrities available to interview.
''Any restraints to cover what is essentially a public event '-- on a public street '-- under-serves our viewers,'' Moczulski said. He declined to say how much the station was paying for its spot on the carpet or whether the new policy might dissuade the station from producing a live show next year.
The new rules also threatened to hem in E!, the celebrity-focused channel that prides itself on its popular red-carpet coverage. The network, now owned by NBCUniversal, launched its awards show coverage in 1990 and carved out a lucrative niche with the late comedian Joan Rivers.
Now E!'s coverage, hosted by Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic, is among the most popular. Last year, E!'s coverage attracted an eye-popping 5.8 million viewers '-- including millions of young adults the academy is desperate to reach. This year, the academy is allowing E! to shoot live from the red carpet later than most other crews '-- until 4:30 p.m.
''We are an important vehicle to reach the millennial audience,'' said Adam Stotsky, president of E! He declined to disclose how much channel was paying for its access. The network is planning a pre-pre-show called ''Countdown to the Red Carpet,'' which begins at 10:30 a.m. before the ''Live From the Red Carpet'' show at 2:30 p.m.
Stotsky said the changes would not crimp E!'s coverage.
''E!'s preeminence on the red carpet, combined with Ryan's stature within the community, really makes E! a must-stop destination for marquee stars,'' Stotsky said.
The motion picture academy is not the only organization that charges TV crews. The Recording Academy, which produces the Grammys, and the Television Academy, which controls the Emmys, also charge for power and other services.
However, one TV executive said that in recent years the fee for the Emmy red carpet was around $10,000 per outlet, and only major networks that built platforms to promote their celebrity shows, such as ''Entertainment Tonight'' and ''Access Hollywood,'' were asked to pay the fee.
Over the years, the movie academy has been steadily increasing its revenue from the Oscars, despite the declining ratings for the show. Last year, an average of nearly 35 million people tuned in '-- an eight-year low. The Oscars are critically important to the financial health of the academy, providing its main source of revenue.
The organization collected $109.8 million in revenue from the Oscars program in 2014, the most recent year for which its tax records were available. That was a 12.6% increase over 2013, when the academy generated $97.5 million from the Oscar program.
ABC is bringing in more money too. This year, the network sold its 30-second spots for about $2 million apiece '-- a bump over last year's prices. According to Kantar Media, which tracks ad spending, ABC last year collected about $115 million in ad revenue from the Oscars, including $13 million from its live red carpet show.
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Depression Signals
Fake Camel Toe Underwear is Apparently a Fashion Trend in Asia
Sat, 25 Feb 2017 23:32
Posted onFebruary 15, 2017
While most women would prefer hiding the shape of their vulvas from public view, there seems to be a particular group these days who are keen on highlighting it instead. Some even resort to wearing and artificial pad shaped like a camel toe to be more seductive.
For the unfamiliar, ''camel toe'' is the slang term for the shape of the woman's vaginal area formed when tight bottoms only work to accentuate the shape of the crotch.
However, what used to be a source of embarrassment for the average woman is slowly becoming a trend in some parts of the world.
In fact, the Camel Toe underwear, an eerie product from Japan which surfaced about a decade ago, is making a fascinating comeback these days.
The somewhat provocative product is apparently made of silicon or thick fabric sewn within normal underwear. It also comes in an assortment of styles and colors.
Said to be quite popular in Asia among women, these fake underpants are once again made available online.
Some retailers even market them to men of the effeminate type to be used as a covering for their manly parts.
On the opposite end of the crotch spectrum are products that are made to prevent camel toe. One such product is called Cuchini, which has the slogan: ''Our lips are sealed.''
Could you see this being a growing trend among women in Asia?
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Fugitive Search at JFK Airport Sparks New Travel Ban Scare -
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:06
NEW YORK '-- Federal border officials say they were looking for a fugitive, not doing a random immigration check, when they met a plane at New York City's Kennedy Airport and asked passengers for their IDs.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says in a statement that two of its officers met the Delta jet Wednesday evening after its flight from San Francisco in an attempt to find a specific person who had been ordered deported by an immigration judge.
At least two passengers tweeted photographs of the officers examining flier's IDs, which generated speculation on social media that it might be a part of a new dragnet for illegal immigrants.
Customs and Border Protection says the person the officers were looking for was not on the plane.
Billions Gone: 2016 Olympics Venues in Brazil Are Now in Ruins | Mises Wire
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 09:59
The 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil cost Brazilian taxpayers $4.6 billion, conservative estimates show. But once related expenses covered by the Brazilian government are factored in, the overall costs hit the $12 billion mark, which equates to about 0.72 percent of Brazil's national budget.
Prior to the Olympics, however, the Brazilian government had already spent BR$39.5 billion on infrastructure, or about $12 billion. Stadiums and urban projects designed to ensure the country was ready for the sports event were built, but aside from the events scheduled for 2014 and 2016, there seemed to be little to no demand for such public investments, which prompted the country to wonder whether the expenses were worth the trouble.
Now, as these same structures are left to rot, the documented decay becomes a symbol of government waste, not only because the investments weren't meant to stand the test of time, but also because the Brazilian government's lack of concern for the taxpayer is not the main story. It is, in fact, just a footnote.
Like many others, the government ignored the economic realities of the country, betting on inflation and cronyism in order to throw an unforgettable party.
The abandoned aquatic center.Source.
A Party Worth Going Broke For: How Brazil ''Paid'' the Olympic BillsDue to backlash over former President Dilma Rousseff's economic policies, a nationwide movement supporting impeachment targeted her for, among many other things, raising government spending without accounting for the increases.
