922: Gut Punch

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 8m
April 20th, 2017
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Executive Producers: Sir Ononymous from Dogpatch, Adam Bull, Rob - The Knight of the Desert Sprawl, Sir Baz, Baron of Svalbard

Associate Executive Producers: Ewan Robertson, Sir Roll_SK, Anonymous CPA, Robert Dolland, Dennis Cruise, Raymond Lee

Cover Artist: Mark G.


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HOLOGRAM - France's tight presidential race hinges on volatile voters - BBC News
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:46
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Emmanuel Macron has the edge in the latest poll but the race is too tight to call The end of the first round of the French presidential election is in sight and the candidates have almost run out of time to appeal to the voters. But the voters, it seems, have not run out of surprises for the candidates.
The latest opinion poll for French TV suggests the race remains tight as Sunday's vote approaches.
Independent centrist Emmanuel Macron - the man who came from nowhere to lead his own, new, political movement into the campaign is still ahead of Marine Le Pen of the National Front. But only just.
A little further back comes Fran§ois Fillon, the traditional conservative whose run for the presidency has been tainted by allegations of financial corruption, and Jean-Luc M(C)lenchon, the veteran leftist enjoying an extraordinary resurgence.
But the most striking feature of the late opinion polls isn't the tightening of the race, as the two front-runners both drop a couple of points in the rankings.
It is the sheer volatility of the electorate.
A quarter of those who intend to vote say they may change their minds about who they vote for between now and Sunday. When you consider the huge ideological and cultural differences between, say, Macron and M(C)lenchon or Fillon and Le Pen that's a remarkable statistic.
Follow French vote on the BBC
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption There are five main candidates but only four have a chance of going through: (L-R) Francois Fillon, Beno®t Hamon, Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron and Jean-Luc M(C)lenchon The candidates have one final chance to take advantage of that volatile mood - a television event on Thursday night which is more likely to test the voters' stamina rather than fray the nerves.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption National Front leader Marine Le Pen is widely expected to qualify for the second round run-off The format is not confrontational but involves a series of interviews of around 15 minutes which will include an opportunity for each candidate to rebut charges made against them by the others. It all threatens to lack drama but it is also a genuine last chance for the voters to judge the politicians who aspire to lead them.
French elections, though, are not decided on television. At least not entirely.
Public meetings still matter enormously here, and in the north-western city of Nantes there is plenty of energy in the campaign - even in the last few exhausted days of the first round.
Both Jean-Luc M(C)lenchon and Emmanuel Macron managed to fill the 7,000 seater Zenith Centre on the edge of the city on consecutive days.
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Media caption Jean-Luc M(C)lenchon appeared in seven places at onceMr Macron came in person while Mr M(C)lenchon appeared in a hologram projected from Dijon, which also appeared at the same time as far away as the city of Le Port, on the Indian Ocean island of La R(C)union.
That anecdotal evidence of a high level of engagement sits oddly with national polling that suggests fewer people intend to vote in the first round of 2017 than voted at the same stage of the election in 2012.
But at the Macron rally I met one voter whose views helped to explain the underlying volatility of the vote.
When I asked him why he supported Macron he corrected me.
"I'm telling you that Macron is someone to whom I've listened, someone I want to see as president of France now but I am not a political supporter of his," he told me.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Centre-right candidate Fran§ois Fillon has been hit by a "fake jobs" inquiry but is still in the race "I am a voter. My choice has been made. I don't consider myself a supporter but as far as I am concerned it can't be anyone else as president of France."
That rather nuanced decision, that Emmanuel Macron is the best of the current slate of candidates although not necessarily a fixed political choice for the future, reflects a mood of readiness among French voters to pick a candidate who meets the circumstances of the moment but who certainly cannot count on a lifetime of political loyalty.
The best bet for the second round is that it will see Marine Le Pen face off against either Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Luc M(C)lenchon or Fran§ois Fillon, with the centrist at the moment the likeliest of those three to win through.
But there is that final examination on TV still to come and there is still that underlying volatility in the vote. A maddeningly unpredictable race remains unpredictable to the end.
Pepper's ghost - Wikipedia
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:48
A viewer looking through the red rectangle sees a ghost floating next to the table. The illusion is produced by a large piece of glass, Plexiglas or plastic film situated at an angle between viewer and scene (green outline). The glass reflects a room hidden from the viewer (left), sometimes called a "blue room", that is built as mirror-image of the scene.If the mirror-image room (left) is darkened, it does not reflect well in the glass. The empty room (top) is brightly lit, making it very visible to the viewer.When the lights in the mirror-image room are raised (with the empty room being dimmed slightly to compensate), the ghost appears out of nowhere.Pepper's ghost is an illusion technique used in theatre, amusement parks, museums, television, and concerts. It is named after John Henry Pepper (1821''1900), a scientist who popularized the effect in a famed demonstration in 1862.[1] It has a long history, dating back into the 19th century, and remains widely performed today. Notable examples of the illusion are the Girl-to-Gorilla trick found in old carnival sideshows and the appearance of "Ghosts" at the Haunted Mansion and the "Blue Fairy" in Pinocchio's Daring Journey at the Disneyland park in California. Teleprompters are a modern implementation of Pepper's ghost. Examples of concert illusions based on Pepper's ghost are the appearance of Tupac Shakur onstage with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg at the 2012 Coachella Music and Arts Festival and Michael Jackson at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.
An audience views a stage or room with various objects in it. On command, ghostly objects appear to fade in or out of existence in the room, or objects in the room magically transform into different objects.
The basic trick involves a stage that is specially arranged into two rooms, one that people can see into or the stage as a whole, and a second that is hidden to the side, the "blue room". A plate of glass (or Plexiglas or plastic film) is placed somewhere in the main room at an angle that reflects the view of the blue room towards the audience. Generally this is arranged with the blue room to one side of the stage, and the plate on the stage rotated around its vertical axis at 45 degrees.[2] Care must be taken to make the glass as invisible as possible, normally hiding the lower edge in patterning on the floor and ensuring lights do not reflect off it.
When the lights are bright in the main room and dark in the blue room, the reflected image cannot be seen. When the lighting in the blue room is increased, often with the main room lights dimming to make the effect more pronounced, the reflection becomes visible and the objects within the blue room seem to appear in thin air. A common variation uses two blue rooms, one behind the glass and one to the side, which can be switched visible or invisible by alternating the lighting.[2]
The hidden room may be an identical mirror-image of the main room, so that its reflected image matches the main rooms; this approach is useful in making objects seem to appear or disappear. This illusion can also be used to make one object or person reflected in the mirror appear to morph into another behind the glass (or vice versa). This is the principle behind the Girl-to-Gorilla trick found in old carnival sideshows. The hidden room may instead be painted black, with only light-colored objects in it. In this case when light is cast on the room, only the light objects reflect the light and appear as ghostly translucent images superimposed in the visible room. This can be used to make objects appear to float in space.
Giambattista della Porta Edit Giambattista della Porta was a 16th-century Neapolitan scientist and scholar who is credited with a number of scientific innovations, including the camera obscura. His 1584 work Magia Naturalis (Natural Magic) includes a description of an illusion, titled "How we may see in a Chamber things that are not" that is the first known description of the Pepper's ghost effect.[3]
Porta's description, from the 1658 English language translation, is as follows.
