913: Toxic Chat

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 43m
March 19th, 2017
Share at 0:00

Executive Producers: Sir Michael Haffely Baronet of the Internet, Richard G Ballard

Associate Executive Producers: Paul Erskine

Cover Artist: Nick the Rat


Start of Show
Suggest a new chapter
A Federal Judge Just Blocked Trump's Revised Travel Ban Nationwide | Mother Jones
Wed, 15 Mar 2017 23:17
According to multiple reports, US District Judge Derrick Watson of Hawaii has blocked the latest version of the Trump administration's travel ban, saying it likely violates First Amendment protections.
This is a breaking news story. We will update the post when we have more information.
British troops join showdown against Vladimir Putin as they travel to the frontline in Russia - Mirror Online
Sat, 18 Mar 2017 22:55
Britain is sending 800 assault troops to Europe's border with Russia in the UK's largest military deployment against Moscow since the Cold War.
An advance spearhead of more than 120 soldiers flew to Estonia to bolster the nation's defences against the military might of Vladimir Putin.
Backed by 300 armoured vehicles including Challenger 2 tanks, the force will swell to 800 within weeks.
It is part of a huge NATO operation in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland to strengthen 700 miles of Eastern Europe's borders with Russia.
We joined British soldiers, part of the 5 Rifles battle group, as they jetted from RAF Brize Norton, Oxon, to Estonia via Germany.
Read MoreBritish troops are heading to the frontline (Photo: Army) Troops making their way to the frontline with Russia (Photo: Army) The troops will stand up to the military might of Putin (Photo: REUTERS) The troops have now left the UK (Photo: Army) The mood was one of calm and focus. Captain Gav Dunlop said: ''I'm not really worried if we get into a full tank battle. We are trained and ready.''
Troops landed at Amari air base near the capital Tallinn, and will be sent to Tapa army base, which blocks the main route from Russia to the city.
In total there will be more than 4,000 international troops pitted against a Russian attack in the four countries.
Jackal armoured vehicle drives off a ship at Emden docks Germany (Photo: Army) British troops getting ready to leave (Photo: Army) One of the tanks that has been deployed (Photo: Army) The NATO deployment is designed to ensure there is no repeat of Russia's overnight takeover of Crimea and parts of East Ukraine.
Britain will lead a foreign force of 1,100 troops, including French and Danish soldiers, in Estonia.
The US, Canada and Germany will each take lead roles in one of the three other nations. UK troops will also support the US in Poland.
The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish) (QRH) loading Challenger 2 on to trains in the Bergen-Hohne (Photo: Army) Light Dragoons Jackals and other assorted vehicles arrive in the port of Emden (Photo: Army) Vehicles from 16 Battery (Sandham's Coy), 26 Regiment Royal Artillery, based in Germany being loaded for transportation to Emden (Photo: Army) Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: ''In the face of an increasingly assertive Russia, NATO is stepping up its commitment to collective defence.''
Troops have been warned to expect Russian espionage as Putin wants to discredit NATO's presence by spreading lies about sex crimes and violence.
Some women in bars may be honey traps. L/Cpl Josef Hainzl, of Runcorn, Che­sh­­ire, said: ''I have a beautiful RAF girlfriend so it'll be a 'no, thanks'.''
Jackal armoured vehicles at Emden docks Germany (Photo: Army) We must stand up to this bullyBy Chris Hughes
Britain is playing a crucial role in restraining Vladimir Putin's ruthless and often violent ambitions abroad.
It is a calculated preventative move along with NATO to show him the West has had enough, and that his relentless bid to expand Russia's hold on its neighbours must stop.
UK troops are prepared to open fire as they are now at the sharp end of a confrontation that has been brewing in eastern Europe and beyond throughout the Putin years.
Assorted vehicles from 20 Armoured Infantry Brigade arrive in the port of Emden (Photo: Army) He has stormed Georgia, annexed Crimea and infiltrated East Ukraine. His forces are suspected of atrocities against civilians and western-friendly rebels in Syria.
The Baltic states are extremely vulnerable to Russian interference. Putin's spooks are suspected of meddling in foreign elections and his cyber attacks have done incalculable damage throughout eastern Europe.
Moscow has kept our own GCHQ and MI5 on their toes with cyber attacks on our infrastructure, banking and security systems.
Troops ready the vehicles (Photo: Army) Sanctions have not worked in efforts to hold back Putin's greed for power, influence, resources, and the fear of other nations. So the pressure has to be ramped up.
Our military presence is the next step in trying to stop war since, with Putin, non-intervention has not worked.
As I witnessed in 2014, he annexed Crimea almost overnight and triggered civil war in East Ukraine, while lying to the world about having troops there.
Putin respects strength and action. That is what our troops are exporting to Estonia.
Russian parliament backs investigation into U.S. media
Sat, 18 Mar 2017 22:56
A general view shows the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, in Moscow, Russia January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/Files
More MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian lower house of parliament, the State Duma, has approved a proposal to launch an investigation into U.S. media organisations that operate in Russia, it said in a statement posted on its web site late on Friday.
The investigation, which will be conducted by the Duma's information policy, technologies and communications committee, will check whether CNN, the Voice of America, Radio Liberty and "other American media" are complying with Russian law.
The statement said the Duma backed the move on Friday evening after Konstantin Zatulin, an MP from the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, proposed an investigation to retaliate for what he called a "repressive" U.S. move against Russian state-funded broadcaster RT.
He said he was referring to an initiative by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who has introduced a bill to empower the Justice Department to investigate possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act by RT.
Shaheen, a Democrat, cited a U.S. intelligence agency assessment that suggested RT was part of a Russian influence campaign to help Donald Trump win the White House last year. The Kremlin and RT have strongly rejected that allegation.
Foreign media in Russia are overseen by the Russian Foreign Ministry, whose spokeswoman Maria Zakharova this week singled out Shaheen's demarche for criticism, quipping ironically that the senator should have included a clause drawing up a list of books for burning.
The U.S. move also solicited the ire of Margarita Simonyan, RT's editor-in-chief, who on Wednesday told the daily Izvestia it had echoes of the activities of U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, who oversaw a campaign to expose people he regarded as communists in the 1950s.
(Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Julia Glover)
Russian parliament approves investigation of US media | TheHill
Sat, 18 Mar 2017 22:56
Russia's lower house of parliament on Friday approved an investigation into the operations of U.S. news organizations in Russia, Reuters reported.
The investigation is reportedly mean to be retaliation for Sen. Jeanne ShaheenJeanne ShaheenRussian parliament approves investigation of US mediaDem senator to GOP: Listen to Kasich on healthcareProtect lives, U.S. credibility: Pass the Keeping Our Promise to Our Afghan Allies ActMORE 's (D-N.H.) bill that would authorize the Justice Department to probe possible violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act by RT, a Russian state-funded media company that has grown its U.S. operations.
The Office of the Director of National intelligence suggested in a report in January that RT may be complicit in Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election to help President Trump. The Kremlin-backed news outlet has been largely supportive of the real estate mogul since he was a candidate.Among the U.S. media organizations that could be investigated by Russia's Duma are CNN, Voice of America and Radio Liberty.
Tensions between the U.S. and Russia have escalated in recent months amid revelations of the Kremlin's efforts to influence the election in Trump's favor.
Questions have also resurfaced about Trump and his aides' potential ties to Moscow, after a slew of news reports in recent weeks detailing contacts between current and former Trump associates and Russian officials.
Explainer: Turkey's new presidential system - James in Turkey
Sat, 18 Mar 2017 22:54
This bill will be put to a referendum on 16 AprilTo track the campaign's progress, including the latest polling, see James in Turkey's separate page here .
At the end of 2016, the governing Justice and Development (AK) Party announced its plans to abolish the position of prime minister and vest all its powers in the country's presidency, currently occupied by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The party's proposals include:
The president serving head of state and the executive simultaneously;A cabinet of ministers appointed by the president, with no vote of confidence from parliament;The number of MPs will increase by fifty to 600, although the election system won't change for now;A ''guillotine system'' that allows the president to dissolve parliament at will, albeit at the cost of also triggering fresh elections for himself;Sweeping powers to appoint governors, civil servants, judges and officials from the president's political party, all concentrated in a single office.The 18 articles are the result of painstaking negotiations with the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), whose leader Devlet Bah§eli unexpectedly reversed his party's opposition to a so-called ''executive presidency'' and provided the AK Party with the votes it needs to get the proposal through parliament.
Opposition parties '' the social democratic CHP and pro-Kurdish HDP '' have said they will vote against the proposal.
Follow the links below to see how the proposals will affect:
The ExecutiveUnder the proposal, the prime minister's position will be abolished and the government will no longer need a vote of confidence in parliament.
Interactive graphic: tap or roll over for more infoThe JudiciaryUnder the proposals, Turkey's most senior judges would all be selected by politicians '' and most of them by the president.
Below: proportion of senior Turkish judges appointed today
proportion of senior Turkish judges appointedunder proposed presidential system
There are sweeping reforms to the Hakimler ve Savcılar Y¼ksek Kurulu (HSYK), the body that admits judges and prosecutors into the profession, allocates them to specific courts and takes any disciplinary action against them. Under the changes the judiciary would be stripped of the right to pick any of the HSYK's members.
Instead, the government wants to shrink the body to 13 members and share the responsibility for filling the roles between parliament and the president. Each will have six members to appoint as the seats become vacant, with the justice minister additionally appointing his own undersecretary.
The irony is that the changes are a reversal of AK's earlier reforms that were endorsed in a referendum six years ago , promoted at the time as an attempt to give greater independence to the judiciary.
But the 2016 proposals are significant for another reason: the power pooled in the presidency. Alongside the HSYK, the Turkish president is responsible for appointing 14 of the 17 members of the Constitutional Court '' the highest judicial body in the land.
It means Turkey's president will now be directly responsible, without any external oversight, for appointing two-thirds of the country's 39 most senior judges.
The BudgetPowers to propose the country's annual budget shift from ministers to the president. Some restrictions, such as on retrospectively amending the budget, are loosened.
Annual budgetCurrent systemAK Party/MHP proposalProposed byCabinet of ministersThe presidentScrutinised byA budget committee contained a majority of government members, but all parliamentary parties representedA budget committee. Previous references to composition now removed.OverspendsNot permitted. Ministers cannot unilaterally decide to overspend.Not permitted. The president cannot unilaterally decide to overspend.Budgetary amendmentsMinsters cannot amend a budget by decree after it has been accepted.Reference removed in proposed system. No such restriction on president.Final accountsSubmitted to parliament seven months after fiscal year-end.Submitted to parliament six months after fiscal year-end.ScrutinyArticle 98 of the present constitution equips parliament with five mechanisms to hold the government to account. The proposed changes would see some of these abolished and others watered down.
Interactive graphic: tap or roll over a bubble to see which powers survive the cutRemoval from officeA widely-held principle of parliamentary democracies is the vote of confidence: governments must command the support of a majority of the legislature. If they lose that majority, they fall.
Turkey's proposed presidential system would remove this principle and replace it with a mechanism that needs more MPs to vote for it and more time to complete.
Ministers and vice presidents onlyThe gensoru (censure motion) is the present mechanism used by members of parliament wanting a probe and eventually to trigger a vote of confidence in any minister, including the prime minister.