Due to the government's lavish spending prior to the World Cup and Summer Olympics, Rousseff was afraid of suffering the consequences for increasing spending without hurting other government projects as a result, which would have forced the president to be upfront about her expenses. This led to a move that provoked chaos among consumers simply because banks were forced to put money into circulation that wasn't backed by anything.
Instead of giving the money to banks so they could then cover social projects, pensions, and welfare programs, Brazil's Treasury Department simply promised banks they would pay them back down the road. Thus, money meant for other projects remained in the treasury, allowing the federal government to spend it elsewhere. This move guaranteed that financial institutions keeping an eye on the government's budget wouldn't know that banks hadn't been using the money coming from the Treasury. This allowed banks to distribute sums associated with welfare and other social programs without depleting the government's funds. As more cash was put into circulation by the banks and the federal government due to the World Cup and Olympics-related expenses, the value of Brazilian money tanked. To the consumer, that translated into lower purchasing power, making it more difficult for the poor to stock their pantries.
With the government's out of hand expenses prior to the World Cup and Olympics, the Brazilian people suffered the ultimate blow because the government robbed them of their money's purchasing power, all because the president didn't want to admit her government's spending had gotten out of hand.
Now that the structures built for the world to see are rotting away, the low-income Brazilian continues to suffer. The only solution to this matter is to unleash currency control from the Brazilian central bank, removing its responsibility for financial policies from the hands of the federal government. Only then will the federal government be powerless in creating more debt and inflation, keeping it from playing with the Brazilian taxpayer's hard-earned money.
Originally published by TheAntiMedia.
Army Colonel, Politicians, And State Employees Arrested In High-Profile Child Sex Sting '' Counter Current News
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 02:51
Tallahassee, FL '-- A broad net cast in North Florida by law enforcement officials to catch child predators landed a dozen men '-- a retired U.S. Army colonel, a high-ranking Florida State University attorney, and the page and messenger manager for the Florida House of Representatives, among others '-- who were attempting to meet up with young girls.
As part of a major sting, twelve men '-- ranging from 21 to 70 years of age '-- were arrested by authorities after they made contact through emails, texts, chat rooms, and Internet ads, with undercover officers pretending to be teen girls.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the Crimes Against Children Task Force '-- run by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in cooperation with other agencies '-- performed the operation.
''If you prey on our children, we will find you and arrest you,'' asserted FDLE special agent in charge of the Tallahassee Regional Operations Center, Mark Perez.
In this state-run version of To Catch a Predator, authorities lured in the potential sex offenders by pretending to be females. Investigators in the operation, named Cupid's Arrow, chatted with countless men online. However, only the sickos stayed around once the investigators, acting as the girls, told them they were just children.
''While most adults online immediately stopped communicating with these investigators,'' Perez said. ''Once they believed they were children, the 12 suspects arrested during the operation only became more interested.''
One of those 12 men arrested was William Hall, the former clinical director of the Indian Health Services unit in Colville, Washington. Hall, once a prominent physician, retired in 2013 after he was accused of making unwanted advances on several of his female patients. Hall, who is 64, thought he was going to meet a 14-year-old girl by the name of Sara.
Also caught up in this dragnet of child predators was Michael Chmielewski, who, according to the Tallahassee Democrat, was the manager of the Florida House of Representatives page and messenger program who oversaw hundreds of teenagers each legislative session since he was hired in 2012.
Dayton Cramer, 70, was the associate general counsel for Florida State University. He was also a colonel in the US Army. He has since resigned from his position after the arrest.
According to News4, investigators said all suspects believed that they were speaking with children or parents of children under the age of 15, and all arranged to meet children for sex, authorities said.
Even more disturbing than going after children online is the fact that these people were also comfortable with speaking to the parents who were apparently trafficking their own children '-- implying that this is a common occurrence.
''This week, Tallahassee was rocked by headlines telling of respected community members caught in the 'Cupid's Arrow' sting: a lawyer, a (retired) doctor and an individual who works with children as young as 13 in the Capitol building,'' state senator and advocate for child sexual abuse, Lauren Book said in an email. ''This is shocking, it is terribly disturbing, but it is also all too familiar. I cannot say it enough. This happens in all communities, regardless of race, religion, education level or socioeconomic status. Any child can become a victim, and perpetrators are hiding in plain sight.''
Cupid's Arrow comes on the heels of another massive statewide operation targeting human traffickers in California. As the Free Thought Project reported earlier this month, hundreds of people were arrested and dozens of sexually-exploited children were saved.
That operation resulted in 474 arrests including 142 males on solicitation charges, and 36 males for pimping. Authorities also rescued 28 children who were being sexually exploited as victims of sex trafficking.
As corporate media writes off talk of 'pizzagate' as if it's some tinfoil conspiracy theory that couldn't possibly happen, these recent scenarios shatter their claims. Pedophilia, as we are seeing as of late, is rife throughout all of society and including the elite who can afford access to these dark networks of child traffickers.
By: Matt Agorist From: The Free Thought Project
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VIDEO - One dead and driver shot by police after hitting pedestrians in Germany | Euronews
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 07:06
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25/02/2017Syrian army retaliates with airstrikes after suicide bombings in Homs
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VIDEO - Obama calling Fox News fake news. 50 times - YouTube
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 06:36
VIDEO - Hey CNN, Obama banned fox news in 2009. He said its not real news. - YouTube
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 06:32
VIDEO - Donna Brazil "I Know People Who Found Family Members Hanging From Trees!" - YouTube
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 06:03
VIDEO - Governor Kasich "Look! The Man Is The President Of The United States!" - YouTube
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 05:20
VIDEO - CNN Panelist: Talk of 'Uniqueness of American Culture' Is 'White Nationalism' | MRCTV
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 04:10
White House Political Adviser Steve Bannon appeared at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday where he discussed the importance of American culture, among other things. But that didn't sit well some of CNN's political analysts; particularly with David Gregory who condemned Bannon on Anderson Cooper 360 claiming that ''The language of the uniqueness of American culture is this kind of white nationalist language to me that harkens back to the kind of language we've heard before.''