Let there be a chamber wherein no other light comes, unless by the door or window where the spectator looks in. Let the whole window or part of it be of glass, as we use to do to keep out the cold. But let one part be polished, that there may be a Looking-glass on bothe sides, whence the spectator must look in. For the rest do nothing. Let pictures be set over against this window, marble statues and suchlike. For what is without will seem to be within, and what is behind the spectator's back, he will think to be in the middle of the house, as far from the glass inward, as they stand from it outwardly, and clearly and certainly, that he will think he sees nothing but truth. But lest the skill should be known, let the part be made so where the ornament is, that the spectator may not see it, as above his head, that a pavement may come between above his head. And if an ingenious man do this, it is impossible that he should suppose that he is deceived.[4]
John Pepper and Henry Dircks Edit The Royal Polytechnic Institute London was a permanent science-related institution, first opened in 1838. With a degree in chemistry, John Henry Pepper joined the institution as a lecturer in 1848. The Polytechnic awarded him the title of Professor. In 1854, he became the director and sole lessee of the Royal Polytechnic.[1]
In 1862, inventor Henry Dircks developed the Dircksian Phantasmagoria, his version of the long-established phantasmagoria performances.[5] This technique was used to make a ghost appear on-stage. He tried unsuccessfully to sell his idea to theatres. It required that theaters be completely rebuilt to support the effect, which they found too costly to consider. Later in the year, Dircks set up a booth at the Royal Polytechnic, where it was seen by John Pepper.[1]
Pepper realized that the method could be modified to make it easy to incorporate into existing theatres. Pepper first showed the effect during a scene of Charles Dickens's The Haunted Man, to great success. Pepper's implementation of the effect tied his name to it permanently. Dircks eventually signed over to Pepper all financial rights in their joint patent. Though Pepper tried many times to give credit to Dircks, the title "Pepper's ghost" endured.[6]
The relationship between Dircks and Pepper was summarised in an 1863 article from Spectator:
"This admirable ghost is the offspring of two fathers, of a learned member of the Society of Civil Engineers, Henry Dircks, Esq., and of Professor Pepper, of the Polytechnic. To Mr. Dircks belongs the honour of having invented him, or as the disciples of Hegel would express it, evolved him from out of the depths of his own consciousness; and Professor Pepper has the merit of having improved him considerably, fitting him for the intercourse of mundane society, and even educating him for the stage."[7]
Amusement parks Edit The world's largest implementation of this illusion can be found at the Haunted Mansion and Phantom Manor attractions at several Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. There, a 90-foot (27 m)-long scene features multiple Pepper's ghost effects, brought together in one scene. Guests travel along an elevated mezzanine, looking through a 30-foot (9.1 m)-tall pane of glass into an empty ballroom. Animatronic ghosts move in hidden black rooms beneath and above the mezzanine. A more advanced variation of the Pepper's Ghost effect is also used at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
The walk-through attraction Turbidite Manor in Nashville, Tennessee, employs variations of the classic technique, enabling guests to see various spirits that also interact with the physical environment, viewable at a much closer proximity. The House at Haunted Hill, a Halloween attraction in Woodland Hills, California, employs a similar variation in its front window to display characters from its storyline.
Projecting an image on the floor and reflecting it in a pane of glass allows a live actor (left) to interact with a projected "ghost"An example that combines the Pepper's ghost effect with a live actor and film projection can be seen in the Mystery Lodge exhibit at the Knott's Berry Farm theme park in Buena Park, California, and the Ghosts of the Library exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, as well as the depiction of Maori legends called A Millennium Ago at the Museum of Wellington City & Sea in New Zealand.[citation needed ]
The Hogwarts Express attraction at Universal Studios Florida uses the Pepper's ghost effect, such that guests entering "Platform 9 3/4" seem to disappear into a brick wall when viewed from those further behind in the queue.
Museums Edit Museums increasingly use Pepper's ghost exhibits to create attractions that appeal to visitors. In the mid-70s James Gardener designed the Changing Office installation in the London Science Museum, consisting of a 1970s-style office that transforms into an 1870s-style office as the audience watches. It was designed and built by Will Wilson and Simon Beer of Integrated Circles. Another particularly intricate Pepper's ghost display is the Eight Stage Ghost built for the British Telecom Showcase Exhibition in London in 1978. This display follows the history of electronics in a number of discrete transitions.
More modern examples of Pepper's ghost effects can be found in various museums in the United Kingdom and Europe. Examples of these in the United Kingdom are the ghost of Annie McLeod at the New Lanark World Heritage Site, the ghost of John McEnroe at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, which reopened in new premises in 2006, and one of Sir Alex Ferguson, which opened at the Manchester United Museum in 2007.[8] Other examples include the ghost of Sarah (who picks up a candle and walks through the wall) and also the ghost of the Eighth Duke at Blenheim Palace.
In October 2008 a life-sized Pepper's ghost of Shane Warne was opened at the National Sports Museum in Melbourne, Australia.[9] The effect is also used at the Dickens World attraction at Chatham Maritime, Kent, United Kingdom. Both the York Dungeon and the Edinburgh Dungeon use the effect in the context of their 'Ghosts' shows.
Another example can be found at Our Planet Centre in Castries, St Lucia, which opened in May 2011, where a life-size Prince Charles and Governor general of the island appear on stage talking about climate change.[10]
The South African Jewish Museum in Cape Town uses elaborate Pepper's ghost video technology in their permanent exhibit.[citation needed ] The Artist Group PXNG.LI has exhibited the evolutionary processes in a Pepper's ghost box at the Natural Science Museum in Karlsruhe, Germany.[citation needed ]
Television, film, and video Edit Teleprompters are a modern implementation of Pepper's ghost used by the television industry. They reflect a speech or script and are commonly used for live broadcasts such as news programmes.
In the episode of The Magic School Bus that deals with light, "Gets a Bright Idea", Arnold's mischievous cousin Janet uses a Pepper's ghost illusion to convince the class a theater is haunted. It ends up helping the class learn more about how light and reflections behave.
On 1 June 2013, ITV broadcast Les Dawson: An Audience With That Never Was. The programme featured a Pepper's ghost projection of Les Dawson, presenting content for a 1993 edition of An Audience with... to be hosted by Dawson but unused due to his death two weeks before recording.[11]
In the 1990 movie Home Alone, the technique is used to show Harry with his head in flames, as result of a blow torch from a home invasion gone bad. CGI was not available at the time of filming.[12]
In the 2016 BBC Sherlock episode "The Abominable Bride", the pepper's ghost trick is used to show Emelia Ricoletti as a ghost in Sir Eustace Carmichael's house.
In CBS's The Mentalist episode "Red Scare" (Season 2, episode 5, 2009), Patrick Jane realises that Pepper's ghost was used in an attempt to scare one of the characters, an architect, from an old house he was developing.
Several products have been designed using a clear plastic pyramid and a smartphone screen to generate the illusion of a 3D object.[13]
Concerts Edit An illusion based on Pepper's ghost involving projected images has been featured at music concerts (often erroneously marketed as "holographic");[14] Such setups typically involve custom projection media server software and specialized stretched films.[15]
At the 2006 Grammy Awards, the Pepper's ghost technique was used to project Madonna with the virtual members of the band Gorillaz onto the stage in a "live" performance. This type of system consists of a projector (usually DLP) or LED screen, with a resolution of 1280—1024 or higher and brightness of at least 5,000 lumens, a high-definition video player, a stretched film between the audience and the acting area, a 3D set/drawing that encloses three sides, plus lighting, audio, and show control.[16]
During Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's performance at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, a projection of deceased rapper Tupac Shakur appeared and performed "Hail Mary" and "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted".[14][17][18] The use of this approach was repeated in 2013 at west coast Rock the Bells dates, featuring projections of Eazy-E and Ol' Dirty Bastard.
On 18 May 2014, during the Billboard Music Awards, an illusion of deceased pop star Michael Jackson, other dancers, and the entire stage set was projected onto the stage for a performance of the song "Slave to the Rhythm" from the posthumous Xscape album.[19][20]
In the Eurovision Song Contest 2016, IVAN from Belarus used an illusion during the performance.
Political speeches Edit NChant 3D telecast, live, a 55-minute speech by Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat, to 53 locations across Gujarat on 10 December 2012 during the assembly elections.[21][22][23] In April 2014, they projected Narendra Modi again at 88 locations across India.[24]
Steinmeyer, Jim (1999). Discovering Invisibility. London. Steinmeyer, Jim (2003). Hiding the Elephant. New York: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 978-0-7867-1226-7. Steinmeyer, Jim (1999). The Science Behind the Ghost. London. Surrell, Jason (2003). The Haunted Mansion: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies. New York: Disney Editions. ISBN 978-1-4231-1895-4. Porta, John Baptist (2003). Natural Magick. Sioux Falls, SD: NuVision Publications. ISBN 9781595472380.
Greece's refugee children learn the hard way - BBC News
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:02
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media caption Refugee children attend school in GreeceThe first day of school. It was supposed to be an exciting, happy time for so many of the 2,500 refugee children now living in camps in Greece.
But instead some were met with stone-throwing and nationalist slogans, after far-right demonstrators took issue with the government's policy to integrate them.
Fortunately for 10-year-old Moustafa, his appointed school in Thessaloniki saw no protests. And despite living in a metal container known as an isobox, the past few months have brought a form of structure to his life.
He spent a year fleeing war and fearing for his life, but now he has a schedule.