A successful gensoru can result in the individual or the entire government being toppled. It must take no longer than 18 days to work through all its stages.
Under the AK Party / MHP proposal, the censure motion will be abolished and replaced with a soruşturma (investigation) that could take as long as 10 months to be completed. Only ministers and vice-presidents will be subject to this mechanism.
President: not just about treasonUnder the current system, there is only one crime the largely symbolic president can be impeached for: treason. A full three-quarters of MPs must vote to topple him, making it one of the highest thresholds in the constitution.
The AK Party / MHP proposal replaces all references to treason with the words ''a crime''. But it requires a majority of MPs to propose an investigation against him, whereas treason motions can currently be tabled by a third of lawmakers.
The proposal also dictates that he must be tried by the 17 judges of the Constitutional Court, sitting as the Y¼ce Divan '' Supreme Court.
Under the AK Party's successful judicial reforms of 2010 , 14 of that court's judges are already appointed by the president.
The NumbersAll 316 AK Party MPs have signed the proposal, but changes to the constitution require the support of at least 330 MPs if they are to be put to a popular referendum.
The Speaker cannot vote, meaning the AK Party needs the support of at least 15 MHP MPs to reach the threshold.
State of parliament as at 9 January 2017
This page has been substantially updatedSince the AK Party's proposals were first published in December 2016, several clauses have been dropped and amended. Most changes have been minor but some '' such as the abolition of a system of reserve MPs '' were not.
This page reflects the proposals in their most recent form; to see the original James in Turkey page from 12 December 2016 in its archived form, click here.
Female politician proposes law to fine men $100 for masturbating as 'act against an unborn child' | The Independent
Mon, 13 Mar 2017 12:46
A Texas politician has filed legislation that would see men fined $100 (£82) for masturbating outside a hospital or clinic.
Jessica Farrar, a Democrat, created the "Man's Right To Know Act" to highlight how women have been affected by targeted healthcare legislation in her state, particularly relating to abortion.
She said its rules '-- including a mandatory waiting period before a vasectomy procedure or receiving a prescription for Viagra, as well as a "medically-unnecessary digital rectal exam" '-- mirror "real TX laws and health care restrictions faced by TX women every #txlege session".
The headline stipulation would categorise ejaculation outside either a vagina or medical facility as an "act against an unborn child, and failing to preserve the sanctity of life".
Ms Farrar told mysanantonio.com: "A lot of people find the bill funny. What's not funny are the obstacles that Texas women face every day, that were placed there by legislatures making it very difficult for them to access healthcare."
Texas' House of Representatives is currently controlled by a Republican majority, and the state has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country due to its conservative Christian culture.
From 2011, women were made to undergo an invasive ultrasound scan at least 24 hours before they had an abortion, requiring at least two trips to a clinic. This is one of the measures Ms Farrar's bill parodies.
She told the site: "When a woman has to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound, it has nothing to do with her healthcare. One of the state's objectives is to guilt her into changing her mind."
The proposed law would also force the state to create pamphlets '-- mimicking those given to women seeking an abortion '-- filled with information about vasectomies, Viagra and colonosopies.
And it would allow doctors to "invoke their personal, moralistic, or religious beliefs in refusing to perform an elective vasectomy or prescribe Viagra".
It adds: "Masturbatory emissions created in health or medical facilities will be stored for the purposes of conception for a current or future wife."
Earlier this year one GOP state representative called for abortion to become a crime in Texas, arguing it would force women to be "more personally responsible" about sex.
Tony Tinderhold introduced the "Abolition Of Abortion In Texas Act" in an attempt to make it a criminal offence to have an abortion in the state at any point, regardless of whether a woman has conceived following rape or incest.
It is currently in the committee stage and, if successful, would mean women who have an abortion could be charged with murder.
The UK's own abortion ban, explained in 3 minutes
After one state law that required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and abortion clinics to have facilities similar to ambulatory surgical centres, was struck down by the Supreme Court, a study found its restrictions had already forced women to travel further for the procedure.
In Texas counties where the distance to the nearest clinic increased by 100 miles or more, there was a 50 per cent drop in the number of abortions taking place, the University of Texas' policy evaluation project found.
The number of clinics offering abortions in the state more than halved between 2013 and June 2016, when the law was struck down, from 41 to 17.
A spate of proposed laws targeting abortion across the US led Margaret Atwood, author of the classic dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale, to speak out last month.
She said concerns about women's rights under President Donald Trump had contributed to a resurgence in popularity for the book, which describes a repressive and highly stratified American society in which women are forced into domestic servitude and made to bear the children of the ruling class.
It followed a series of moves by conservative politicians to restrict access to abortions, as well as Vice President Mike Pence's attendance at the anti-abortion March For Life, for which Mr Trump also tweeted his "full support".
Mr Pence told marchers in January: "This administration will work with Congress to end taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion providers. Life is winning again in America."
Reuse content
Trump Invades Syria
Tue, 14 Mar 2017 16:03
Make no mistake: this is big news. And very bad newsBy Daniel McAdams
Ron Paul Institute
Although the Syrian army, with its ally Russia, has made significant gains against ISIS over the past week or so, the Washington Post is reporting tonight that President Trump has for the first time sent regular US military personnel into that country in combat positions.
This is an unprecedented escalation of US involvement in the Syrian warand it comes without Congressional authorization, without UN authorization, and without the authorization of the government of Syria. In short it is three ways illegal.
According to the Post, US Marines have departed their ships in the Mediterranean and have established an outpost on Syrian soil from where they will fire artillery toward the ISIS ''headquarters'' of Raqqa. The Post continues: The Marines on the ground include part of an artillery battery that can fire powerful 155-millimeter shells from M777 Howitzers, two officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the deployment. The expeditionary unit's ground force, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, will man the guns and deliver fire support for U.S.-backed local forces who are preparing an assault on the city. Additional infantrymen from the unit are likely to provide security.
On March 5th, RT ran footage of a US military convoy entering Syria near Manbij. The US mainstream media initially blacked out the story, but the Post today confirmed that the troops were from the Army's 75th Ranger Regiment in Stryker vehicles.
What is important to understand about this sudden escalation of US involvement is that if this ''race to Raqqa'' is won by the US military rather than by Syrian government forces, the chance that the US will hand the territory back to the Assad government is virtually nil. In other words, this is an operation far less about wiping ISIS out from eastern Syria and much more about the United States carving out eastern Syria as a permanent outpost from where it can, for example, continue the original neocon/Israeli/Saudi plan for ''regime change'' in Syria.
The United States is making a military bid for a very large chunk of sovereign Syrian territory. Something even Obama with his extraordinarily reckless Middle East policy would not dare to do.
How will the Russians react to this development?
How will the Russians react if increased US military activity on the ground in Syria begins to threaten Russian military forces operating in Syria (with the consent of that country's legal government)? With President Trump's ''get along with Russia'' policy lying in the tatters of a Nikki Haley at the UN and a Fiona Hill at NSC Staff, how differently might the Russians see US actions in Syria than they might have only a month or so ago?
Make no mistake: this is big news. And very bad news.
Bookmark the permalink.
Trump Transition
Trump administration rescinds Obama guidance on student loan defaults: report | TheHill
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 14:00
The Trump administration on Thursday rolled back Obama-era guidance that forbade student loan debt collectors from charging high fees to defaulted borrowers, The Washington Post reported.
In a ''Dear Colleague'' letter, the administration tells agencies that collect on defaulted loan debt to disregard guidance prohibiting them from charging borrowers who default on their payments fees of as much as 16 percent of the loan's principal and accrued interest.
It also says that the initial guidance handed down by the Obama administration in 2015 should have been subjected to public comment before it was issued.
''The Department thinks that the position set forth in the [Obama administration guidance] would have benefitted from public input on the issues discussed in the [guidance letter],'' the Trump administration's directive reads.''The department will not require compliance with the interpretations set forth ... without providing prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on the issues,'' it continues.
The decision to rescind the guidance came two days after the Consumer Federation of America issued a report that finds that the number of people defaulting on their student loan payments is on the rise.
The Trump's administration's letter affects 7 million people with loans through the Federal Family Education Loan Program that are held by guaranty agencies. Individuals whose debt is held by the Department of Education are not impacted by the decision.
The amount owed in student loan debt has surpassed that of credit card debt '-- about $1.2 trillion.
Trump's 2018 budget plan hacks civilian spending for defense, homeland
Fri, 17 Mar 2017 02:55
Trump's 2018 budget plan hacks civilian spending for defense, homelandBy Sean D. Carberry, Adam Mazmanian, Mark RockwellMar 16, 2017 President Trump's "skinny budget" for 2018 slashes spending at civilian agencies to support big increases in defense and homeland security.
The 2018 "budget blueprint" released March 16 by the Trump administration makes good on a pledge to hike defense and homeland security spending, and dramatically reduce outlays for foreign assistance and civilian agencies, with many coming in for double-digit percentage point cuts.
President Donald Trump's plan raises the defense budget by $54 million, and cuts the same amount from the civilian side of the ledger. The Department of State is in for a $10.9 billion cut, a 28.7 percent reduction over its 2017 budget, based on funding levels in the current continuing resolution. The Department of Labor and the Department of Agriculture both come in for 20 percent cuts. The Departments of Education, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Interior and Transportation are all targeted for double-digit percentage reductions over 2017 levels.
Additionally, the budget blueprint zeroes out 19 small independent agencies.
The document was received coolly at best, by Trump's Republican allies on Capitol Hill.
Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), chair of the House Budget Committee said, "I appreciate the White House's submission on how we can be better stewards of taxpayer dollars and strengthen our national security," and added, "We look forward to continuing our discussions with the White House, with our committee members and with the full House as we work towards introducing the Fiscal Year 2018 budget."
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was blunter. "The administration's budget isn't going to be the budget. We do the budget here. The administration makes recommendations, but Congress does budgets."
Democrats were highly critical. Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee, said, "Like some of the president's tweets, the Trump budget is a hasty list of appallingly unbalanced, shortsighted, politically driven priorities."
Federal employee advocates warned of layoffs under the plan. J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said in a statement that, "The severity of the budget cuts proposed by President Trump could require mass layoffs of employees at federal departments and agencies, although the budget blueprint released by the White House does not detail how many federal employees could lose their jobs."
IT and Management
A brief management section previews Trump's coming management agenda, announcing a focus on "effectiveness, efficiency, cybersecurity, and accountability." While short on details, the Trump budget blueprint took aim at "governmentwide policies [that] often tie agencies' hands and keep managers from making commonsense decisions."