Gregory asserted that it was a question Bannon needed to answer, while he immediately tried to distance himself from his fresh smear by stating, ''I don't know him. I don't know what's in his heart.'' But that didn't preclude him from making some pretty heavy assumptions about Bannon's ''worldview:''
There is a worldview there that I think will trouble a lot of Trump opponents about the uniqueness of America somehow being separated from our -- the history of being such a multicultural society. A welcoming society and a society that assimilates outsiders really well. Assimilates immigrants really, really well there is a comparison to the vulnerability of Europe that somehow we are the same. And I think immigrants assimilate into America both economically, socially, and culturally much better than other countries as part of the greatness of this country.
Those comments by Gregory came after a fellow panelist continued to push the tired claims that Bannon himself was a white supremacist.
''The same person that has fostered, like, stoked these divisions this very extremist language when it comes to people of color, women, Jewish people, Muslims,'' said Symone Sanders the former National Press Secretary for the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign, ''So, I think what Steve Bannon was getting to was his nationalist populism'...''
''I still believe that we have put white supremacy in the White House with Steve Bannon. So it looked temperate on that stage today but '','' Sanders continued before being cut off by moderator Anderson Cooper, who pressed her on the veracity of her claims of white supremacy.
''When you say, that is that based solely on the one line that Steve Bannon said in an interview about Breitbart being the platform for the alt-right,'' Cooper asked, ''Because I mean in terms of his actual language, is there anything you can actually point to that says he is white supremacist?''
Sander's response was a quick quip, ''Alt-right is nothing but white supremacy dressed up in khakis in my opinion.'' She went on to rant about Bannon's time at Breitbart and falsely argued the news site was his ''child'' and ''baby.'' When, in fact, it was the brainchild of its namesake, Andrew Breitbart.
VIDEO - NY Times Oscar Ad: 'The Truth is More Important Than Ever' | MRCTV
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 04:07
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
On Friday, NBC's Today was thrilled by the upcoming New Yorks Times television spot during Sunday's Academy Awards, with report Joe Fryer declaring: ''No matter who wins, politics will likely take the stage Sunday....The New York Times will even debut its first-ever Oscars ad, with the message, 'The truth is more important than ever.' A sign that with millions watching, Hollywood's biggest night could become its most political.''
VIDEO - Donald Trump Speech in CPAC 2013 Full Coverage - YouTube
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 03:37
VIDEO - 12 arrested in 'Operation Cupid's Arrow' child sex sting
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 02:54
By: Erika FernandezFebruary 16, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Twelve men from across north Florida and south Georgia are under arrest today following a child sex sting called 'Operation Cupid's Arrow.' Five of those men are from right here in Tallahassee.
The investigation wrapped up Thursday with a press conference at FDLE headquarters. Investigators say they used chat rooms, dating sites, social media, and even online classified ads. Officials say they want this to serve as a warning to predators that they will find and arrest you.
The investigation involved local, state and federal law enforcement officers.
"This type of crime cuts to the very core of why it's so important that we keep our children off the internet and at least aware of what they're doing on the internet and away from these sexual predators," said Leon County Sheriff, Walt McNeil.
The suspects range in age from 21 to 70-years old, coming from a variety of backgrounds including a college student to a well-respected attorney. Investigators say this proves child predators come in many different forms.
"This can be anybody, it's just those individuals that have the propensity to harm children by sexual encounters and sexual acts," said FDLE Special Agent in Charge, Mark Perez.
Investigators posing as underage children say the suspects became more interested in meeting with them after learning they were talking to minors.
"They're not going to stop. Unfortunately, the internet and these chat rooms only make it easier for them to prey on our children," Perez said.
Internet usage is just one of the factors that officials say is putting our children at risk.
"They are vulnerable and they're susceptible to these communications and they get caught in them thinking that it's somebody else," Perez said.
Investigators say they're now doing everything they can to make sure these predators are taken off of the streets and put behind bars.
Some of the men even asked for or sent lewd photos to the children, all with the intent to act upon the sexual requests.
Only one of those men was a documented child predator prior to being arrested.
By: WCTV Eyewitness NewsFebruary 16, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Thursday, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force announced the arrests of twelve suspects as part of a child sex sting known as 'Operation Cupid's Arrow.'
The suspects are all from North Florida and South Georgia, including five suspects from Tallahassee.
In the weeklong operation, investigators went undercover posing as children in chat rooms, dating sites, and social media platforms. FDLE says all of the suspects believed they were speaking with underage children.