Every afternoon he boards a coach organised by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) that takes him to the city centre for school. He is one of 60,000 refugees and migrants trapped in Greece since relocation to European countries stagnated and the borders were closed.
Image copyright AFP Image caption Nationalists protested as refugee children started school in Oraiokastro, near Thessaloniki, in February Moustafa explains how his village near Damascus was trapped between rival warring groups and, before it was too late, his family headed for Europe.
He recounts the moment they were rescued from a sinking dinghy - so accurately, it is as if he is playing back recorded footage.
He shows off the school kit he has been given, including notebooks, pens, pencils and a rucksack.
"The most important thing now is for me to study and learn Greek," Moustafa says. "I want to be a doctor."
Read more on the migrant crisis:
Greece's stranded refugees fear being forgotten
Migrant camp attacked on Greek island
Serbian attitudes harden as migrants gather once again
Hostile receptionThe new school initiative backed by the EU follows a law passed by the Greek parliament last August. It kickstarted new classes to prepare refugee children for eventual integration into the Greek education system.
Ninety-seven schools are currently involved. In three, the initiative was met with contempt. Crowds of far-right nationalists gathered to wave Greek flags, boo the children and shout slogans such as "My homeland won't fall!"
In the town of Profitis, riot police were called in to escort pupils after stones were thrown.
Image copyright AFP Image caption Nationalists demanded that Greeks should come first, not refugees In Oraiokastro, protesters chained themselves to the school gates. The self-styled "Patriotic Union of Greek Citizens of Oraiokastro" said they didn't believe the pupils had been adequately vaccinated - something the health ministry has denied. In Perama, there were reports of physical violence.
In contrast, the arrival of pupils at Moustafa's school in Thessaloniki went smoothly. The headteacher, Ioannis Nomikoudis, says it is down to the communication between the government, school and parents' committee.
"The parents of the children here are not racist, but they do still have concerns and we cannot ignore that. The thing is, we didn't make the children's arrival debatable - like in some places."
For Education Ministry General Secretary Giannis Pantis, the fact that there were protests at only three of the 97 schools was a success. "In many other schools the children were welcomed with songs and balloons," he said.
He oversaw the programme from the start, when a scientific committee of leading Greek intercultural education experts and sociologists was brought together to provide advice. They assessed the work of NGOs in the camps and designed the curriculum of maths, Greek, English, art, IT and physical education.
Image caption Integration into the school system is an important part of establishing a new home Lost in translationThe implementation of the programme has not come without its problems, though.
The lack of certified Greek-Arabic translators is a huge issue. The government says it is not a question of not being able to afford them, but that they just do not exist.
Image caption Refugee children are taught Greek - but lessons can be hard because few Greeks speak Arabic Maths teacher Irene Voutskoglou said she did not realise how big the challenge would be.
"We can't really communicate well at all," she says. "I have to appoint a student as an 'assistant teacher' to help me. I didn't even realise that numbers were different in Arabic. Our zero is a dot in Arabic for example. And our five looks like a seven in Arabic."
Most translators are provided through charities, who receive funding from the European Union. But camp coordinators say the translators' language skills are often not good enough and that they are also needed to teach the children their native language.
Scarred by war"This is supposed to be a transitional year," says Giannis Pantis, the man from the ministry.
"The children attend school in the afternoon, when the school day for current pupils has finished. We believe they cannot yet be fully integrated.
"Last week a child saw a helicopter and ran out of the school. Another started to cry and hid beneath the table. Some of these children, due to the war, are almost 10 years old but have never been to school. They can't read or write. Many of them have post-traumatic stress disorder. We have a lot to do this year."
Image caption Greek schoolchildren quickly made their refugee classmates feel at home With a flagging economy and an education system already crippled by six years of austerity, the refugee crisis has further stretched Greece's capacity.
The government is reliant on just '‚¬7m (£6m; $7.5m) of European funding for the next two years (NGOs have received '‚¬83m directly) and the Greek national budget to implement the programme.
Despite the struggles, Mr Pantis says they are determined to honour the government's commitment to the fundamental and universal right to education.
A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.
Finland has a nascent 'jihadist underworld'
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:12
Radical Islamic networks have an increasingly strong presence in Finland, Jyri Rantala, the head of communications at the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo), estimates in an interview with Talousel¤m¤.
''We could even say that a 'jihadist underworld' is emerging in Finland. These networks have ties to all key terrorist organisations,'' he said.
Supo estimates in its official terrorist threat assessment that the risk of an individual attack carried out by a lone-wolf terrorist or a small jihadist organisation has increased in Finland. Rantala reveals that the risk has risen partly as a consequence of the so-called foreign fighter phenomenon, which has contributed to the country's recognisability among terrorist organisations.
An estimated 80 people are believed to have travelled from Finland to conflict-ridden regions in Iraq and Syria, primarily to participate in the hostilities. More than a dozen of them have later returned to Finland, according to Supo.
Supo has urged decision-makers to enhance the ability of security authorities to obtain information crucial for preventing possible attacks.
Rantala reminded on Thursday that while international intelligence co-operation also yields information concerning Finland, activities concerning the country are not the top priority for any other country.
He concedes that in spite of the efforts to combat terrorism, identifying and arresting individual suspects is extremely difficult. The so-called Islamic State, for example, has instructed its sympathisers to resort to measures that do not require painstaking planning or preparations, such as the lorry and knife attacks that have recently occurred around Europe.
Aleksi Teivainen '' HT
Photo: Martti Kainulainen '' Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi
French election: Le Pen pledges to suspend immigration - BBC News
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:29
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Marine Le Pen (centre) wants France to have a referendum on its EU membership One of the frontrunners in the French presidential election, far-right leader Marine Le Pen, says she would suspend all legal immigration to France.
The National Front (FN) leader told a rally that she wanted to stop "a mad, uncontrolled situation".
Polls suggest she is neck and neck with centrist Emmanuel Macron, ahead of Sunday's first round of voting.
Mr Macron warned voters that choosing far-left candidate Jean-Luc M(C)lenchon would be like Cuba without the sun.
Opinion polls predict that Mr Macron and Ms Le Pen will reach the second round on 7 May. But it looks like a very tight race.
According to an Elabe poll for news channel BFMTV, Mr Macron is on course to get 24% of the vote in the first round, Marine Le Pen 23%, conservative Francois Fillon 19.5% and Mr M(C)lenchon 18%.
Polls suggest that Mr Macron would be favourite to win in the run-off.
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Emmanuel Macron (centre) said "we need Europe, so we will remake it" At a rally in Paris, Ms Le Pen said "I would decide on a moratorium on all legal immigration to stop this frenzy, this uncontrolled situation that is dragging us down".
After that, she said, France would introduce "much more drastic, more reasonable, more humane, more manageable rules" on immigration.
Left-wing daily Liberation called it "one of the most hardline speeches of her campaign", aimed at satisfying grassroots supporters.
In all, 11 candidates are competing in the first round.
About a third of French voters are still undecided, opinion polls suggest, making it one of the most unpredictable elections in decades.
Mr Fillon has been regaining some ground, polls suggest, despite being embroiled in corruption allegations.
Mr M(C)lenchon chose a barge on a Paris canal to rally his supporters and was set to use a hologram of himself to appear at several events across the country at once on Tuesday.
Ms Le Pen said the choice for French voters was between her rivals' "savage globalisation" and her patriotism.
Outside the venue, dozens of protesters, who had sought to disrupt her rally, clashed with police.
Meanwhile, Mr Macron addressed almost 20,000 supporters at the Bercy national indoor arena.
"We are going to turn the page on the last 20 years because our generation is ready for change," he said.
On the issue of France's role in the EU, he said: "We need Europe, so we will remake it. I will be the president of the awakening of our European ambitions."
Mr Macron, a former investment banker running for his self-created En Marche (On the move) party, turned his fire on his opponents.
Ten of the 11 candidates wanted to take France back to a "fantasy of the past". For some, in a clear reference to Jean-Luc M(C)lenchon, it would be "Cuba without the sun, or Venezuela without the oil".
Image copyright AFP Image caption Jean-Luc M(C)lenchon chose the most eye-catching campaign platform - a barge Speaking from his campaign barge, Mr M(C)lenchon told his cheering supporters: "Here you are on an Easter Monday listening to a guy on a boat. There's something in the air!"
Mr M(C)lenchon's ratings are thought to have been buoyed by recent televised debates.
He promises to renegotiate EU treaties, pull out of Nato and end austerity in favour of a big stimulus package.