The document singled out IT, human resources and acquisition as areas due for a rethink.
"Despite years of efforts to improve these critical management processes, managers remain frustrated with hiring methodologies that do not consistently bring in top talent, acquisition approaches that are too cumbersome, and IT that is outdated by the time it is deployed," the document says.
Trump plans to "roll back low-value activities and let managers manage, while holding them accountable for finding ways to reduce the cost of agency operations."
The blueprint seeks $603 billion in base defense spending. While the proposal doesn't break down where that money will be spent, it aims to bolster America's dominance in all domains, including cyberspace.
The request request represents a $54 billion increase over the 2018 cap mandated by the Budget Control Act, and a $19 billion increase over what the Obama administration had proposed for 2018, but it's short of the $640 billion that the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees say is needed to rebuild the military.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) called the proposal inadequate. "We must complete this year's work by passing the appropriations bill and the supplemental request, and then in turn adopt a budget for next year that meets the needs of the nation's national security."
His Senate counterpart, John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, "Mac Thornberry and I agree a defense budget of $640 billion in fiscal year 2018 and sustained increases for years to come are needed to rebuild our military, restore military readiness, and modernize our forces for the realities of 21st century warfare"
In addition to the proposed 2018 budget, the White House also announced a 2017 supplemental defense spending bill that includes an additional $25 billion in base spending and $5 billion more in Overseas Contingency Operations funding.
But, that request creates its own problems. Thornberry told reporters on March 8 that he expected the 2017 supplemental to be OCO and emergency funding in order to avoid having to re-legislate the 2017 spending bill.
"I have expected it to be OCO because everybody's aware of the time frame we're operating under, but, we can all be surprised," he said.
Homeland Security
The budget calls for $462 billion in non-defense discretionary spending. The Department of Homeland Security is the biggest winner that spending bucket, with a 6.8 percent increase to a total budget of $44 billion.
The White House listed cybersecurity among four management goals, and is looking to DHS as the center for new activity. The budget blueprint calls for $1.5 billion for DHS activities to shield federal networks and critical infrastructure from cyberattack.
Scholars: 'Infect' White Men With The 'Virus' of Feminism
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 03:26
It starts tamely enough. Someone talks passively about the wage gap over dinner. The next week, they retweet J.K. Rowling taking a stab at Piers Morgan. A few months later, suddenly, they've changed their major to gender studies and are talking about how men owe them money. The worst part? People around them start to suddenly do the same thing. Anyone who doesn't is summarily cut out of their life, a relic from their past lives where they lived in ignorance.
If it sounds like succumbing to an illness, right down to the different stages, that's the point. A 2016 paper that's currently making the rounds on social media from the Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies, titled ''Women's Studies as Virus: Institutional Feminism and the Projection of Danger,'' hypothesizes that women's and gender studies has an ''infectious'' structure marked by its ability to ''infect, unsettle, and disrupt traditional and entrenched fields.''
Penned by Breanne Fahs and Michael Karger, the essay uses the metaphor of the virus as an ''ideal'' for feminist pedagogy, and investigates how both gender studies and the spread of actual viruses like HIV and Ebola ''produce similar kinds of emotional responses in others.''
The paper looks at gender studies as an ''infectious, insurrectional, and potentially dangerous field of study,'' and goes on to suggest ideas on how to train male students on college campuses as viruses and reframe the negative stereotypes of feminist professors into positive ones to embrace.
Most of the paper consists of a straightforward retelling of the history of feminism and core feminist theory, highlighting the debates by academics on how to spread their ideology. It describes how gender studies programs were allowed to settle into corporate universities and regenerate themselves through the education of students who manipulate the academy to come under their control.
To counter the struggles feminists face in propagating the ideology, the ideas the authors propose are alarming.
First, the paper's authors suggest using white heterosexual men as vectors for the feminist virus. To turn them into vectors, the authors first propose discovering methods to awaken them to their ''privileges'' of whiteness, heterosexuality and maleness. They state that the methods ''may prove critical to the virulent capacity of women's studies programs seeking to infect male-dominated institutions.''
Male feminists in particular are often viewed as weak or emasculated'--perceptions that can be used to the virus' advantage in gaining access to spaces that traditionally exclude women.
''Thus, when men become feminist viruses, infecting and unsettling spaces where their privilege and dominance is assumed, the potential danger and impact is keenly felt.''
Men, they state, are more likely to listen to and agree with other men.
The second proposal for feminist propagation is to embrace the negative stereotypes of feminist professors because they provoke an emotional impact in listeners.
''Rather, by directly embracing the stereotypes of feminist professors as 'scary' (or 'man-hating,' 'lesbian,' 'hairy' and so on), it allows the field to both utilize and expose these emotional experiences as material for learning and growth.''
In creating the idea that ''feminism is for everybody'' and that it is neither dangerous nor scary, gender studies ''loses its potential pedagogical impact.'' Instead, the paper's authors recommend embracing these stereotypes to give feminism an identity, allowing it to ''ultimately lead to a more powerful and coherent feminist presence both within and outside of the academy.''
If you ever thought of feminism as a virus, this paper confirms it.
Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.
WikiLeaks - NSA Helped CIA Outmanoeuvre Europe on Torture
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 06:21
(on 2015-07-20) Today, Monday 20 July at 1800 CEST, WikiLeaks publishes evidence of National Security Agency (NSA) spying on German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier along with a list of 20 target selectors for the Foreign Ministry. The list indicates that NSA spying on the Foreign Ministry extends back to the pre-9/11 era, including numbers for offices in Bonn and targeting Joschka Fischer, Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister from 1998 to 2005.
Foreign Minister intercepted on CIA RenditionsCentral to today's publication is a Top Secret NSA intercept of the communications of Foreign Minister Steinmeier. The intercept dates from just after an official visit to the United States on 29 November 2005, where FM Steinmeier met his US counterpart, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
According to the intercept, Steinmeier "seemed relieved that he had not received any definitive response from the U.S. Secretary of State regarding press reports of CIA flights through Germany to secret prisons in eastern Europe allegedly used for interrogating terrorism suspects."
The visit occurred in the context of an escalating and ongoing scandal in Europe over clandestine "rendition flights" conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) using the airspace and airport facilities of cooperating European countries, in which it was alleged by leading news publications that European citizens and residents had been abducted outside of any legal process and taken to secret "black site" prisons, where they could be tortured with impunity. After the scandal emerged, European governments defied their publics, continuing to cooperate with the United States while denying all knowledge of rendition flights. These denials relied heavily on the insistence of European governments that they had received confidential "diplomatic assurances" from the United States that nothing illegal was taking place. It was subsequently shown in numerous court proceedings and commissions of inquiry that the activity was illegal.
At the time of Steinmeier's meeting, reports of CIA rendition flights through Germany had recently emerged, and were publicly dismissed as unconfirmed by German authorities.
In the years since 2005, successive investigations by human rights groups and international bodies, such as the Council of Europe, have substantiated that extraordinary rendition was indeed occurring. In 2007 the European Parliament approved a finding in a report by a special investigative committee where it was stated that Germany, among other states, aided or knew about the CIA's extraordinary rendition programme.
Prior to becoming Foreign Minister in 2005, Frank-Walter Steinmeier served as Head of Chancellery (Chief of Staff) in the government of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, where he was responsible for coordinating the work of German intelligence agencies. In 2004, during this tenure, Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen, was abducted by the CIA and renditioned to a black site in Afghanistan where he was interrogated and tortured for four months. Eventually the CIA realised that it had the wrong "El-Masri", and dumped the German on a desolate road in Albania and began a cover-up. El-Masri's case has been substantiated and confirmed in numerous inquiries, and at the European Court of Human Rights.
Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief, said: "Today's publication indicates that the NSA has been used to help the CIA kidnap and torture with impunity. For years the CIA was systematically abducting and torturing people, with the tacit complicity of European governments. In 2005 German Foreign Minister Steinmeier was thrilled that his tactic of asking Condoleezza Rice no hard questions about CIA renditions had worked. The US said nothing that would require him to do anything. And how do we know about it? Because the National Security Agency was gloating to the US senior executive about intercepting this cowardly display. Nobody comes out of this looking good."
20 New SelectorsEleven of the 20 target selectors are cell numbers; there are two assigned to FM Steinmeier. One is a Vodafone number and the other a T-Mobile number labelled by NSA as ''GE SPD STEINMEIER CELL'', indicating spying on Steinmeier's internal communications at his SPD party level (Social Democratic Party).
Among others named on the list is J¼rgen Borsch, who seems to have been intercepted when at the Crisis Response Centre at the Foreign Ministry, the Centre seemingly of particular interest to the NSA. Borsch is now the German Consul-General in Miami. Also named on the list are: Viktor Elbling, who is the Commissioner for International Energy Policy at the Foreign Ministry, Bernhard von Waldersee, former director for Latin American and Caribbean Affairs at the Foreign Ministry (2008''2011), now Ambassador to Argentina, and Peter Ammon, Secretary of State at the Foreign Office from 2008 to 2011 and then Ambassador in Washington until last year when he became the Ambassador to the United Kingdom in London.
Today's publication of the 20 target selectors adds to the previous WikiLeaks publication of 125 German numbers targeted by the NSA, showing systematic mass spying on the Chancellor and the Chancellery (All the Chancellor's Men, 8 July) and German politicians and officials handling economic, trade and financial affairs (The Euro Intercepts, 1 July).
(on 2015-07-08) Press ReleaseEnglish | Deutsch | Fran§ais
Today, Wednesday 8 July at 1800 CEST, WikiLeaks publishes three NSA intercepts of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, together with a list of 56 National Security Agency (NSA) target selectors for the Chancellor and the Chancellery. It lists not only confidential numbers for the Chancellor, but also for her top officials, her aides, her chief of staff, her political office and even her fax machine. The combined German NSA target lists released by WikiLeaks so far shows the NSA explicitly targeted for long-term surveillance 125 phone numbers for top German officials and did so for political and economic reasons, according to its own designations.
The intercepts published today show that the most senior levels of the US Executive were appraised of Chancellor Merkel's plans on how to respond to the international financial crisis and the Eurozone bank bailout. Her private views about Obama's engagement with Iran were also intercepted as she spoke to the United Arab Emirates Crown Prince Shaykh Muhammad bin Zayid al-Nuhayyan.
The target list includes almost two dozen targeted telephone numbers at the federal agency (German: Bundeskanzleramt) that serves the executive office of the Chancellor, surrounding the Chancellor in a web of surveillance. The intensive nature of US targeting around the Chancellor explains why the White House could easily commit to not targeting Angela Merkel personally in the future, but continues to refuse to make such a commitment for other members of the German government '' the Chancellor cannot run the government by talking to herself.