The following suspects were arrested on the listed charges:
Tony Sheldon, 38, 2821 Richview Park Circle S., Tallahassee, Leon County Jail, 2/8/17, traveling to meet after using a computer to lure child and obscene communication use computer to seduce solicit/lure child
Philip Graham, 41, 10093 81st Rd., Live Oak, Columbia County Jail, 2/9/17, traveling to meet after using a computer to lure child and obscene communication use computer to seduce solicit/lure child
William Hall, 64, 3204 Poinsettia Ave., West Palm Beach, Leon County Jail, 2/9/17, traveling to meet after using a computer to lure child and obscene communication use computer to seduce solicit/lure child
Calvin McFarland, 21, 3399 Shauna Oaks Circle E., Jacksonville, Leon County Jail, 2/11/17, traveling to meet after using a computer to lure child and obscene communication use computer to seduce solicit/lure child
Kyl Johnson, 26, 611 SW Dexter Circle, Apt. 204, Lake City, Columbia County Jail, 2/11/17, traveling to meet after using a computer to lure child and obscene communication use computer to seduce solicit/lure child
Christopher Francis, 34, 2544 Bedford Way, Tallahassee, Leon County Jail, 2/11/17, traveling to meet after using a computer to lure child and obscene communication use computer to seduce solicit/lure child
Darrel Harvey, 48, 7893 Preservation Road, Tallahassee, Leon County Jail, 2/12/17, traveling to meet after using a computer to lure child and obscene communication use computer to seduce solicit/lure child
Matthew Carter, 33, 218 Oak Lane, Lake Park, GA., Columbia County Jail, 2/12/17, traveling to meet after using a computer to lure child and obscene communication use computer to seduce solicit/lure child
Frantisek Pribyl, 47, 3971 Rocmar Dr., Snellville, GA., Leon County Jail, 2/12/17, attempted enticement of a minor and traveling to meet a minor for sex acts
Michael Chmielewski, 37, 1712 Hall Drive, Tallahassee, Leon County Jail, 2/12/17, traveling to meet after using a computer to lure child and obscene communication use computer to seduce solicit/lure child
Dayton M. (Mike) Cramer, 70, 332 Winnstead Ct., Tallahassee, Leon County Jail, 2/14/17, attempted enticement of a minor
James Singletary, 53, 3131 NW 34th Blvd., Jennings, Columbia County Jail, 2/15/17, traveling to meet after using a computer to lure child and obscene communication use computer to seduce solicit/lure child
VIDEO - Rachel Dolezal on brink of homelessness, living off food stamps - NY Daily News
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 01:37
Two years after she was revealed to be a white woman pretending to be black, Rachel Dolezal is unable to find work and lives off food stamps '-- but she still believes she did nothing wrong.
''I'm not going to stoop and apologize and grovel and feel bad about it,'' she told the Guardian. ''I would just be going back to when I was little, and had to be what everybody else told me I should be '-- to make them happy.''
The former NAACP leader, who stepped down from the position in Spokane, Washington, amid scandal, was outed in June 2015 when her parents, Larry and Ruthanne, revealed she was not actually black.
The story made international headlines and Dolezal eventually admitted she was ''biologically born white to white parents'' and compared herself to Caitlyn Jenner, claiming race is ''not coded in your DNA.''
The internet isn't happy Rachel Dolezal is releasing a memoir
The 39-year-old also lost her job as an adjunct instructor at Eastern Washington university because of the ordeal, and she hasn't been able to get work since.
The former professor and columnist told the Guardian she's applied for more than 100 jobs, but not a single place will hire her. The only offers that have come her way have been for reality television and porn.
Dolezal now relies on food stamps to feed her family and has been receiving help from a friend to cover her '-- next month she expects to be homeless, the Guardian reported.
She added her memoir titled ''In Full Color,'' due out in March, was turned down by 30 publishing houses before anyone would be willing to print it.
Rachel Dolezal to name her son after Langston Hughes
''Right now the only place I feel understood and completely accepted is with my kids and my sister,'' she told the news outlet. ''The narrative was that I'd offended both communities in an unforgivable way, so anybody who gave me a dime would be contributing to wrong and oppression and bad things. To a liar and fraud and a con.''
12 photos view gallery
Rachel Dolezal through the yearsDolezal said she wrote her book not only to tell her side of the story, ''but to also open up this dialogue about race and identity, and to just encourage people to be exactly who they are.''
When questioned about her race, Dolezal would just tell people that she was mixed, but she doesn't feel as though she was lying.
''The times I tried to explain more, I wasn't understood more. Nobody wanted to hear, 'I'm pan-African, pro-black, bisexual, an artist, mother and educator,''' she told the Guardian. ''People would just be like, 'Huh? What? What are you talking about?'
Rachel Dolezal admits she was 'born white' on 'The Real'
''So I felt like by not talking about my biological ancestry, I gave people the opportunity to relate to me as an individual, not part of a group.''
She also noted that she'd never consider going back to being white.
''No. This is still home to me,'' Dolezal said. ''I didn't feel like I'm ever going to be hurt so much that I somehow leave who I am, because I'm me. It really is who I am. It's not a choice.''
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VIDEO - Could Holland DITCH the euro? | Daily Mail Online
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 01:25
Dutch MPs are considering whether the Netherlands could ditch the Euro, after ordering a report on the future of the currency.
The country's relationship with the single currency is set to be debated in parliament once the findings are published.
The probe, which will also look at how Holland might be able to pull out of the Euro, was prompted by concerns the European Central Bank's ultra-low interest rates are hurting Dutch savers.
Dutch MPs are considering whether the Netherlands could ditch the Euro, after ordering a report on the future of the currency
The debate on the Euro will come after the country's elections in March, which is expected to change the make-up of parliament dramatically.
While most Dutch voters say they favour retaining the Euro, Geert Wilders' eurosceptic far-right party is expected to make large gains.
The parliamentary motion calling for an investigation into Holland's future was tabled by Pieter Omtzigt, from opposition Christian Democrats.
The probe will examine whether it would be possible for the Dutch to withdraw from the single currency, and if so how.
While most Dutch voters say they favour retaining the Euro, Geert Wilders' (pictured) eurosceptic far-right party is expected to make large gains in next month's elections
Omtzigt said: 'The problems with the euro have not been solved. This is a way for us to look at ways forward with no taboos.'