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How to Avoid Cultural Appropriation at Coachella | Teen Vogue
Mon, 17 Apr 2017 17:25
In our new column "Don't Do It Girl," Jessica Andrews explores the cultural appropriation epidemic at Coachella.
Since it launched in October of 1999, Coachella's become something of a cultural force. The music and arts festival draws almost 100,000 people per day, according to Goldenvoice, including today's top performers and street-style stars. But every year, the thorn in the festival's side is appropriative fashion. From the overtly racist to the blindly ignorant, some Coachella attendees see festival fashion as the opportunity '-- knowingly or unknowingly '-- to demean cultures for Instagram likes.
Bindis, feathered headpieces, dashikis, war paint: Coachella street style is mired in cultural appropriation. And it's the kind that reeks of privilege. For South Asian women, Bindis are a cultural symbol that represents the third eye, a sacred site of wisdom and spiritual development. For some Coachella attendees, it's just a pretty forehead accessory.
Matt Cowan/Getty Images
A feathered headdress is nothing more than an eye-catching look for many festival-goers, but as Adrienne Keene writes on Native Appropriations, "Eagle feathers are presented as symbols of honor and respect and have to be earned," and they're traditionally worn by male chiefs in sacred ceremonies. But that doesn't mean anything to those Coachella attendees who don't respect other cultures. When you can't see the humanity in people who are different than you, you find no fault in treating their sacred cultural symbols as something to be worn and discarded.
Even when people feign ignorance, there's little excuse. In the past, I've worn a Pocahontas costume for Halloween. It's a mistake I regret, and I'll never do it again knowing how hurtful it is. With appropriation being such a huge conversation these days, it's easier than ever to educate yourself about cultural symbols. If you still choose to regard one as a disposable trend, it's because you simply don't respect the people behind it.
Like fashion, appropriative hairstyles are now ubiquitous at Coachella. Cornrows or box braids are not a "hot, new festival trend"; black women have been wearing them for centuries. When outlets cover the hairstyle as if it started with Kylie Jenner, it's not appreciation; it's erasure. Those celebratory headlines are yet another reminder that black hairstyles are only acceptable when they're removed from actual black people.
Unbeknownst to some Coachella attendees, there's a stigma associated with cornrows and braids when black people wear them. These hairstyles are still being banned in schools as recently as 2016, and they're often deemed too unprofessional for work. The same hairstyle is celebrated when other races wear it. When Kylie sports cornrows at Coachella, it's considered "edgy" and "cool." When black people wear cornrows, they get passed over for jobs, and are asked to leave their classrooms.
And white women wearing braids at Coachella is not the same as black women straightening their hair, no matter what Whoopi Goldberg says on The View. Appropriation and assimilation are two very different ideals. In a world where high schools ban students for wearing natural hair, people are fired for defending their Afros, and celebrities are compared to dogs for wearing Afros, black women feel undue pressure to straighten their hair just to get by. In some circles, wearing braids, locs or Afros is still a revolutionary act for black women '-- not a passing fad that comes around once a year at festival season.
Charley Gallay/Getty Images
There are myriad ways to dress up at Coachella without offending an entire group of people. As you're packing your outfit for a fun-filled weekend in Palm Springs, remember that sacred cultural symbols are not a fashion trend. Black hairstyles are not "lewks to try" when you want to feel "edgy," only to discard them once you're bored and ready to retreat back to your privileged bubble.
Stripping a cultural object of its significance and donning it like a costume is the very height of disrespect. It's not just ignorant; it's dehumanizing and incredibly painful. Go to Coachella, dance in the sun, watch Lady Gaga perform, Instagram every moment, and have a blast '-- just don't do it at everyone else's expense.
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Students Demand Administrators 'Take Action' Against Conservative Journalists | The Claremont Independent
Mon, 17 Apr 2017 22:58
In an open letter to outgoing Pomona College President David Oxtoby, a group of students from the Claremont Colleges assail the president for affirming Pomona's commitment to free speech and demand that all five colleges ''take action'' against the conservative journalists on the staff of the Claremont Independent .
The letter, written by three self-identified Black students at Pomona College, is a response to an April 7 email from President Oxtoby in which he reiterated the college's commitment to ''the exercise of free speech and academic freedom'' in the aftermath of protests that shut down a scheduled appearance by an invited speaker, scholar and Black Lives Matter critic Heather Mac Donald, on April 6.
''Protest has a legitimate and celebrated place on college campuses,'' Oxtoby wrote. ''What we cannot support is the act of preventing others from engaging with an invited speaker. Our mission is founded upon the discovery of truth, the collaborative development of knowledge and the betterment of society.''
In their open letter, the students sharply disagree.
''Free speech, a right many freedom movements have fought for, has recently become a tool appropriated by hegemonic institutions. It has not just empowered students from marginalized backgrounds to voice their qualms and criticize aspects of the institution, but it has given those who seek to perpetuate systems of domination a platform to project their bigotry,'' they write.
''Thus, if 'our mission is founded upon the discovery of truth,''' the students continue, citing Oxtoby's letter, ''how does free speech uphold that value?''
The students also characterize truth as a ''myth'' and a white supremacist concept.
''Historically, white supremacy has venerated the idea of objectivity, and wielded a dichotomy of 'subjectivity vs. objectivity' as a means of silencing oppressed peoples,'' they explain. ''The idea that there is a single truth'''the Truth'''is a construct of the Euro-West that is deeply rooted in the Enlightenment, which was a movement that also described Black and Brown people as both subhuman and impervious to pain. This construction is a myth and white supremacy, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and the United States of America are all of its progeny. The idea that the truth is an entity for which we must search, in matters that endanger our abilities to exist in open spaces, is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples.''
In reference to the protests of Mac Donald, the open letter explains that engaging with Mac Donald's speech would have amounted to a debate not ''on mere difference of opinion, but [on] the right of Black people to exist.''
''Heather Mac Donald is a fascist, a white supremacist, a warhawk, a transphobe, a queerphobe, a classist, and ignorant of interlocking systems of domination that produce the lethal conditions under which oppressed peoples are forced to live,'' the letter claims. ''Why are you [President Oxtoby], and other persons in positions of power at these institutions, protecting a fascist and her hate speech and not students that are directly affected by her presence?''
The open letter concludes by insisting that Oxtoby apologize for his April 7 email and issue a new message that the college ''does not tolerate hate speech and speech that projects violence onto the bodies of its marginalized students and oppressed peoples.''
The students also demand that the Claremont Colleges ''take action'' against the staff of the Claremont Independent for their ''continual perpetuation of hate speech, anti-Blackness, and intimidation toward students of marginalized backgrounds.'' Taking a step further, they call for ''disciplinary action'' against conservative journalists from the Claremont Colleges.
''We also demand that Pomona College and the Claremont University Consortium entities take action against the Claremont Independent editorial staff for its continual perpetuation of hate speech, anti-Blackness, and intimidation toward students of marginalized backgrounds,'' they write. ''Provided that the Claremont Independent releases the identity of students involved with this letter and such students begin to receive threats and hate mail, we demand that this institution and its constituents take legal action against members of the Claremont Independent involved with the editing and publication process as well as disciplinary action, such as expulsion on the grounds of endangering the wellbeing of others.''
The letter's signatories, of whom there are more than 20 at the time of publication, request a response by the afternoon of April 18.
The authors of the letter did not immediately respond to the Independent 's requests for comment.
Secret Sorority Handshakes, Questionable Lawsuits, Free Speech, The Right To Be Forgotten And Section 230 | Techdirt
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:47
Late last week (beyond filing a new document in the lawsuit against us), we also filed an amicus brief, put together by Stanford's IP law clinic and Paul Levy at Public Citizen regarding a terrible and dangerous ruling for free speech in California. We wrote about it last summer and how dangerous it is -- but let's hold off on the details of the case right now.
Instead, I'd like to go back one more year to May of 2015, when we wrote about a bizarre case in which the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority was officially suing a "Jane Doe" former member, who had apparently posted the sorority's super secret handshake to the Penny Arcade forums.