The list of selectors that are targeted include several cell phone numbers, including the Vodafone number for Chancellor Merkel that was in use through 2013. The Vodafone number for former head of the Chancellery from 2009 to December 2013 (and therefore ultimately in charge of the BND for that time, which was through the start of the Snowden revelations), Ronald Pofalla, is also on the list. Pofalla stated on 12 August 2013 after the Snowden documents first surfaced that "the US side offered us a no-spy agreement"; however, since then it has become clear this is not the case.
Pofalla was questioned on Thursday 2 July, in the most recent German Parliamentary Inquiry session into the BND and NSA, where he stated that there was no proof that Chancellor Merkel had been spied on. This is despite a publication in February 2014 detailing NSA targeting of a number for Merkel which launched an investigation into this surveillance. However, the investigation was dropped on 12 June this year due to lack of evidence. WikiLeaks' publication today provides this evidence through the NSA intercept reports derived from the interceptions provided through these selectors. WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange said: "There is now proof enough of NSA surveillance on German soil. It is time to reopen the investigation and for the NSA to stop engaging in its illegal activities against Germany."
The T-Mobile and O2 cell number for G(C)za Andreas von Geyr, former department head of a unit of Foreign and Security Policy at the Chancellery (responsible for bilateral US relations) was targeted, as was the T-Mobile number for Bernard Kotsch. He is current Deputy Head of the Federal Chancellery Office.
The names associated with some of the targets indicate that spying on the Chancellery predates Angela Merkel as it includes staff of former Chancellor Gerhard Schr¶der (in office 1998''2002), and his predecessor Helmut Kohl. This mirrors the US approach to its targeting of French officials, which showed interceptions extending back to President Sarkozy and President Chirac.
The list has been updated for more than a decade after it was standardised in 2002. However, a close study of the list shows that it has evolved from an earlier target list extending back to the 1990s. Some of the old Chancellery numbers from the Bonn years are targeted and still in use, but redirect callers to Berlin.
Many of the targeted numbers are for top officials and advisors handling the Economic and Financial Policy at the Chancellery (Division 4), Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (Division 2). It is also noteworthy that the list includes targets at Division 6, responsible for co-ordination of the intelligence service of the German Federation.
Today's publication includes three NSA reports based on interceptions. One is from 2009 and details German Chancellor Merkel's views on the international financial crisis, expressed in February of that year. It outlines concerns for the impaired assets of banks and questioning of the approach taken by the US Federal Reserve. The Chancellor expressed support for the principles in the framework of dealing with toxic assets, being discussed at a forthcoming meeting of G-20 nations in London on 2 April 2009. The Chancellor wants banks to share responsibility for toxic assets and expressed that at least Germany would not have an ''anonymous garbage bin'' where such assets would be dumped. The Chancellor thought that the Federal Reserve was ''taking risks'', according to the intercept.
The second NSA intercept report, published today, is based on communications between Chancellor Merkel and Crown Prince Shaykh Muhammad bin Zayid al-Nuhayyan of the United Arab Emirates in March 2009. The two met in person in January of the same year when the Crown Prince was on a public visit to Germany. In the intercepted talk Chancellor Merkel and the Crown Prince exchanged their views of the reaction in Tehran to a recent online New Year's video message by President Obama to the Iranian public. Obama's message was released on 20 March on the occasion of Nowruz, the Persian new year. The Chancellor and the Crown Prince exchanged views on the reaction by Iranian leaders to Obama's initiative. The report is labelled Top Secret and Highly Sensitive but shared with the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada (the ''Five Eyes'').
The third Top Secret report published today by WikiLeaks is based on interception of communication between Chancellor Merkel and two of her advisers, Helge Hassold and Albrecht Morgenstern on 28 August 2011. The topic was the draft of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and certain reservations the advisers had because of lack of references to conditionality and contagion in the outline for the new instruments that they wanted Germany to press. Merkel's advisers also stated concerns that interest expenses were absent in the guarantee amounts, pointing out that those expenses have grown because of debt extension granted to Greece, Portugal and Ireland.
(on 2015-07-03) Press ReleaseEnglish | Fran§ais
Today, Friday 3 July 1900 CEST, WikiLeaks continues its "Euro Intercepts" series, adding to US and UK intercepts of the French and German leadership published last week.
Today's Top Secret US intelligence intercept details intelligence gathered based on communications relayed in December 2011 between French president Nikolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a future European financial crisis. German Chancellory EU Affairs Chief Landrut was also intercepted reporting the positions of his French counterpart Presidency Secretary-General Xavier Musca and EU Council President Herman van Rompuy.
The classified report details Franco''German approaches to, and positions on, the drafting of a new financial treaty to help prevent future European financial crises. Notably, the publication shows US intelligence interest in a wider European field. For example, it includes Sweden's "outrage[d]" reaction to the UK withdrawing from the proposed treaty.
Today's publication is the first intercept published based on intelligence gathered through the infamous joint NSA and CIA collection unit, SCS (Special Collection Service). The SCS is a covert signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection programme, where NSA employees work under diplomatic cover to conduct foreign surveillance from US embassies.
The intelligence appears to have been conducted from US embassies in both Berlin and Paris, both of which installed "SCS" interception sites.
The Top Secret intercept published today is part of the daily reports created by the NSA Summary Services Office and distributed to the US Executive. WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange said: "Today's publication demonstrates yet again that the United States' has for years waged a very serious economic and political espionage campaign against the heart of Europe. A crime has been committed and ample proof has been provided. US responses lack credibility. France and Germany, if they are serious about protecting their economic and political integrity, can insist, as with nuclear treaties, on site inspection rights and a verification protocol. The 'Open Skies' policy was an important element in policing state behaviour in the Cold War. Perhaps it's time for 'Open Spies'."
The intercept for today's publication can be found here.
(on 2015-06-29) Press ReleaseEnglish | Deutsch | Fran§ais
The United States National Security Agency has been massively targeting phone numbers of top German ministers and public officials responsible for commerce, finances, economics and agriculture '' including even Angela Merkel's personal assistant. WikiLeaks publishes today, 1 July 2015, a list of 69 German government telephone numbers from a high-priority NSA target interception list demonstrating economic and political espionage against Germany for almost two decades. WikiLeaks is also publishing classified interception reports resulting from the surveillance, showing the US and UK spying on German officials discussing their positions and disagreements on the solution to the Greek financial crisis.
Merkel intercepted talking to her personal assistantOne intercept report is based on private communication between Chancellor Angela Merkel and her personal assistant. The other is based on a British intelligence interception of the communications of German Chancellery Director-General for EU Affairs Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut.
The Merkel document details a US intercept of the Chancellor on 11 October 2011 and is classified two levels above Top Secret, an indicator that the material is considered highly sensitive. Even so, it is cleared for sharing with other members of the US-led "Five Eyes" spying alliance of UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
In the intercepted talk between Chancellor Merkel and her assistant, the Chancellor talks about her views on solutions to the Greek financial crisis and her disagreement with members of her own Cabinet, such as Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble, on matters of policy. She also discusses the positions of French leaders, and of the heads of the key institutions of the Troika: European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and IMF Director Christine Lagarde. In the conversation Merkel also stressses the urgency of enacting the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) and of putting pressure on the US and British governments to bring it about. The FTT was first introduced in September 2011 by EU Commission President Jose Barroso. It has been strongly opposed by major banks and, within the EU, by the governments of Britain and Sweden. The Top Secret NSA interception report was shared with British intelligence.
UK bugged Franco-German Greece bailout plan, gave intercept to USA separate report published today by WikiLeaks, based on communications intercepts made by British intelligence (GCHQ) and shared with the NSA, details the German government's position ahead of negotiations on a EU bailout plan for Greece. The report refers to an overview prepared by German Chancellery Director-General for EU Affairs Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut. Germany was, according to the intercept, opposed to giving a banking licence to the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), however it would support a special IMF fund into which the BRICS nations would contribute to bolster European bailout activities. The report also cites Meyer-Landrut's belief that a resolution to the Greek crisis would require greater private-sector involvement. He believed a full-term team would have to be placed in Athens to monitor the situation.
NSA economic espionage extends as far back as the Clinton PresidencyThe NSA high-priority German target list makes clear a US emphasis on intercepting the communications of government offices and political officials dealing with economic, commerce and even agricultural policy. The earliest targets on the list date from as far back as the Clinton Presidency, which added Oskar Lafontaine, who was German Finance Minister from 1998 to 1999. The target selectors also include Werner M¼ller, German Federal Minister for Economics 1998''2002; Barbara Hendricks, former Secretary of State at the Federal Ministry of Finance and current Federal Minister for the Environment; and Ida-Maria Aschenbrenner, Head of Office of Minister of Finance Theo Waigel from 1989 to 1998. Target selectors include ministers, their staff, and groups working on preparations for meetings of the G7 and the WTO. One of the included selectors is a phone number at the European Central Bank. The list even includes central switchboards for key departments and fax numbers.
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange said: "Today's publication further demonstrates that the United States' economic espionage campaign extends to Germany and to key European institutions and issues such as the European Central Bank and the crisis in Greece. Our publication today also shows how the UK is assisting the US to spy on issues central to Europe. Would France and Germany have proceeded with the BRICS bailout plan for Greece if this intelligence was not collected and passed to the United States '' who must have been horrified at the geopolitical implications?"
-Julian Assange, Sarah Harrison and Kristinn Hrafnsson
Alternate Universes
A Tweet to Kurt Eichenwald, a Strobe and a Seizure. Now, an Arrest. - NYTimes.com
Sat, 18 Mar 2017 18:37
WASHINGTON '-- When the journalist Kurt Eichenwald opened an animated image sent to him on Twitter in December, the message ''You deserve a seizure for your posts'' appeared in capital letters along with a blinding strobe light. Mr. Eichenwald, who has epilepsy, immediately suffered a seizure.
On Friday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it had arrested John Rayne Rivello, 29, at his home in Salisbury, Md., and accused him of sending the electronic file. The agency charged Mr. Rivello with criminal cyberstalking with the intent to kill or cause bodily harm.
The charge could carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years, according to the United States district attorney in Dallas, who is prosecuting the case.
The unusual case has shown how online tools can be deployed as weapons capable of physical harm. The F.B.I. and the Dallas police led the investigation into Mr. Rivello, and the police said he sent the strobe light knowing that it was likely to lead Mr. Eichenwald, who has publicly discussed hisepilepsy, into a seizure.
Steven Lieberman, Mr. Eichenwald's lawyer, has argued that the use of the strobe light in a GIF, or moving graphic, was akin to sending an explosive or poison in the mail.