The move coincides with a rising tide of euroscepticism in Europe that populist parties are hoping to tap into this year, with national elections also taking place in France and Germany.
The most probable outcome of the March 15 in Holland is a new centrist coalition including some parties, including Omtzigt's Christian Democrats, that have been vocal in their opposition to current ECB policy.
Thursday's motion instructs the Council of State, the government's legal advisor, to look at 'what political and institutional options are open for the euro,' and 'what are the advantages and disadvantages of each.'
The country's relationship with the single currency will be debated in the Dutch parliament (pictured) later this year, once the findings of the report are published
VIDEO-6-55 - WEB EXCLUSIVE: We're Facing A Deep State Coup And The Mainstream Media Is Cheering! - YouTube
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 01:17
VIDEO - Issues & Ale: That's What They Say with Anne Curzan & Rebecca Kruth - YouTube
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 01:16
Sun, 26 Feb 2017 01:15
VIDEO - German intel service spied on foreign media incl BBC, Reuters for years '' reports - YouTube
Sat, 25 Feb 2017 22:31
VIDEO - White House blocks CNN, other news organizations from press briefing - Feb. 24, 2017
Sat, 25 Feb 2017 22:15
The decision struck veteran White House journalists as unprecedented in the modern era, and escalated tensions in the already fraught relationship between the Trump administration and the press.
The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, BuzzFeed, the BBC and the Guardian were also among those excluded from the meeting, which was held in White House press secretary Sean Spicer's office. The meeting, which is known as a gaggle, was held in lieu of the daily televised Q-and-A session in the White House briefing room.
When reporters from these news organizations tried to enter Spicer's office for the gaggle, they were told they could not attend because they were not on the list of attendees.
In a brief statement defending the move, administration spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the White House "had the pool there so everyone would be represented and get an update from us today."
The White House press pool usually includes representatives from one television outlet, one radio outlet and one print outlet, as well as reporters from a few wire services. In this case, four of the five major television networks -- NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News -- were invited and attended the meeting, while only CNN was blocked.
And while The New York Times was kept out, conservative media organizations Breitbart News, The Washington Times and One America News Network were also allowed in.
"This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House," CNN said in a statement. "Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don't like. We'll keep reporting regardless."
New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet wrote, "Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties. We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest."
The White House press office had informed reporters earlier that the traditional, on-camera press briefing would be replaced by a gaggle in Spicer's office, reporters in attendance said. Asked about the move by the White House Correspondents Association, the White House said it would take the press pool and invite others as well.
The WHCA protested that decision on the grounds that it would unfairly exclude certain news organizations, the reporters said. The White House did not budge, and when reporters arrived at Spicer's office, White House communications officials only allowed in reporters from specific media outlets.
CNN reporters attempted to access the gaggle when it began at about 1:45 p.m. ET. As they walked with a large group of fellow journalists from the White House briefing room toward Spicer's office, an administration official turned them around, informing them CNN wasn't on the list of attendees.
Reporters from The Associated Press, Time magazine and USA Today decided in the moment to boycott the briefing because of how it was handled.
Asked during the gaggle whether CNN and The New York Times were blocked because the administration was unhappy with their reporting, Spicer responded: "We had it as pool, and then we expanded it, and we added some folks to come cover it. It was my decision to expand the pool."
Several news outlets spoke out against the White House's decision.
"The Wall Street Journal strongly objects to the White House's decision to bar certain media outlets from today's gaggle," a Journal spokesman said. "Had we known at the time, we would not have participated and we will not participate in such closed briefings in the future."
The White House move was called "appalling" by Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron, who said the Trump administration is on "an undemocratic path."
Politico editor-in-chief John Harris said that "selectively excluding news organizations from White House briefings is misguided."
Said BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith: "While we strongly object to the White House's apparent attempt to punish news outlets whose coverage it does not like, we won't let these latest antics distract us from continuing to cover this administration fairly and aggressively."
The Associated Press said it "believes the public should have as much access to the president as possible."
The White House Correspondents Association also protested the move.
"The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today's gaggle is being handled by the White House," it said in a statement. "We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. The board will be discussing this further with White House staff."
Related: Trump rips media, repeats 'enemy of the people' line
Hours earlier, at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, President Trump mocked and disparaged the news media. He said that much of the press represents "the enemy of the people."
"They are the enemy of the people because they have no sources," Trump said. "They just make them up when there are none."
He also said reporters "shouldn't be allowed" to use unnamed sources.
CNNMoney (New York)First published February 24, 2017: 2:10 PM ET
VIDEO - Alternate realities and Trump: 'Mandela Effect' and what CERN does
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 10:16
There's a theory going around online that CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) experiments have caused the world to shift into an alternate reality where Donald Trump has become president.
As most people would agree, this clearly can be labeled fake news.
"CERN's research captures the imagination of lots of people, which is why CERN has been featured in a lot of science fiction books, even movies, around the world," a spokesperson for CERN told CNBC when asked about the Trump theory.
"These imaginative works, inspired by our scientific research, are works of fiction generated to capture the reader or viewer's sense of wonder and should not be confused with the actual scientific research."
Trump theorists cite "the Mandela effect," a phenomenon that occurs when large groups of people believe something happened even though evidence shows it isn't true. Some think more of these incidents have occurred since CERN was established, and suggest that its particle physics experiments are causing the world to shift into parallel universes. People are recalling the original reality, which is why there is divergent thought according to the believers.
"Mandela effect" examples include thinking Nelson Mandela died in jail in the 1980s, mistaking "Berenstein Bears" for its actual name "Berenstain Bears," and believing in a 1990s movie where comedian Sinbad played a genie. (All of which are false.)