Phi Sigma Sigma (PSS) secretly stands for Philanthropic Social Society. However, this is never written down or recorded (until now) because it is so "sacred". The Handshake consists of a series of motions. Member A first begins with the pointer finger and the thumb surrounding Member B's pointer finger and thumb. This is the "Phi". Then Member A wraps the remaining fingers, middle, ring and pinky around the hand as a symbol of the "Sigma". Depending on who is the senior member, the pinky finger is wrapped around the older member's hand. Next is the hand knock. It goes Knock. Pause. Knock. Pause. Knock, knock, knock. The meetings are set up usually with the President, VP and other officers sitting at the front. The President wears a yellow or gold robe and the officers wear royal blue robes. The remaining members sit across from the officers in a pyramid formation with the base closest to the officers and the apex farthest from the officers. Members are seated by class order, then by alphabetical order. The table at which the President and Vice President are seated consists of candles on each side. Two gold candles and one blue at each corner of the table. Members usually recite an oath, "We, the members of Phi Sigma Sigma, promise to keep secret and sacred all of our proceedings." The way to enter the pyramid is by using the hand knock to notify the members you are wanting to enter the room. The President will respond back with her gavel by repeating the knock. The person will enter then travel to the apex of the pyramid formation. The President will say the secret and sacred words "Remove the Veil" and then the member will respond back with the Chapter's name, example, "Zeta Eta." The Gold and King Blue symbolize "Perpetuity" and "Sincerity". At initiation, blue "veils" (tulle from the local fabric store) are placed on the heads of the potential new members and are later removed to symbolize some sort of occult transformation and that they are full-fledged members.
Bizarrely, the post with the secret handshake was posted years after the thread had started, and it was unlikely that many people were looking at it. Well, that is until the sorority decided to go legal about it. First, Phi Sigma Sigma had a lawyer come up with the bright (note: not actually very bright) idea to send a bogus DMCA notice on Penny Arcade arguing that the post needed to come down because it violated the sorority's "trade secrets." That's funny, because the "C" in DMCA stands for "Copyright" and not "Ctrade secrets" and it's highly unlikely the secret handshake is, in any way, a "trade secret" in the first place. The lawyers followed this up by suing the "Jane Doe" in King County Superior Court in Washington. Why King County? There's no indication that Jane Doe is from that area, but that does cover where Penny Arcade is based -- and perhaps if you want to pressure a website to remove some content, you figure it'll be more amenable to seeing something from a local court even if (and this is kind of key) Penny Arcade was never a party to the lawsuit.
For whatever it's worth, Phi Sigma Sigma "won" the lawsuit because "Jane Doe" apparently was never properly identified and served, and thus Phi Sigma Sigma won a default judgment last fall, which is effectively meaningless. Except, with that "order" in hand, Phi Sigma Sigma's lawyers have been going around asking people to take down the handshake -- including us here at Techdirt. To be fair, at least with us, there was no clear threat involved if we refused -- as we have -- but as we've seen multiple times in the past year or so, many sites will immediately take stuff down after receiving a court order like that. Indeed, it appears that Penny Arcade chose (for whatever reason) to take down that thread themselves.
Of course, this certainly opens up the possibility of censorious mischief. Almost exactly a year ago, we wrote one of the first articles detailing an apparent "reputation management" scam that involved posting possibly defamatory comments on certain stories, followed by defamation lawsuits being filed against the John Doe commenters, only to have (miraculously!) a signed admission show up a couple of days later, allowing a tidy "settlement" to be reached, complete with a court order that can then be shopped around to various sites asking them to take down the content. A few months later, Paul Levy and Eugene Volokh tracked down a number of similar cases that were clearly being used to take down content someone didn't like, and abusing the court system to do so.
That does not mean that's what Phi Sigma Sigma was up to here, but a recently turned up FAQ about the lawsuit for members of Phi Sigma Sigma, while making it clear the sorority is not suing the websites, certainly suggests that the intent of the lawsuits is to obtain legal pressure to get sites to remove the content:
If you can't see those images, they are 3 questions and answers (numbers 5, 7 and 9) from a longer document, each of which has answers claiming the goal of these lawsuits is to get this content off the web. "We hope that through this lawsuit, we will have the authority to have any remaining and future posts also removed." "We are hopeful that through this legal action, they will be required to take down the post" and "Our ultimate goal is to have all posts related to our ritual removed as soon as possible." That last one is in response to a question specifically about "the outcome of this lawsuit." That certainly suggests that, contrary to other statements about identifying the individual responsible, or getting an injunction against them, the true intent is to get sites to delete information.
With Phi Sigma Sigma we have refused, as we should have every right to do (and, we might also state our opinion that it seems like a fairly poor decision on the part of the sorority and its legal team to make this effort that seems to serve only to call more attention to the content it wishes hidden from view). We also won't even bother to dig into how, elsewhere, the FAQ falsely claims that Phi Sigma Sigma has to take this action or it risks "losing" its intellectual property. First, this isn't true of copyrights at all (and there doesn't even appear to be any copyright issue here in the first place, questionable DMCA notice notwithstanding). Second, it only applies very narrowly to certain situations involving trademarks becoming declared "generic." That is not -- at all -- the situation with people posting the details of a secret handshake clearly identified as coming from Phi Sigma Sigma (and, once again, raises questions about the quality of the legal advice Phi Sigma Sigma is getting).
Now that brings us back around to the amicus brief that we filed Friday along with Public Citizen. It is in the case of Hassell v. Bird, that we wrote about last summer, in which -- contrary to nearly all Section 230 case law -- non-party Yelp was ordered to remove a review. The details of the case involve a lawyer, Dawn Hassell, who sued a former client, Ava Bird, for posting a negative review of Hassell's work on Yelp. Bird did not respond to the case, and thus the court granted a default judgment, as is standard. But here's where the court went a step too far: it then ordered Yelp to remove the posts. Yelp was not a party to the lawsuit, and basically all of Section 230 law says that it should not be obligated to remove the content (it can choose to do so, but Section 230 is clear that it should be immune from legal liability over its decision).
In the amicus brief, we explain how this runs counter to basically all Section 230 caselaw, but, perhaps more importantly, further point out examples (including our current discussions with the lawyers for Phi Sigma Sigma) where this kind of ruling could lead to abuse, and the forced removal of First Amendment protected speech -- whether under good intentions or ill intentions. Specifically, we note that, if the ruling in Hassell v. Bird stands, then an entity such as Phi Sigma Sigma, could potentially follow the same path as Hassell to force us to remove the details of that handshake, despite there being perfectly good First Amendment-protected reasons for leaving it posted. As Eric Goldman wrote when this ruling first came out, if it stands, it creates a de facto right to be forgotten in the US that could (and would) be widely abused to force sites to take down all sorts of content. We hope that the California Supreme Court will overturn the lower court's ruling.
blocked-instances/README.md at master · tootcafe/blocked-instances
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 10:52
This is a list of Mastodon/GNU Social instances blocked by toot.cafe. If you think an instance has been unfairly blocked, please open an issue and/or a pull request.
The purpose of this is to be transparent and to collaborate with other admins on identifying those instances that violate the commonly-accepted Code of Conduct in the Mastodon community based on the example set by mastodon.social, or those that tend to contain bad actors who do, and who boost unwanted content into other instances.
Blocked instancesInstanceStatus*Reasonrainbowdash.netsilencedAdvice of toot.cat/cybre.space admins, GNUSocial apparent free speech zone**shitposter.clubsilencedAdvice of toot.cat/cybre.space admins, GNUSocial apparent free speech zone**freezepeach.xyzsilencedAdvice of toot.cat/cybre.space admins, GNUSocial apparent free speech zone**social.headsca.lasilencedAdvice of toot.cat/cybre.space admins, GNUSocial apparent free speech zone**woofer.alfter.ussilencedAdvice of toot.cat admin, GNUSocial apparent free speech zone**social.au2pb.netsilencedAdvice of toot.cat admin, GNUSocial apparent free speech zone**gorf.clubsilencedAdvice of toot.cat admin, GNUSocial apparent free speech zone**sealion.clubsilencedAdvice of toot.cat/cybre.space admins, GNUSocial apparent free speech zone**gs.smuglo.lisuspendedAdvice of toot.cat admin, GNUSocial apparent free speech zone**, lolicon***unsafe.spacesilencedAdvice of toot.cat admin, GNUSocial apparent free speech zone**pawoo.netsuspendedlolicon***wrongthink.netsilencedGNUSocial apparent free speech zone**Footnotes* Silenced vs suspended: silenced means they don't appear in the Federated timeline, but if someone discovers the accounts somehow (e.g. via replying to another toot) then they can follow and it will appear in their Home view.** "Free speech zone": a place where it's okay to promote e.g. National Socialism because the argument is that open discussion is more important than people's sensitivities or the denazification laws of Germany/France/etc. The term is not meant in a derogatory way; if there's a better one, let me know.*** lolicon: sexualized depictions of childrenNotes on our instanceWe don't accept hate speech.We don't accept violent nationalism or National Socialism.We are not a "free speech zone."We come from a different cultural heritage than many of the GNU Social instances.We pass no judgment on those that do, but our users may not want to engage with such content. This is what alt accounts are for. ðŸ‰References
Safe Speech vs Free Speech
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 21:03
Fascinating dynamic unfolding across Mastodon: instances are dividing into two ideological factions: safe speech, and free speech.