''This electronic message was no different than a bomb sent in the mail or anthrax sent in an envelope,'' said Mr. Lieberman, who is working on the case as a pro bono service. ''It triggers a physical effect.'' (Mr. Lieberman represents The New York Times as outside counsel, and Mr. Eichenwald was a reporter for The Times from 1986 to 2006.)
That comparison makes Mr. Eichenwald's case different from other claims of harmful attacks using social media. Lawsuits involving stalking and bullying on the internet have focused on how online content, such as disparaging and abusive messages and pictures, can harm victims emotionally and even increase the risk of suicide. But with this case, Mr. Rivello is said to have designed the attack specifically around the victim's medical condition.
''This is an interesting and unique case in that there are lots of online attacks that can have physical consequences, such as an attack on an electrical grid or the control of air traffic control,'' said Vivek Krishnamurthy, an assistant director at the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard Law School. ''But this is distinguishable because it is a targeted physical attack that was personal, using a plain-Jane tool.''
Investigators found evidence of the plan to attack Mr. Eichenwald from a search of Mr. Rivello's Twitter account, the Justice Department said in a statement. After obtaining a search warrant for Mr. Rivello's social media account, investigators found direct messages to other Twitter users about Mr. Eichenwald, including one that read, ''I hope this sends him into a seizure.''
Other Twitter messages from Mr. Rivello included one that read, ''I know he has epilepsy.''
Investigators also searched one of Mr. Rivello's digital accounts and found a screenshot of Mr. Eichenwald's Wikipedia page that had been altered to show a fake date of death of Dec. 16, 2016, the day after the strobe light attack, the Justice Department said. The digital account also contained screenshots from epilepsy.com with a list of commonly reported epilepsy seizure triggers.
The attack drew attention from the news media as thousands of Twitter users witnessed the sequence of events unfold live on the social media site.
Mr. Eichenwald, 55, who has about 318,000 followers on Twitter and has written four books, including ''The Informant,'' had been critical of Donald J. Trump throughout his presidential campaign. Mr. Eichenwald suspected that the attacker, who operated under the pseudonym ''@jew_goldstein'' on Twitter, was a supporter of Mr. Trump. Twitter has since suspended the account.
Late in the evening on Dec. 15, Mr. Eichenwald went to his home office in Dallas and saw that @jew_goldstein had replied to a Twitter post with a GIF. When Mr. Eichenwald clicked on the file, the strobe light triggered the seizure, his lawyer said. Mr. Eichenwald fell to the ground.
His wife, Theresa, found him on the floor and saw the Twitter post on his computer screen. She called 911 and then replied on Twitter: ''@jew_goldstein This is his wife, you caused a seizure. I have your information and have called the police to report the assault.''
Mr. Eichenwald was incapacitated for several days, lost feeling in his left hand and had trouble speaking for several weeks, according to his lawyer.
Soon after, he contacted the Dallas district attorney's office. In state court, Mr. Eichenwald's lawyer filed for permission to serve a subpoena of Twitter to gain access to the account for @jew_goldstein. The social media company indicated it would cooperate, which drew protest from an anonymous ''John Doe'' filing that was intended to quash the subpoena.
Investigators would not say how they tracked down Mr. Rivello. Court documents were not immediately available. Mr. Rivello will be transferred to Dallas, where Mr. Eichenwald lives, to appear before the District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
Mr. Eichenwald used Twitter on Friday to thank officials for their work on his case. He said that since the Dec. 15 message, 40 more accounts have sent him strobe light images.
''Details of their cases are with the FBI. Stop sending them,'' he wrote on Twitter.
ADA Scam
Berkeley Goes Offline | The Weekly Standard
Wed, 15 Mar 2017 13:10
A'‚few years ago, an adjunct professor and disability-rights activist named Stacy Nowak went to take a look at a college course offered online by the University of California, Berkeley. The course was called "Journalism for Social Change." Nowak is deaf. She has no connection to UC Berkeley; she teaches art at Gallaudet University. But she was displeased with the quality of the closed captioning the university provided on the course's video.
Nowak, who declined to be interviewed for this article, got hold of the National Association of the Deaf, which she's a member of. In doing so she set in motion a train of events that will come to a head on March 15. Already famous for other reasons, the Ides of March will likely stand as a signal day in the development of modern liberalism, or progressivism, as we are supposed to call it. That's when one bastion of left-wingery, UC Berkeley, will give in to the demands of another, the disability-rights movement, to deprive the rest of us of a uniquely wonderful resource of modern technology. It's not as complicated as it sounds.
Since 2012, UC Berkeley (among many other schools) has offered video and audio recordings of many of its courses to the general public, via YouTube and iTunes U. The Seussian acronym is MOOCs, for massive open online courses. Over the years Berkeley's catalogue of MOOCs has grown to more than 40,000 hours of high-end pedagogy. There are introductory courses in economics, European history, statistics, physics, geography, and pretty much everything else. More advanced courses range from "Scientific Approaches to Consciousness" and "Game Theory" to "The Planets" and "Philosophy of Language," this last taught by John Searle, the country's, and maybe the world's, greatest living philosopher. Not all of the content will be to everyone's taste, of course, and I'm sure there's something to annoy anyone sooner or later. Professor Michael Nagler's simpering "Intro to Nonviolence" makes me want to punch something. I probably wouldn't like "Journalism for Social Change," either.
But still, wandering around this digital edifice one can't help but marvel. Has the Internet ever seemed so close to fulfilling the promise of its salad days? Think of it: Anyone anywhere can take a class at UC Berkeley, at their own pace, without tests or note-taking or waking up before noon! And despite the reflexive slanders from conservatives and its well-earned reputation as a hive of left-wingers, Berkeley remains one of the great intellectual centers of the world when it's not being torched by its students. Clicking on a course that seems even vaguely interesting, a former liberal arts major will now and then feel a reawakening of the thrill and sense of elation and limitless possibility that are among the great rewards of brainy adventures. Berkeley's MOOCs constitute an expansion of intellectual opportunity unimaginable 25 years ago.
Unfortunately, that's about the time Americans saw the imposition of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The act, passed in 1990, ordered American businesses and other institutions, public and private, to make "reasonable accommodations" to employees, customers, or even random passersby, as long as federal regulators dubbed them disabled. The disability could be mental or physical. A drunkard no less than a deaf person is considered disabled for purposes of the ADA.
The law was called "bipartisan"'--a word that should ring like a firebell in the ears of every lover of liberty'--because it was passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by a Republican president, George H.'…W. Bush. Mostly, though, it was the work of the newly minted "disability-rights movement." Disability activists insisted their cause was the next stage in the same movement that brought legal liberation to African Americans. This has since become a common strategy for rent seekers of all kinds. Yet the rationale for inventing rights based on mental or physical disability bore no resemblance to the civil rights movement of earlier decades. The ADA was a brazen exercise in moral free-riding.
The only opposition to it came from a brave band of libertarians and constitutionalists who saw it as a gluttonous and unprecedented expansion of state power. The ADA gave the federal bureaucracy the authority to muscle its way into the interactions of private citizens as never before. For the first time, a civil servant in Washington could reach across the country to demand, for example, that a store owner in Spittoon, Kansas, build his grocery shelves to whatever height the bureaucrat chose. For good measure the grocer could be fined if his water fountain spouted water at the incorrect angle.
The ADA spread a feast for plaintiffs' lawyers. Its provisions are so comprehensively intrusive that no business could hope to be in perfect compliance. One federal manual, covering the single topic of "accessible design," comes to more than 275 pages. Walter Olson, author of The Litigation Explosion, has tracked many of the tens of thousands of lawsuits'--from the deaf patient awarded $400,000 because his rheumatologist failed to provide a sign language interpreter, to the police dispatcher who won a settlement for discrimination after she was fired. Her disability was narcolepsy.
Beyond the fate of individual businesses, and despite the warnings of a few economists, the unconquerable American economy absorbed the expense and market inefficiencies of the ADA with only the slightest indigestion. It swallowed, burped, and moved on. By now the act's reshaping of the landscape is so pervasive as to be invisible'--curb cuts on street corners, ramps jerry-rigged on old office buildings, doors that open magically of themselves, and so on. After the ADA the country was much less free but its rulers were much more pleased with themselves.
As for the unintended consequences of the act .'…'….'…'…. well, Berkeley has just learned about those.
After Nowak notified the National Association of the Deaf of her frustration with Berkeley's MOOCs, NAD went straight to the white-hot center of the American grievance industry, the federal government's Department of Justice. The organization filed a complaint with DoJ on behalf of Nowak and a Gallaudet colleague as "aggrieved individuals." The government lawyers got to work.
UC Berkeley, needless to say, is deeply involved in the disability rights movement and has gone to great lengths to keep it satisfied. Its Division of Equity and Inclusion boasts a Disabled Students Program that offers a long list of services to accommodate disabled students, including Disability Management Counseling and disability-specific problem-solving groups. The school adheres to an accessibility policy that issues Web Content Accessibility Guidelines that are enforced by the Web Accessibility Services team. There's even a minor in disability studies.
None of this impressed the Justice Department or the aggrieved individuals or the activist organization of which they are a part. Note that the accommodations listed above are for students and faculty only. But Berkeley opened its MOOCs to the general public. Among the videos, the intrepid DoJ investigators discovered some without captions, thus discriminating against members of the general public who are deaf. Some "contain[ed] text [that] had poor color contrast," thus discriminating against Americans with visual impairments. Others contained graphs and charts in which "information was sometimes conveyed using one color alone," thus discriminating against the color-blind.
In August, Rebecca Bond, chief of DoJ's Disability Rights Section, sent a letter to UC Berkeley administrators demanding that these acts of discrimination be corrected. In addition, the school would have to "pay compensatory damages to aggrieved individuals for injuries caused by UC Berkeley's failure to comply" with the ADA.
The letter was written in the purring tones of an enforcer who loves her work. "The Department prefers to resolve this matter cooperatively through a court-enforceable consent decree," Bond wrote. "In the event that we are unable to reach such a resolution, the Attorney General may initiate a lawsuit pursuant to the ADA." And do have a nice day.
The administrators didn't need an abacus to reckon that complying with the letter and retrofitting all the MOOC videos would be prohibitively expensive. Merely providing captions for all the videos, to say nothing of adjusting their color schemes and formatting, would cost more than $1 million, one official told the East Bay Times.
The easiest course, administrators concluded, was simply to pull all the MOOCs from the Internet, so that disabled members of the general public will no longer have to be subjected to such discriminatory offenses'--and, also, so that the federal government won't sue UC Berkeley. Last week Vice Chancellor Cathy Koshland announced that beginning March 15, Berkeley's vast library of online courses would no longer be publicly available. If they couldn't be accessible to a member of NAD, they won't be accessible to anyone.
"The revolution eats its own children," said Georges Jacques Danton. Too bad about the collateral damage.
Andrew Ferguson is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard.
Lock Her Up
Insider: Trump Was Told Clintons Are Dying - Your News Wire
Wed, 15 Mar 2017 12:08
President Trump has been told that Bill and Hillary Clinton are dying, according to a White House insider who works closely with the president.
A merciful Trump took pity on Bill and Hillary Clinton upon hearing of their ill-health. Not because he approves of pedophilia, corruption, or murder. No, because he is a spiritual man who can see that karma has caught up with them and is about to pay them back with a vengeance.