In Trump's case, conspiracy theorists have cited "evidence" like his quote on terrorist attacks on Sweden and assertions that Muslims were cheering in the streets after 9/11, both events which they believe stem from memories of a parallel universe Trump used to reside in. A shift could also explain a rash of unprecedented outcomes in sports, like the Chicago Cubs winning their first World Series since 1908, and Donald Trump's election to the presidency, despite most polls predicting Hillary Clinton was going to win. The idea has generated several joke threads (and perhaps serious threads) on internet message board Reddit.
What's probably really happening is that people have lapses in memory, especially when they aren't paying close attention to details.
VIDEO - Caitlyn Jenner Calls Trump's Order on Transgender Rights a "Disaster," Asks President to "Call Me" | Hollywood Reporter
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 09:43
5:50 PM PST 2/23/2017 by Patrick Shanley
Former Donald Trump supporter and defender Caitlyn Jenner has taken issue with the president's latest executive decision to lift federal guidelines that said transgender students should be allowed to use public school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their chosen gender identity, in favor of state legislation on the issue.
Jenner tweeted a video addressing President Trump on Thursday evening, calling the decision a "disaster" and asking Trump to "call me."
"I have a message for the trans kids of America," Jenner says in the video. "You're winning. I know it doesn't feel like it today or every day, but you're winning."
Jenner stressed that "bipartisan support" would be needed to "win full freedom nationwide." She then addressed the "bullies" who "pick on kids, pick on women and pick on anyone you think is vulnerable."
Jenner then called out attorney general Jeff Sessions, saying, "Apparently even becoming attorney general isn't enough to cure some people of their insecurities."
Finally, Jenner addressed Trump directly, "from one Republican to another." "This is a disaster, but you can still fix it," Jenner said. "You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me."
Jenner came out publicly as transgender in 2015, and completed gender reassignment surgery that year.
Well @realDonaldTrump, from one Republican to another, this is a disaster. You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ community. Call me.
'-- Caitlyn Jenner (@Caitlyn_Jenner) February 24, 2017Jenner is not the first to reach out to the president through social media since the decision was announced.
Singer Jackie Evancho, who performed at Trump's inauguration concert, pleaded with the president to "Pls give me & my sis the honor 2 meet with u 2 talk #transgender rghts." A number of high-profile stars also began tweeting and posting to social media to air their grievances with the Trump administration's decision.
VIDEO - Tucker Carlson Debates Biology-Denying Moron on Tranny Bathrooms! - YouTube
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 09:23
VIDEO - Illegal Clinton fundraiser made tape fearing for his life | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 24 Feb 2017 09:12
A Chinese-American businessman at the center of a Clinton campaign finance scandal secretly filmed a tell-all video as an 'insurance policy' - because he feared being murdered.
In footage provided exclusively to, Johnny Chung spills details on how he illegally funneled money from Chinese officials to Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election bid.
The Chinese-American Clinton fundraiser recorded the 'elaborate videotaped testimony' while in hiding in 2000.
He smuggled it to trusted friends and family with instructions to release it to the media in the event of his untimely death because he believed he was at risk of being assassinated.
Chung is believed to still be alive and living in China.
The video was obtained by author and historian David Wead for his new book Game of Thorns, which traces Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful 2016 campaign and the Chinese government's long-running operation to buy political influence in Washington.
Trusted: Johnny Chung's fundraising made him someone the Clinton were keen to be seen with - and to thanks. But when the businessman (left) got caught up in scandal, he feared for his life. Quite how close they were is shown in this picture - signed by Hillary Clinton
Taped: Johnny Chung recorded this testimony in a tape now obtained by He is believed to still be alive in China
Tentacles spread: The Chinagate scandal also saw Ng Lap Seng, a Macau billionaire tied to the Chinese government, accused of pouring $1 million into Clinton's 1996 reelection bid.
Wead provided excerpts from the film to The man with whom Chung made the tape, Bob Abernethy, a friend from his church, said it was right that it was shown.
In the never-before-released footage, Chung described how he feared for his life after he publicly admitted to funneling money from Chinese officials to President Bill Clinton's 1996 reelection campaign.
He also claimed Democrats pressured him to stay silent about his dealings with the Clintons and said the FBI tried to enlist him in a sting against a top Chinese general at a Los Angeles airport.
The video comes amid renewed interest in foreign influence in Washington, as some members of President Donald Trump's team have been scrutinized for their associations with Russian officials.
The video grew out of a controversy in the mid-1990s when evidence surfaced that Chinese officials were pouring hundreds of thousands into then president Bill Clinton's reelection campaign through American straw donors.
Chung, one of the main players in the 'Chinagate' scandal, was accused of giving over $300,000 to the Democratic National Committee on behalf of the head of China's military intelligence agency during Clinton's reelection bid.
Chung cooperated with the Department of Justice during the investigation, and was sentenced to five years of probation for campaign finance violations, bank fraud and tax evasion in 1998.
According to Wead's book Game of Thorns, Chung was persuaded to film the 'insurance' video by a former government official who visited him while he was in hiding and told him that his 'odds of survival actually increased by going public.'
Chung 'received a friendly visit from a retired government official, friendly with the FBI, who perhaps felt guilty about the treatment Chung had been given after agreeing to come forward and tell the truth,' reported Wead.
'And so, with assistance from the former government official, Johnny Chung produced an elaborate videotaped testimony that was secreted to friends and family to be forwarded to the media in the case of his death.'