The safe speech instances are likely to start sharing domain-level blocklists (like Adblock but for speech) in the near future, to "curb harassment".
The free speech instances legitimately don't seem to care, and so far, have held much more interesting, substantive and intellectual conversations than the safe speech zones.
What can you expect from me? Free speech.
mastodon.social - Mastodon
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:58
Home to 47,470 users
Who authored 1,317,602 statuses
Connected to 1,503 other instances
The following guidelines are not a legal document, and final interpretation is up to the administration of mastodon.social; they are here to provide you with an insight into our content moderation policies:
The following types of content will be removed from the public timeline:Excessive advertisingUncurated news bots posting from third-party news sourcesUntagged pornography and sexually explicit contentUntagged gore and extremely graphic violenceThe following types of content will be removed from the public timeline, and may result in account suspension and revocation of access to the service:Racism or advocation of racismSexism or advocation of sexismDiscrimination against gender and sexual minorities, or advocation thereofXenophobic and/or violent nationalismThe following types of content are explicitly disallowed and will result in revocation of access to the service:Sexual depictions of childrenContent illegal in Germany and/or France, such as holocaust denial or Nazi symbolismConduct promoting the ideology of National SocialismAny conduct intended to stalk or harass other users, or to impede other users from utilizing the service, or to degrade the performance of the service, or to harass other users, or to incite other users to perform any of the aforementioned actions, is also disallowed, and subject to punishment up to and including revocation of access to the service. This includes, but is not limited to, the following behaviors:Continuing to engage in conversation with a user that has specifically has requested for said engagement with that user to cease and desist may be considered harassment, regardless of platform-specific privacy tools employed.Aggregating, posting, and/or disseminating a person's demographic, personal, or private data without express permission (informally called doxing or dropping dox) may be considered harassment.Inciting users to engage another user in continued interaction or discussion after a user has requested for said engagement with that user to cease and desist (informally called brigading or dogpiling) may be considered harassment.These provisions notwithstanding, the administration of the service reserves the right to revoke any user's access permissions, at any time, for any reason, except as limited by law.
Help Caelyn & Loren avoid homelessness! | Other - YouCaring
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 11:18
Posted on April 18, 2017 Hello all! Well, we're absolutely blown away by everyone's generosity and the sheer number of people who have been getting the word out. It's incredible and we can't thank you enough.
Since our last update, we've had to change our plans. Long story short, we're not going to be able to move to York right now. Instead, we're going to Hull until we can find our financial feet. (For anyone not aware of the UK property market, York is a very expensive area, Hull isn't.)
It was a difficult decision to make, since we're absolutely in love with York, but it's the right thing to do. We still have a whole bunch of hurdles to overcome, but they're much easier to deal with in Hull. We've been struggling to find a guarantor, since we both have very small families, but we're hoping to be able to negotiate around this.
On the bright side, Loren is currently on a train to Hull where they'll be viewing properties for the next few days. If all goes well, we'll find our new home!
Thanks again for all your help. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for your generous support.
Much love,
Caelyn and Loren
Hate Trumps Love
Worried about the US being led by a tyrant who may destroy the earth? Blame Alex Jones | Opinion | The Guardian
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 18:58
Alex Jones from Infowars.com speaks during a rally in support of Donald Trump. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
A merican far-right radio host Alex Jones believes that Hillary Clinton is literally a demon '' a red monster with a rubber face, an unregistered foreign agent from hell, which is a real place, where Satan, who is real, tortures unbaptised babies with a big fork in between demanding sacrifices of ''blood, semen, and breast milk'' from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta. I am only editorialising a little.
Jones, an ardent Trump booster, has made such claims over and over again on his too-popular-for-comfort radio programme, the Alex Jones Show, as well as on his websites, the best known of which is Infowars.com. He's called Clinton a ''demonic warmonger'', a ''damn demon'', and an ''abject, psychopathic demon from hell'' who attends a ''witches' church'' and has ''personally murdered and chopped up and raped [children]''. If she won the election, Jones warned his followers last year, Clinton would ''try to destroy the planet''. He once accused former secretary of state John Kerry of membership in a satanic sex cult, in which devotees have ''gay sex hundreds of times in coffins begging for spiritual entities to possess them. That get in coffins hundreds of times in giant pits of faeces and have sex with each other. OK? That's who's running things! ... That's what we're dealing with, ladies and gentlemen.'' Jones thinks the moon landing was faked and the government is putting chemicals in the water to turn people (and frogs) gay.
The current president of the United States of America, Donald J Trump, who has access to nuclear weapons, once appeared on Jones's radio show, calling the host ''amazing'' and vowing, ''I will not let you down '... I think we'll be speaking a lot.'' Earlier this year, Trump pushed one of Jones's conspiracy theories, claiming that the ''dishonest press'' is covering up terrorist attacks by Muslims in order to coddle Isis. Name a conspiracy theory, no matter how obscure, and Jones has almost certainly screeched it into a microphone with his signature drunk-leafblower panache. And the president is listening. OK? That's who's running things. That's what we're dealing with, ladies and gentlemen.
But a fresh and unexpected conspiracy is gripping the Jones camp this week, and this time the supposed puppetmaster is Jones himself. In the thick of a bitter custody battle between Jones and his ex-wife Kelly (who alleges that Jones is ''not a stable person'' and ''wants J-Lo to get raped''), Jones's lawyer has made the surprising claim that his client is ''playing a character'' and ''is a performance artist'' and therefore can't be held accountable for his on-air behaviour and ideas, or how they might impact his children.
Alex Jones, according to Alex Jones, isn't the real Alex Jones. He's just playing a character, exploiting his audience's prejudices for fame and money (you know, like a really great dad would do!). He doesn't actually mean it. But where does that leave his listeners?
That means that Jones was just playing a character when he claimed that the Bush administration orchestrated 9/11, and, even earlier, that the US government was behind the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building.
Jones was only goofing around when he accused Obama of staging the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 small children and seven adults were murdered, so that the government could justify taking all our guns away (which they still haven't done '' weird!). It was Jones the character, not Jones the person, who insisted that the dead children and their grieving parents were paid actors, Jones the ''performance artist'' who galvanised an army of internet sleuths to hound and harass said grieving parents for evidence of the ''false flag'' operation. Good one!
It was a particularly fine piece of performance art when Jones joined in the transparently fictitious furore known as ''Pizzagate'', a conspiracy theory manufactured by white supremacist Trump supporters claiming that John Podesta's leaked emails contained evidence of a child sex ring operating out of several pizza restaurants, after which a man barged into a DC pizzeria with a big rifle and nearly shot everyone, including children, because he thought children were in danger. Classic Jones! Give that guy an arts grant! (Oh, wait. Those won't exist anymore.)
There's something very faintly relatable about a true believer. I can understand why a person would want to believe in something more '' life is hard, and boring, and cruel, and then you die, so why not indulge your fantasies of lizard people in the White House and gay frogs in the water supply? It's Dungeons & Dragons. And it's a club, a little exclusive, something to belong to. But knowingly leveraging the bigotries of the lonely and paranoid to expand your media empire '' and, in the process, traumatising mourning families, nearly getting people shot, and helping to elect a tyrant who may destroy the earth either through war or environmental collapse or both '' is a degree of cynical greed that's difficult to fathom.
We don't know which is the lie: whether Jones is just a guy playing an outlandish character or if he's a delusional monster contorting himself toward normalcy to win a court case. It doesn't really matter. Whether he means them or not, his words and influence have the same impact. Presumably, Jones is doing this because he loves his kids. Well, immigrants love their kids too, as do Muslims, and the parents of Sandy Hook, and the still-shattered families of 9/11. Gay people love their kids. People eating pizza love their kids. To know what it's like to love someone like that, so much that you'd give up everything to keep them in your life, and then to actively strive to rip other families apart for profit or attention or power '' that's about as demonic as it gets.