''Their fate in hell far exceeds any punishment we could impose on that pair. We must concentrate on the network of crooks, pedophiles and traffickers that exist right now and prosecute them with the full force of the law,'' Trump told the team in a closed-door meeting at the White House.
Trump also believes that the Clintons are a fading force in US politics. Bill's career is well and truly over and Hillary is a thoroughly defeated figure, languishing at rock bottom in nationwide approval rating polls.
It is believed that a blockbuster Clinton trial would destabilize a country already racked by division, and a guilty verdict would transform the deeply unpopular duo from despised and rejected figures into undeserved martyrs.
President Trump, playing the long game, does not wish to give the DNC this gift.
According to the White House insider it is former president Obama, who has been ignoring the customary peaceful transferral of power, who is viewed as the greater threat to the Trump presidency.
The White House insider also explained that the leaks coming out of the White House would ''soon dry up'' as Obama-era holdovers were removed, and staff loyal to the president were appointed to key positions of trust.
The leaks, ''half-truths and outright lies'', have been pounced on by mainstream media and used to smear President Trump.
On Friday dozens of US Attorneys were given notice to hand in their resignations, as Trump continues cleaning house and streamlining government.
Baxter DmitryBaxter Dmitry is a writer at Your News Wire. He covers politics, business and entertainment. Speaking truth to power since he learned to talk, Baxter has travelled in over 80 countries and won arguments in every single one. Live without fear.Email: baxter@yournewswire.com
Follow: @baxter_dmitry
Latest posts by Baxter Dmitry (see all)
Shut Up Slave!
Germany warns social media firms over illegal content
Tue, 14 Mar 2017 16:08
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Social networks must work harder to remove illegal content, said Mr Maas Social media firms in Germany could face fines of up to 50 million euros if they take too long to remove illegal content including fake news.
Germany's justice minister has drafted a law that seeks to impose the fines as part of efforts to police toxic chat.
Heiko Maas said the voluntary efforts of social networks to tackle the problem had not gone far enough.
The proposal requires sites to run 24-hour helplines and to delete flagged content within seven days.
Social media firms such as Twitter and Facebook were getting better at handling illegal content, said Mr Maas, but both had a long way to go.
Mr Maas quoted research which suggested Twitter deletes only 1% of the hate speech it is told about by users, and Facebook, 39%.
"This isn't sufficient yet," said Mr Maas.
Racism and hate speech are believed to have become more prevalent on German social media following the arrival of large number of refugees in Germany.
Any content that was "clearly criminal" would have to be removed within 24 hours under conditions outlined in the draft law. If, after an investigation, content is found to be criminal then that must be removed in seven days. The people who posted the illegal content must also be told about its deletion.
The proposed law would require each network to run fully staffed, round-the-clock reporting systems and to name an individual responsible for handling complaints. That person could face an individually levied fine of five million euros if companies break laws governing what can be published.
Mr Maas said the law could apply to fake news articles if they proved to be slanderous, defamatory or libellous.
Facebook did not comment directly on the proposal but said tests it commissioned showed it removed a higher percentage of illegal content than Mr Maas claimed. The social network said it expected to have 700 people employed in Berlin by the end of 2017 overseeing its efforts to review flagged content.
German digital trade association Bitkom criticised the proposed law. It told the Financial Times that the requirement to remove material within 24 hours on sites that handle more than one billion posts per day was "utterly impossible to implement in operational terms".
Over 100 Finnish election candidates '' Greens included '' call for small reactors for district heating | The unpublished notebooks of J. M. Korhonen
Thu, 16 Mar 2017 14:29
More than hundred candidates in the upcoming municipal elections in Finland have signed a statement calling for Finnish cities to explore the possibilities of using small nuclear reactors to provide district heating. Interestingly, among the signatories are significant numbers of Green party candidates.
District heat is used widely in Finnish urban areas. The existing system, based mostly on coal, gas, peat and biomass, needs to be overhauled in order to reduce Finland's carbon dioxide emissions. Existing plans to replace fossil fuels and peat rely mostly on biomass. However, these plans are questioned increasingly often, both because carbon dioxide emissions of biomass are likely to be significantly higher than hitherto assumed, and because there are increasing doubts about the environmental impacts of increased logging.
Both in Finland and in Sweden, small reactors were seriously considered as a heat source until mid-1980s. These studies culminated in detailed plans for so-called SECURE (Safe and Environmentally Clean Urban REactor) unit, a simple and safe 200 MWt ''water heater'' that would have been installed in a cave excavated in the bedrock under Helsinki. However, decreasing gas prices and the Chernobyl accident derailed the plans. It remains to be seen whether the proposal, which I've translated below, will result to a resurgence of interest in SECURE-like designs '' and which nuclear startup is the first to contact the candidates?
The original statement, and the list of signatories by municipality, can be found here. You may also be interested in a previous statement by four Finnish Green party candidates calling for support for both renewables and nuclear energy.
Statement by Finnish municipal election candidates:Climate change has continued to break the temperature and ice loss records. In the upcoming municipal elections [April 9, 2017] we have the opportunity of influencing greenhouse gas emissions from our cities. For example, more than half of all emissions in Helsinki are caused by district heat that is largely generated by burning coal.
Plans to replace coal with wood pellets do not reduce emissions enough. In addition, increasing wood harvests have disastrous environmental consequences.
However, a very low-carbon source of heat exist: nuclear power. New generation of mass produced small reactors are the conceptual opposites of massive prototype plants such as Olkiluoto 3. Reactors are factory-built and transported to the site, speeding up construction. They can also be passively safe, shutting themselves safely down even if all safety systems fail.
The undersigned municipal election candidates desire that the possibilities for using nuclear energy in district heating are explored. A study of practical solutions for Finnish cities can then be conducted as a joint project of participating cities.
For more information, contact
Petrus Pennanen, +358 40 502 0355, petrus.pennanen@piraattipuolue.fi
Tea T¶rm¤nen, +358 45 615 7432, tea.tormanen@helsinki.fi
Antti van Wonterghem, +358 50 544 7187, vanwonterghem.antti@gmail.com
[As of 16 March 2017, the statement has been signed by more than 100 candidates from most of the major parties, including the Greens. The statement is still open for additional signatories.]
Yemen's oil and gas: facts and figures - Telegraph
Sun, 12 Mar 2017 20:03
Yemen had proven oil reserves of around 2.7bn barrels at the end of 2009, equal to just 0.2pc of global reserves, according to the BP Statistical Review
Daily oil production fell to 298,000 bpd in 2009, or just 0.4pc of the global total, continuing the steady decline in output from a peak of 457,000 bpd in 2002, according to BP
Falling oil revenues has hindered the government's ability to provide basic public services, which has stoked anti-government sentiment
Oil reserves and production lie mainly in Jannah and Iyad in the centre of the Yemen, Marib-Jawf in the north, and Shabwa and Masila in the south. The government estimates Masila holds about 84pc of the national total
Oil is transported from Masila to Ash Shahir by a 90-mile pipeline with a capacity of 300,000 bpd, while the 130-mile Shabwa-Bir Ali pipeline carries up to 135,000 bpd from the Ayad-Shabwa block to the Bir Ali terminal on the Gulf of Aden
Yemen is the 16th largest seller of liquefied natural gas
The country has proven gas reserves of 490bn cubic metres of gas, or about 0.3pc of the global total, according to BP statistics
Most of the gas is found in the Marib-Jawf oilfields and it is mostly reinjected to enhance oil recovery. Gas production has been in decline since 2005
Yemen LNG's export facility at Balhaf, which opened in 2009 and is led by French oil major Total, is the largest-ever industrial project in Yemen
Energy & Utilities and Oil & Gas vacancies at Telegraph Jobs
Agenda 2030
Washington Post To Reach Peak Idiocy On March 14
Tue, 14 Mar 2017 15:40
Two weeks ago, the fake news Washington Post predicted peak bloom on March 15.
we predict the cherry trees will reach peak bloom between March 15 and 19
Cherry blossom forecast: Peak bloom will be close to record-early this year '' The Washington Post
It is March 14, the cherry trees are covered with snow and ice, and forecast low tonight is 20 degrees.
Fake News Came Early At The New York Times
Tue, 14 Mar 2017 15:40
Six days ago, the fake news New York Times said spring came early, and blamed your SUV.
Spring Came Early. Scientists Say Climate Change Is a Culprit. '' The New York Times
This is what Times Square looks like right now.
1988 '' A Critical Year For The Global Warming Scam
Tue, 14 Mar 2017 15:53
The hot summer of 1988 was seized upon by global warming fraudsters like James Hansen and Steven Schneider, as an opportunity to begin working their scam into the public consciousness. The scamsters predicted 3-9 degrees warming by 2030 in this Chicago Tribune article.
November 19, 1988 '' Hot topic hits home
This is the same Steven Schneider who previously explained why a runaway greenhouse effect is impossible, and why two degrees warming was highly unlikely over the next several thousand years.
In 1984 the Chicago Tribune reported a sharp cooling trend, and that Illinois temperatures were barely warmer in 1980 than they were in 1870.
April 23, 1984 '' Cold facts suggest a chilling trend
The summer of 1988 was the last really hot summer in Illinois, where hot days have become a thing of the past. Ninety degree days occur less than half as often now as they did in the 1930's.
A year later in 1989, Hansen bumped his scam forecasts up to nine degrees warming '' while Tom Karl of NOAA explained that almost all observed warming occurred before 1919, and that Earth had cooled from 1921 to 1979.
07 Dec 1989, Page 14 '' Santa Cruz Sentinel
In 1989, NOAA stated that there had been no warming in the US over the past century.
U.S. Data Since 1895 Fail To Show Warming Trend
The 1995 IPCC report showed no global troposphere warming from 1958 to 1994.
In 1992, Mark Serreze found no evidence that Earth is suffering from the greenhouse effect.
Denver Post: Archive Results
There was no indication that Earth was warming, but by 1989 the UN had recognized that pushing global warming was a way to seize power, and said it would kill us all by the year 2000.
Mercury News: Search Results
Globalists co-opted a few crooked scientists like Hansen and Schneider by 1988, and eventually Tom Karl and Mark Serreze went over to the dark side too.
Star-News '' Google News Archive Search
Global warming is the biggest scam in science history. It is based on the same idea which globalists have always used.
Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.
Winter Snow Extent Tenth Highest On Record
Tue, 14 Mar 2017 15:59
Every government climate expert in the world predicted that the snow line would retreat towards the poles due to warmer weather, causing lower extent. The exact opposite is happening. Due to Arctic air incursions penetrating further and further south, snow is falling at lower latitudes and winter snow extent is increasing. This past winter had the tenth highest snow extent on record.
Rutgers University Climate Lab :: Global Snow Lab
Only a complete moron or a government climate expert would believe that snow in the Sahara is due to an overheated atmosphere. But I repeat myself.
A metre of snow falls in the Sahara desert
Angelina Jolie 'nervous' ahead of her first lecture as LSE visiting professor | London Evening Standard
Thu, 16 Mar 2017 00:12
Angelina Jolie today said she was ''feeling butterflies'' ahead of her first lecture as a visiting professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The actress and film-maker, who co-founded the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative, was set to tell students at the LSE's Centre for Women, Peace and Security today about her experience in the field and how sexual violence is used as a tool of war.
''I'm a little nervous, feeling butterflies,'' she told the Evening Standard beforehand. ''I hope I do well. This is very important to me.''
The post, which is unpaid, formally begins in September, with Ms Jolie helping teach students about the impact of war on women.
As a visiting professor, she will deliver guest lectures to students, participate in public events and workshops, and undertake her own research.
Ms Jolie, the special envoy of the UN High Commission for Refugees, launched the campaign against rape in war zones five years ago with Lord Hague when he was foreign secretary.