Chung described on the tape how Democrats on the House Committee on Government Reform tried to dissuade him from testifying publicly before the committee by sending his attorney a letter telling him he could plead the Fifth Amendment.
Chung said his attorney thought the letter was 'ludicrous' and a veiled threat from Washington Democrats that they wanted Chung to stay quiet.
'My attorney is a fine and good attorney in the West Coast,' said Chung. 'Besides, every good American attorney, they know how to take the fifth'...[the Democrats] sent a package to my attorney for one purpose.'
After Chung agreed to cooperate with prosecutors on the Chinagate investigation, he feared his knowledge of the Clinton campaign finance scandal and the Chinese influence operation could make him a target for assassination.
Testimony: Johnny Chung, who testified to the House Government Reform Committee, revealed how Democrats on the committee tried to dissuade him from testifying publicly by sending his attorney a letter telling him he could plead the Fifth Amendment
He said he feared his knowledge of the Clinton campaign finance scandal and the Chinese influence operation could make him a target for assassination.
The FBI in Los Angeles began providing around-the-clock protection for him. But just a few days before Chung was scheduled to testify before a grand jury, the FBI headquarters in Washington called off the protection detail and told Chung he would have to make the trip alone.
In the secret videotaped statement, Chung claimed the Department of Justice dismissed his safety concerns '' with one U.S. attorney telling him to 'call 911' if he felt threatened.
'I called the FBI office and offered to [speak with] the US assistant attorney again on the phone,' said Chung.
'And he said 'Mr. Chung your case is over. As a normal American citizen what do you do if you feel your life is in danger? You just call 911.'
The businessman ended up testifying, telling the House committee that he believed the Clintons 'used me as much as I used them.'
Mr Chung your case is over. As a normal American citizen what do you do if you feel your life is in danger? You just call 911.
U.S. Attorney's office's to Johnny Chung - making him fear for his life
During the mid-1990s, Chung met regularly in Washington with key Clinton officials and other Democrats '' but none seemed suspicious about how the relatively unknown small-time businessman was able to cut them such large donation checks.
In total he visited the White House 57 times in a two-year span '' eight of these meetings were 'off the books.'
Most of the meetings were with Hillary Clinton or her staff. During one of these trips, Chung personally handed a $50,000 check to Hillary Clinton's chief of staff Maggie Williams.
Chung even helped arrange for Bill Clinton to meet with the source of the money '' a top Chinese military official '' at a Los Angeles fundraiser.
After Chung's activities caught the attention of federal authorities, Democrats quickly distanced themselves from the onetime fundraiser.
During Chung's case, DNC officials claimed he misled them and urged the judge to give him a harsh sentence. But the judge declined, and even noted in the sentencing statement that it was 'strange' nobody from the DNC was prosecuted for accepting the illegal funds.
'It's very strange that the giver pleads guilty and the givee gets off free,' said U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real.
Judge Real also said the leaders of the DNC were 'two of the dumbest politicians I've ever seen' if they were not aware of the campaign funding scheme.
He blasted U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno for failing to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Democratic involvement in the scandal.
In the videotaped declaration, Chung said the DNC 'portrayed themselves as the victims, victimized by Johnny Chung.'
Chung claimed that the FBI also wanted to enlist him in a plot to arrest Chinese General Ji Shengde at the Los Angeles airport.
Trusted: Ng Lap Seng was photographed meeting then president Bill Clinton in Georgetown, in 1995. He avoided prosecution over claims he gave illegal campaign donations
Awaiting trial: Ng Lap Seng was arrested in 2015 with a suitcase of cash as he entered the United States and is now under house arrest pending a trial for attempting to bring a United Nations official
'At one point the FBI called me up and the Department of Justice people, they said General Ji had come to visit the United States, he visits once a year, and also he has a son in the United States,' said Chung. 'They were thinking of taking me to the'...airport in Los Angeles and'...the only thing I need to do is point the finger at General Ji.'
Chung lived in California after his probation ended, but has since returned to China. Wead said he was unable to reach him for the book.
Chung was interviewed in the video by his friend Bob Abernethy, a California software executive. The two became friends while attending the same church.
Abernethy told that Chung recorded the film as a form of 'life insurance' before he testified to congress.
'The reason Johnny asked me to do this interview with him was to make the information publicly available [in case of his death] and also as a type of 'life insurance' since he was very concerned about his safety,' said Abernethy.
'His concern about his safety was understandable, given that there had been three attempts on his life which required FBI protection'... and given his knowledge of what happened to people such as Ron Brown, who as Secretary of Commerce, was deeply involved in arranging '' and selling seats on - Clinton administration trade missions to China,' added Abernethy.
Justified: Bob Abernethy (right), the church friend who helped Chung make the tape, said the death of Clinton's commerce secretary, Ron Brown (left), was among the factors which had made him fear for his life
Brown, the point person for Clinton's trade policy with China, was killed in a plane crash in Croatia in 1996. Some speculated that he was preparing to go public with information on the illegal Chinese campaign contributions shortly before his death.
Chung is one of several Chinese-Americans who were ensnared in the Clinton-era scandal that came to be known as 'Chinagate,' which involved the Chinese government illegally passing large sums of money to the Democratic National Committee.
Ng Lap Seng, a Macau billionaire tied to the Chinese government, was accused of pouring $1 million into Clinton's 1996 reelection bid.
Ng was accused of laundering the campaign donations through long-time Clinton associate Charlie Trie, who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in 1999.
Although Ng avoided prosecution at the time, he reappeared at a New York airport carrying a suitcase of cash in 2015, and was arrested for allegedly bribing a United Nations official. He is currently under house arrest at his $3 million Manhattan apartment awaiting trial.