When A Bully is President - Reflection Press
Sun, 16 Apr 2017 14:10
Self-Care for Kids! This is not your usual kid's book! This book is a call to BE, to step forward and LOVE yourself, LOVE your community, know your history and your powerful place in it and strengthen your own creative power! This book is a tool to use. I created it because I know you are an important part of our world and your strength matters.
Bullying is real, but we can change the story by changing the focus. Begin with yourself. Begin the journey of art activist. You are the artist. You are the storyteller. Change yourself. Change the world!
Watch the Video:(listen to Maya as she reads the book in English and shares some final and in-process art)
Playful ink and watercolor illustrations support a powerful journey that touches on bullying in the founding history of the US, how that history may still be impacting kids and families today, and ways to use creativity and self-respect in the face of negative messages for all marginalized communities. The first part of the book briefly acknowledges the United States' past and present and shows some basic forms of activism that kids engage in. The next part talks about walking away from a bully or de-escalation and focusing on how to take care of yourself and community. Finally practical ways creativity and portraiture can be used to support self-respect and spread respect in community are explored. Communities reflected include Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Chicanx, LGBTQ Americans, disabled Americans, Americans who identify as women and girls, Muslim and Sikh Americans and Asian Americans. The back includes related resources and referrals.
Award-winning children's book artist and author Maya Gonzalez draws from 20 years working with kids using her Claiming Face curriculum, to provide a place for kids to land during difficult times and counteract the impact of oppression with truth, expression and personal creative power.
As stories surface near and far about increased harassment in the schools and on the streets, we know how important it is for our kids to see us center and value our lives and communities. This book is an opportunity to talk more about what's going on, how it fits into the history of bullying in the US and what we can do about it, while providing a structure to use our creative power to stay strong and focused on ourselves.Join us in developing/continuing traditions that teach our kids expressive, creative skills and self esteem to continue negotiating life in the US. When a Bully is President: Truth and Creativity for Oppressive Times supports our families and communities in becoming stronger by investing in our own identity, creative power and self love.
View the Reader's Guide and other resources for When a Bully is Presidenthere.
Carter Page Went to Moscow With a Tape of Donald Trump Offering Treason For Hacking | patribotics
Mon, 17 Apr 2017 16:46
Sources with links to the intelligence community say it is believed that Carter Page went to Moscow in early July carrying with him a pre-recorded tape of Donald Trump offering to change American policy if he were to be elected, to make it more favorable to Putin. In exchange, Page was authorized directly by Trump to request the help of the Russian government in hacking the election.
On November 7th I reported that the FBI had been granted a FISA warrant to investigate the activities of two Russian banks, Alfa Bank and Silicoln Valley Bank. I also reported that an earlier attempt to obtain a FISA warrant, in June, had failed in the court because it named Donald Trump himself and three of his associates. In an exclusive at Patribotics, I reported that these named associates were Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and Boris Epshteyn.
Sources close to the intelligence community now report that this application was made because a recording exists of all three men discussing the possibility of Page taking the tape of Trump to Moscow as an earnest of good faith. There is a minor dispute over whether Trump himself is also on that tape, as well as the tape that was delivered to Moscow by Carter Page of Trump making this promise.
A separate source with links to the intelligence community reported to me several months ago that Boris Epshteyn, alone of the four men named in the first FISA application, is an actual FSB agent, and, the source said, is the son of two other sleeper agents. Paul Manafort is registering as an agent of a foreign power; Carter Page has admitted, from public reporting, to have met with Russian intelligence agents.
It may therefore be surmised that Page, Manafort and Epshteyn, in this conversation wherein they discussed taking the Trump tape to Moscow, were all acting in concert as agents of the Russian state first and foremost, and Trump staffers second. Because the provision of such a tape to Putin would clearly be the ultimate in kompromat on a future American President (far worse than any sexual blackmail tape).
The FISC judge, as I reported, rejected that application, made in June. Director Comey likely proved to the satisfaction of the court that Page, Manafort and Epshteyn were acting as Russian agents. But he may have felt that Trump, by now the nominee, was just a very stupid patsy. And the planned trip had not taken place.
Director Comey redrew this request and presented FISC with a new warrant application. The Washington Post says that there is a FISA warrant on Page, but it does not say that there is NOT a FISA warrant on the other two men named in the June application. I will therefore assume from now on that the July FISA warrant granted targets Page, Manafort and Epshteyn.
Page had always seemed weirdly confident about his relationship with Trump. He had the tape of Mr. Trump offering to change policy. Sources say that this tape was played in meetings with Russian intelligence officers in Moscow, and that several Western intelligence sources have recordings of the meetings and the tape which they supplied to US intelligence.
The Washington Post does not name the date in July when Director Comey obtained his warrant. It seems likely however that it would not have been before July 5-8, when Page was in Russia. Furthermore, my own story on the separate FISA warrant granted on the two Russian banks states that Director Comey specifically sought permission to examine existing transcripts and intercepts on US persons as they related to this inquiry into money laundering into the Trump campaign.
My November 7th report directly connects the granting of the banking warrant to election hacking of the DNC. It is fair to say that, at the time of writing, I did not understand precisely how these two matters were connected. I now know and have reported that the server was washing databases of DNC hacked materials with voter registration materials. It is clear that, if my sources were correct, Director Comey would not have been able to listen to the recording of Mr. Trump played by Mr. Page in the offices of Russian intelligence in Moscow until he obtained that warrant, in October; his July warrant on Page came too late to affect a trip on July 5-7th.
When Carter Page returned to the RNC in Cleveland, he and Jeff Sessions, who recruited him to Team Trump via the Alfa Bank lobbyist Richard Burt, both met with the Russian spymaster Sergei Kislyak. From public reporting, we know that they not only changed the RNC platform on Ukraine at the behest of Russia, but also discussed lifting sanctions, a violation of the Logan Act.
Mr. Epshteyn was probably also present at that meeting. The reason I say this is that I can personally report that Mr. Epshteyn, whom I had met several times in the green room at Fox News, and I, had a bet on '' I bet him $100 that the Republican Party would not actually nominate the racist and sexist Donald Trump.
I lost that bet and made a point of texting Mr. Epshteyn at the conference to pay up. He was charming. I handed over the $100. He went back to Mr. Trump's private suite.
I now realize that I was probably giving money directly to a second generation sleeper agent of the FSB. But if I could not hear what Mr. Epshteyn, Mr. Page, Mr. Manafort, and Mr. Kislyak were discussing with the Russian Ambassador behind the door of Donald Trump's suite, the FBI most certainly could.
I will produce a short timeline of the Trump-Russia story on this blog tomorrow. For now, the point is that intelligence sources say that Page, Manafort and Epshteyn, possibly also with Trump, are on tape discussing how Page should carry a recording of Donald Trump to Moscow, offering his bona fides in exchange for Russia's help hacking the election; and that the said tape of Trump was played by Page to Russian intelligence, possibly including Mr. Diveykin, the Russian official in charge of hacking the election; and that multiple foreign intelligence services, among them the UK, Germany and Ukraine, have a tape of this; and that finally, in October, the FBI was able to listen to that tape.
So God bless America, and God Save the Queen,
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Why Erdogan's Turkish victory may rally his opponents - BBC News
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:15
Image copyright Reuters Image caption President Erdogan rejected the findings of observers that the vote was held on an "unlevel playing field" There were only two options: a Yes or a No. The question was missing from the 16 April ballot paper on changing Turkey's constitution.
Expecting millions of voters to answer a non-existent question may seem odd, but it somehow made sense.
Because while the referendum involved 18 articles that would suspend Turkey's separation of powers, the real, unwritten question was: Should Turkey be a one-man show or not?
The Yes-vote was apparently the last piece of the puzzle in President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's new Turkey project. But will it actually work?
In the Yes camp were Turkey's ruling AKP and the ultranationalist MHP party. But the result suggests that this attempted merger of the Islamist-rooted government with ultra-nationalism did not work.
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Media caption Turkish referendum in three wordsUltranationalist voters do not appear to have voted Yes and the Felicity Party (Saadet Partisi), which came out of the same traditional Islamist movement as the AKP, repeatedly said it did not back the Yes camp.
On the other hand, the Yes camp did attract unexpected support in some Kurdish districts, where the AKP used to be strong but lost its grip in 2015 elections. Turkey's big Kurdish party struggled to campaign for a No vote because its MPs and leaders are in jail.