Ms Jolie said she was nervous ahead of the speech (Alex Lentati)
Last week, Lord Hague spoke to students on the same course about his experiences of shaping policy.
Ms Jolie and Lord Hague are two of four visiting professors contributing to the programme, alongside Jane Connors, the director of International Advocacy at Amnesty International in Geneva, and Madeleine Rees, Secretary General of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
Today, Ms Jolie was set to speak to students taking the paper ''Women, Peace and Security'' '-- a one-term course taken by master's students from a range of postgraduate disciplines.
However, from September, students will be able to take an entire master's in the subject, the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
According to a university statement, the course is intended to ''[develop] strategies to promote gender equality and enhance women's economic, social and political participation and security.''
The centre, run by Professor Christine Chinkin, opened in February 2015, in the hope of ensuring the next generation of policy-makers at the United Nations and other global institutions are schooled in this area.
Ms Jolie, who attended the launch, said at the time: ''I am very encouraged by the creation of this master's programme.
"I hope other academic institutions will follow this example, as it is vital that we broaden the discussion on how to advance women's rights and end impunity for crimes that disproportionately affect women, such as sexual violence in conflict.''
Reuse content
VIDEO - First Trump-Merkel meeting reflects different views, styles - YouTube
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 15:17
VIDEO - A Lot of People Accused Trump of Not Paying His Taxes | SUPERcuts! #449
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 15:07
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 14:52
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 14:49
VIDEO - Secret Service Lays Groundwork For False Flag Against President Trump! - YouTube
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 14:47
VIDEO - CBS: 'Teacher' Obama Has a 'Gift' to 'Make People Understand' | MRCTV
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 14:41
[See NewsBusters for more.] He may be gone, but no one on CBS has forgotten ''teacher'' Barack Obama and his ability to ''make people understand.'' On Thursday, the journalists at CBS This Morning and liberal actor Jesse Williams previewed a Smithsonian documentary on the former President, complete with the excessive fawning over the Democrat. Williams narrates The Obama Years: The Power of Words, a look at the politician's six most important speeches. Norah O'Donnell enthused, ''[Obama] clearly has a gift as people said as the orator-in-chief. You know? But his writing was a way to move people. He tried in a way to make people to understand.'' Charlie Rose called it ''a teaching element.''
VIDEO - Mulvaney: Funding Corporation for Public Broadcasting 'a Hard Sell' That Can't Be Defended Anymore | MRCTV
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 14:37
When asked whether the president would veto any appropriations bills that fund agencies or programs like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in defiance of the president's ''America First'' budget blueprint, which defunds them, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said the administration would work with Congress to decide whether or not to sign appropriations bills or to veto them ''at the appropriate time.'' Read Full Story
VIDEO - Brazile Defends Wikileaks Scandal: 'You Want to Make Sure That Those Questions' Are 'Out There' | MRCTV
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 14:29
Thursday on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, former DNC chair and ex-CNN analyst Donna Brazile appeared to talk about her time as chair and the scandal that ousted her from her 14-year-run at CNN. While host Trevor Noah asked her why she gave questions to the Clinton campaign before a town hall, he didn't push back when Brazile defended her actions and downplayed the controversy as media spin.
Read more on Newsbusters here.
VIDEO - The View Freaks Out Over 'Horrendous' 'Horrific' Budget Cuts | MRCTV
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 14:16
Friday on ABC's The View, the show immediately began by lamenting loudly over the proposed 2018 budget, released Thursday. Host Joy Behar complained that she couldn't wait to bring up the topic because it was ''so horrific and so horrendous'':
Read more on Newsbusters.
VIDEO - Trump to Reporter: 'Another Example' of 'Fake News' | MRCTV
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 14:10
President Donald Trump challenged a reporter at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House on Friday who called his trade police ''isolationist'' and asked why he was so was afraid of diversity in the media that he calls them ''fake news.'' Read Full Story
VIDEO - YouTube
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 04:02
VIDEO - CNN's Fareed Zakaria, Suffering From Tourette's Syndrome, Starts Cursing Live On CNN | Mark Simone | 710 WOR
Sun, 19 Mar 2017 00:33
CNN host Fareed Zakaria has always seemed a little crazy, has been called 'the Muslim Al Sharpton', and he's been caught in multiple plagiarism scandals. He got in trouble for cursing on the air last year, but last night he couldn't stop:
ON AIR: Weekdays 10AM-12PMOne of the longest running and most entertaining voices on the crowded New York radio dial and one of television's wittiest talking heads, Mark Simone's broadcasts are filled with lively conversation, colorful wit, savvy insight into current events, and an insiders look at the rich, powerful and famous. His broadcasts bring you a smooth blend of important issues, interesting stories and blockbuster guests. He is one of the most experienced interviewers on the planet. His past guest list is staggering and his long history with those famous names often makes for some pretty intimate and forthcoming interviews.
VIDEO - Swamp Thing S02E09 Smoke and Mirrors - YouTube
Sat, 18 Mar 2017 00:00
VIDEO - Trump getting people killed by criticism of GCHQ - YouTube
Fri, 17 Mar 2017 23:57
VIDEO - COLLEGE SNOWFLAKES being taught to yell ''OUCH!'' when offended'.... '' InvestmentWatch
Fri, 17 Mar 2017 23:51
This is basically intense brainwashing. Its equating ''offensive'' speech with physical pain, as if there is no difference. Can't be long until they introduce voice activated, bluetooth shock collars that respond to pre-programmed keywords.
Universities teach students and employees to yell 'Ouch!' when they are offended. The correct way to tell a classmate he said something offensive is to say ''ouch,'' and his correct response, ''oops.'' ''This document is intended to be a resource for addressing difficult or challenging topics in the classroom,'' and while faculty are not ''required to utilize'' the handbook, it will help them ''engender the broadest possible perspectives'' and ''maximize free speech in the classroom,'' it says.
271 viewsShare and Enjoy
VIDEO - Rayton Solar | StartEngine
Fri, 17 Mar 2017 04:27
Rayton Solar has bridged the gap between particle accelerator technology and solar energy production to create a revolutionary silicon cutting technique. This technique is projected to reduce solar panel manufacturing costs by upwards of 60% compared to industry standards, while making them 25% more efficient, and resulting in a very cost-effective source of energy.
Rayton Solar is a California-based solar panel company that aims to develop the world's most cost-effective source of energy. By bringing together essential particle accelerator technology and solar energy manufacturing, Rayton has created silicon cutting and handling techniques that can be leveraged to transform the way electricity is generated around the world.
The key to Rayton's cost savings lies in their ability to increase silicon yield with their patent-pending silicon cutting process. Rayton Solar is capable of making up to 100 times as many solar panels with the same amount of silicon as its competitors use to make just one panel.
Rayton's technique has also unlocked the commercial viability of ultra pure electronic grade silicon '' Float Zone Silicon '' for use in a solar panel. Silicon is the most expensive component of a solar panel and Float Zone Silicon (FZ) is 10 times as expensive as the market standard Czochralski Process Silicon (CZ). By reducing wafer thickness to 3 microns and eliminating waste - Rayton is able to utilize FZ economically. No other solar manufacturer in history has been able to economically use FZ, which provides Rayton with the potential to produce up to 24% efficient solar panels.
Rayton believes this efficiency increase means that buyers would require 25% less solar panels than they do today. The savings are seen down the entire solar system vertical - including installation, racking, land, and maintenance costs.
The standard industry manufacturing process wastes half the raw silicon block due to the saw blade that is used to cut silicon. Rayton Solar's manufacturing technology is a zero waste process that represents a revolutionary new step for the solar industry.
The global energy market is projected to grow to over $10.4 trillion by the year 2020.
Furthermore, the International Energy Agency (IEA) expects renewable energy to be "the largest single source of electricity growth over the next five years."
By 2040, renewables will command 60% of new capacity and 2/3 of power investment globally. As global population surpasses 7.5 billion people, additions to the global sustainable energy portfolio will top 700 GW or 26% of the world's power capacity.
As international economies make a more conscious effort to shape the way we generate energy, the stage is set for renewables to become the primary method of powering the world. Rayton Solar aims to command the sector.
As federal energy requirements mandate an increase in the production of renewable energy (solar, wind, tidal, and others), California has set their renewable portfolio standards to 1/3 of its energy portfolio by 2020.
Rayton Solar is uniquely positioned to be an industry leader as these trends continue across the country and around the world, creating the perfect legislative environment for its growth.
To become a ground level investor in an innovative company that aims to shape the landscape of energy today, and tomorrow. Rayton Solar is positioned to dominate the energy market, leading the way with its patent pending technology, team of world-renowned scientists, and revolutionary vision.
Rayton Solar has unlocked the technology that could supplant fossil fuels. For the first time ever, you have the opportunity to become a ground investor in the next generation of energy technology. Reserve your shares today!
Rayton Solar's team is made up of scientists, engineers, professors, and entrepreneurs united to make the world a cleaner, better place. Each member is dedicated to Rayton Solar's mission and the promise these revolutionary solar panels hold for the future of the energy industry.
Named to Forbes' ''30 under 30'' list in 2016, Andrew Yakub is a two­ time clean technology entrepreneur with his previous solar startup currently valued at $15 million. Yakub's experience spans from UCLA's Particle Beam Physics Lab to NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and has managed over 6MW of commercial solar projects. He holds a Bachelor's in Physics from UC Santa Barbara.
UCLA professor Dr. James Rosenzweig, Ph.D., is a world-renowned research expert in particle beams with more than 500 scientific articles authored or co-authored. In recognition of his research contributions, he has been named a Fellow of the American Physical Society and was awarded the 2007 International Free-electron Laser Prize. Dr. Rosenzweig has served as Chair of the UCLA Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, and is also an experienced entrepreneur, most notably as co-Founder of RadiaBeam Technologies.
Dr. Mark Goorsky is Rayton Solar's resident expert in ion implantation, layer transfer, and wafer bonding, as well as material integration for silicon-based implantation. Dr. Goorsky received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT. His PostDoctoral Fellow was spent at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.
Jeffrey Scheinrock is a distinguished serial entrepreneur lending his talents to Rayton Solar in its investment stage. Before Rayton, Jeffrey was the President and CFO of Originate - Engineering, Strategy, and Fundraising Consultancy, the Vice Chairman of Finance for Packard Bell, as well as the CEO and Founder of Scheinrock Advisory Group.
Executive Vice President and third generation owner of Wilbur Curtis Co., Inc., a 75 year old food service equipment manufacturing company. Founder, President and owner of World-Wide Advantage, a global sourcing company. Executive advisory board member for Prime Advantage, a Group Purchasing Organization focused on improving cost considerations for manufacturers. Strategic involvement with North American Foodservice Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) and Food Equipment Manufacturers Association (FEMA).
VIDEO - Senator Rand Paul Responds To Senator McCain Saying: ''He Works for Vladimir Putin'''... | The Last Refuge
Fri, 17 Mar 2017 02:57
Yesterday, against the backdrop of Senator Rand Paul objecting to a unanimous consent call by Senator McCain, McCain claimed Senator Paul was working for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Today, Senator Rand Paul responds:
There is a longer history here. Previously Senator McCain called Senator Rand Paul a ''Hobbit'', and earlier claimed that anyone who supports Senator Paul is a ''whack-o-bird''.