The UN official who allegedly accepted the bribes, John Ashe, 61, was unexpectedly killed by a barbell while lifting weights last summer.
In his book, Wead reports that the New York FBI office wanted to investigate Ng's connections to the Clintons last year, but the case was shut down by the Obama administration's Department of Justice.
Game of Thorns: The Inside Story of Hillary Clinton's Failed Campaign and Donald Trump's Winning Strategy is available for pre-order on Amazon.
VIDEO - George Clooney: Trump, Bannon 'Hollywood elitists' | TheHill
Thu, 23 Feb 2017 22:50
George Clooney is pushing back against critics who bash movie stars for speaking out about politics, saying President Trump and White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon are the real ''Hollywood elitists.''
''When Meryl [Streep] spoke, everyone on that one side said, 'Well that's elitist Hollywood speaking.' Donald TrumpDonald TrumpZuckerberg group donated to Trump transitionWhy the GOP cannot sweep its Milo scandal under the rugDems worry too much about upsetting others. That needs to stop.MORE has 22 acting credits in television,'' Clooney said in an interview over the weekend with the French network Canal+.
Streep slammed Trump in an emotional speech, which went viral, at the Golden Globe Awards last month.
But former ''Celebrity Apprentice'' star Trump, Clooney said, ''Collects $120,000 a year from his Screen Actors Guild pension fund. He is a Hollywood elitist.''
Clooney, an outspoken Democrat who hosted big-ticket fundraisers for former presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonWhy the GOP cannot sweep its Milo scandal under the rugDems worry too much about upsetting others. That needs to stop.New York Knicks owner gave 0K to pro-Trump groupMORE last year, also called out Trump's senior adviser.
''Steve Bannon is a failed film writer and director. That's the truth, that's what he's done,'' Clooney said with a slight grin. ''He wrote a Shakespearean rap musical about the L.A. riots that he couldn't get made. He made a lot of money off of 'Seinfeld.' He's elitist Hollywood, I mean that's the reality.''
Saying Streep had ''every right to speak up,'' Clooney, 55, told the French cable network, ''She was an American citizen long before she was an icon.''
Clooney called on journalists to put the pressure on Trump while criticizing the press for what he described as a poor performance during the 2016 election.
''We have a demagogue in the White House. We need the fourth estate, which is journalists, to hold his feet to the fire.''
''They didn't do a very good job during the campaign. And they haven't done a particularly good job yet. But those things will change,'' the Oscar winner and ''Money Monster'' star said.
Clooney '-- who predicted last May that Trump wouldn't win the White House '-- said having the real estate mogul occupy the Oval Office is still ''hard to imagine. It still catches in your throat.''
''But we'll fix it,'' Clooney said. ''We have to.''

Clips & Documents

Chip on Transgenered Advisory.mp3
Today Show-NYTimes Oscars ad.mp3
Tucker Carlson - Invite Refugees To Oscars As Guests – Robert Davi-VILLAN ACTOR.mp3
Tucker with Steven Weissman-former Hospital Administrator-Healthcare pricing.mp3
Whoopi- Affordable Care Act Not to Blame for Premiums Rising!.mp3
Alternate Universes
CNN-Carl Bernstein-Fact Free Universe.mp3
Donna Braozil on her great sacrifice and aparten RESERVATIONS to serve das partei-FREAK OUT.mp3
Maddow gushes over Sally Yates as potential rising star for Democrats.mp3
Physicists assure us that we're not living in an alternate reality where Trump is president.mp3
The View-1-Joy wants Oscar speeches.mp3
Brannon-CPAC-Globalist Media.mp3
Donald Trump Speech in CPAC 2013.mp3
Farrage-CPAC-Our friends speak Engrish!.mp3
Trump-CPAC-No to globalism.mp3
WRONG-Trump at CPAC- The First Amendment Gives Us the 'Right to Criticize Fake News’.mp3
Deep State
Glenn Greenwald DN-1-Deep State is withholding info from Trump.mp3
Glenn Greenwald DN-2-Why letting deep state do their thing is dangerous.mp3
Glenn Greenwald DN-3-Double standard re-Classified Info.mp3
Fake News
NRA Head Wayne LaPierre Shows CPAC Ten Year Old Clip Of Him Calling CNN FAKE NEWS.mp3
Obama Fox News Fake.mp3
PACKAGE-Obama banned fox news in 2009. He said its not real news..mp3
Sean Spicer Asked About Not Allowing CNN Into Press Event At White House.mp3
Trump at CPAC-Fake News is Enemy.mp3
Trump Fake Phoney Fake-ISO.mp3
Tucker Carlson - MEDIA name corp names– Robert Davi-VILLAN ACTOR.mp3
JCD Clip
Associated press refuses to go to gaggle ONE.mp3
Associated press refuses to go to gaggle TWO.mp3
Bannon hit piece CBS.mp3
bias response team.mp3
BND spying report RT.mp3
casey afflick.mp3
cornworm in congo.mp3
hate crime.mp3
hong kong UK report controversy.mp3
human rights watch.mp3
Ivanka in china RT.mp3
kionel rant.mp3
mexico NAFTA CORN.mp3
new planets.mp3
Private prisons are back CBS.mp3
south afrreica appropriating land.mp3
Town hall meetings jacked CBS.mp3
Town hall meetings jacked-2 CBS.mp3
trump at CPAC ONE PBS.mp3
trump at CPAC TWO PBS.mp3
Trump gotchas by CBS play butt slammed.mp3
ukraine coal.mp3
VX gas North Korea intrique.mp3
Trump Transition
Kasich after Trump meeting on expanding Medicaid.mp3
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