Load image
Load image

Alternate Universes


Brazile Defends Wikileaks Scandal on DAILY SHOW ‘You Want to Make Sure That Those Questions’ Are ‘Out There’.mp3
Rand Paul Mic Drop.mp3
Russian Influence in Global Democracie- -F-Russia-Lehey and witnesses-Graham wants Article 5.mp3

Fake News

Thanks Obama

Hitler's Playbook

JCD Clips

advertise ISO.mp3
Baden baden meeting helena.mp3
berkeley border wall.mp3
DW on mosque bombing near aleppe.mp3
face recognition 3.mp3
face recognition.mp3
Flynn rundown CBS Jeff pegues one.mp3
Flynn rundown CBS Jeff pegues two.mp3
GWB on flying saucers.mp3
leading authorities release details on russian meeting.mp3
major garrett hit piece on wire tap.mp3
uber and greyball.mp3
marine scanda 2 PBSl.mp3
marine scandal.mp3
mosul versus aleppo.mp3
mosul versus aleppo2.mp3
Navy scandal ABC.mp3
new drug on ABC.mp3
Orly shooter RT.mp3
peru floods and storms.mp3
radio shack closing stores.mp3
renault diesels DW.mp3
secret service repor 2t CBS.mp3
secret service report CBS.mp3
thoughts on merkel meeting f24 handshale.mp3
thoughts on merkel meeting.mp3
tillerson on NOrth Korea.mp3
Trying to explain russian event booked by leading authorities.mp3


Wire Tap


CNN's Fareed Zakaria, Suffering From Tourette's Syndrome, Starts Cursing Live On CNN.mp3
robert reich says unprecedented cunts.mp3

Trump Cuts

CNN's Lemon (with black-to-Box) Suggests Blacks Will 'Lose,' Go Hungry Under Trump Budget.mp3
NY going nuts over Trump budget cuts-TERRORISTS!!.mp3
Pelosi- Trump Budget Is Systemic Deconstruction of the Federal Government and Its Role’.mp3
The View Freaks Out Over ‘Horrendous’ ‘Horrific’ Budget Cuts.mp3
WH OMB DIr Mulvaney-Funding Corporation for Public Broadcasting ‘a Hard Sell’ That Can’t Be Defended Anymore.mp3
WH OMB Director on Global Climate Change- ‘We’re Not Spending Money on That Anymore … A Waste of Your Money’.mp3

Trump Taxes

Loading troll messages...