Image copyright AFP Image caption A vote is stamped Yes (Evet in Turkish) Even though Turkey had struggled to maintain democracy since its foundation, it always had free and fair elections except its first multi-party vote in 1946.
And there was a widespread belief in the No camp that the vote was rigged well before the vote took place. In the words of international observers, "the referendum took place on an unlevel playing field, and the two sides of the campaign did not have equal opportunities".
So when Turkey's High Electoral Board (SBE) announced on the day of the vote itself that unstamped/unauthenticated ballot papers would be counted as valid, the No campaign felt the board had put the boot in.
Read more on referendum:
"No change of rules (is) permitted after the voting has started," says Kerem Gulay of Cornell University. The authority can apply the law but cannot change it, he says.
The frustration of No voters was clear as the number involved - almost 650,000 votes - could have changed the course of a historic referendum. The difference between the two votes was little more than 1.3 million. As we saw with Brexit, a country's future can hinge on relatively small margins.
For all the disappointments of the No campaign, they may see a silver lining in the long term.
Building democracy in Turkey has always been difficult, and the fragility of such institutions as the judiciary and free press has made the task that much harder.
Image copyright EPA Image caption While these ultranationalists backed a Yes vote, many others did not But while the result means that democratic backsliding is palpable, the situation may be no more worrying than it was before the vote, and may even prove positive.
For a start, the result comes as a huge blow to the leadership of the ultranationalist MHP, seen as failing to respond to their own constituency. That attitude cannot last and could lead to the formation of new right-wing parties or a change in leadership.
The ultranationalists with the key to Erdogan's ambitions
And there could be changes at the secular, opposition CHP as well that would enable alternative voices and parties to flourish.
The No camp was made up of mostly urban, educated, Westward-looking middle-class Turks, as well as secular Kurds and Turkish nationalists opposed to the HDP leadership. Despite their clear differences they found common cause.
An important factor in the rise of illiberal populism has been the lack of a political alternative to fight it.
In that respect, losing by a small margin may prove more useful to the opposition than narrowly winning if its result is to create a more successful avenue for challenging one-man rule.
Ezgi Basaran is a journalist and co-ordinator of the Turkey programme at St Antony's College, Oxford.
British spies were first to spot Trump team's links with Russia | UK news | The Guardian
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 04:06
It is understood that GCHQ was not carrying out a targeted operation against Trump or his team, but picked up the alleged conversations by chance. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA
Britain's spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump's campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told.
GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious ''interactions'' between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.
Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump's inner circle and Russians, sources said.
The European countries that passed on electronic intelligence '' known as sigint '' included Germany, Estonia and Poland. Australia, a member of the ''Five Eyes'' spying alliance that also includes the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, also relayed material, one source said.
Another source suggested the Dutch and the French spy agency, the General Directorate for External Security or DGSE, were contributors.
It is understood that GCHQ was at no point carrying out a targeted operation against Trump or his team or proactively seeking information. The alleged conversations were picked up by chance as part of routine surveillance of Russian intelligence assets. Over several months, different agencies targeting the same people began to see a pattern of connections that were flagged to intelligence officials in the US.
The issue of GCHQ's role in the FBI's ongoing investigation into possible cooperation between the Trump campaign and Moscow is highly sensitive. In March Trump tweeted that Barack Obama had illegally ''wiretapped'' him in Trump Tower.
Sean Spicer: Trump stands by 'wiretap' claimThe White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, claimed the ''British spying agency'' GCHQ had carried out the bugging. Spicer cited an unsubstantiated report on Fox News. Fox later distanced itself from the report.
The claims prompted an extremely unusual rebuke from GCHQ, which generally refrains from commenting on all intelligence matters. The agency described the allegations first made by a former judge turned media commentator, Andrew Napolitano, as ''nonsense''.
''They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored,'' a spokesperson for GCHQ said.
Instead both US and UK intelligence sources acknowledge that GCHQ played an early, prominent role in kickstarting the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation, which began in late July 2016.
One source called the British eavesdropping agency the ''principal whistleblower''.
The Guardian has been told the FBI and the CIA were slow to appreciate the extensive nature of contacts between Trump's team and Moscow ahead of the US election. This was in part due to US law that prohibits US agencies from examining the private communications of American citizens without warrants. ''They are trained not to do this,'' the source stressed.
''It looks like the [US] agencies were asleep,'' the source added. ''They [the European agencies] were saying: 'There are contacts going on between people close to Mr Trump and people we believe are Russian intelligence agents. You should be wary of this.'
''The message was: 'Watch out. There's something not right here.'''
Robert Hannigan delivering a speech at GCHQ in Cheltenham in 2015. Photograph: Ben Birchall/ReutersAccording to one account, GCHQ's then head, Robert Hannigan, passed material in summer 2016 to the CIA chief, John Brennan. The matter was deemed so sensitive it was handled at ''director level''. After an initially slow start, Brennan used GCHQ information and intelligence from other partners to launch a major inter-agency investigation.
In late August and September Brennan gave a series of classified briefings to the Gang of Eight, the top-ranking Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. He told them the agency had evidence the Kremlin might be trying to help Trump to win the presidency, the New York Times reported.
One person familiar with the matter said Brennan did not reveal sources but made reference to the fact that America's intelligence allies had provided information. Trump subsequently learned of GCHQ's role, the person said.
The person described US intelligence as being ''very late to the game''. The FBI's director, James Comey, altered his position after the election and Trump's victory, becoming ''more affirmative'' and with a ''higher level of concern''.
Comey's apparent shift may have followed a mid-October decision by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa) court to approve a secret surveillance order. The order gave permission for the Department of Justice to investigate two banks suspected of being part of the Kremlin's undercover influence operation.
According to the BBC, the justice department's request came after a tipoff from an intelligence agency in one of the Baltic states. This is believed to be Estonia.
The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the same order covered Carter Page, one of Trump's associates. It allowed the FBI and the justice department to monitor Page's communications. Page, a former foreign policy aide, was suspected of being an agent of influence working for Russia, the paper said, citing US officials.
The application covered contacts Page allegedly had in 2013 with a Russian foreign intelligence agent, and other undisclosed meetings with Russian operatives, the Post said. Page denies wrongdoing and complained of ''unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance''.
Late last year Comey threw more FBI resources into what became a far-reaching counter-intelligence investigation. In March he confirmed before the House intelligence committee that the agency was examining possible cooperation between Moscow and members of the Trump campaign to sway the US election.
Comey and the NSA director, Admiral Michael Rogers, said there was no basis for the president's claim that he was a victim of Obama ''wiretapping''. Trump had likened the unproved allegation to ''McCarthyism''.
Britain's MI6 spy agency played a part in intelligence sharing with the US, one source said. MI6 declined to comment. Its former chief Sir Richard Dearlove described Trump's wiretapping claim on Thursday as ''simply deeply embarrassing for Trump and the administration''.
''The only possible explanation is that Trump started tweeting without understanding how the NSA-GCHQ relationship actually works,'' Dearlove told Prospect magazine.
A GCHQ spokesperson said: ''It is longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters''.
It is unclear which individuals were picked up by British surveillance.
In a report last month the New York Times, citing three US intelligence officials, said warning signs had been building throughout last summer but were far from clear. As WikiLeaks published emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee, US agencies began picking up conversations in which Russians were discussing contacts with Trump associates, the paper said.
European allies were supplying information about people close to Trump meeting with Russians in Britain, the Netherlands and in other countries, the Times said.
There are now multiple investigations going on in Washington into Trump campaign officials and Russia. They include the FBI-led counter-espionage investigation and probes by both the House and Senate intelligence committees.
Adam Schiff, the senior Democrat on the House committee, has expressed an interest in hearing from Christopher Steele, the former MI6 officer whose dossier accuses the president of long-term cooperation with Vladimir Putin's Moscow. Trump and Putin have both dismissed the dossier as fake.
One source suggested the official investigation was making progress. ''They now have specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion,'' the source said. ''This is between people in the Trump campaign and agents of [Russian] influence relating to the use of hacked material.''
Confirmed: John Brennan Colluded With Foreign Spies to Defeat Trump | The American Spectator
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 04:05
An article in the Guardian last week provides more confirmation that John Brennan was the American progenitor of political espionage aimed at defeating Donald Trump. One side did collude with foreign powers to tip the election '-- Hillary's.
Seeking to retain his position as CIA director under Hillary, Brennan teamed up with British spies and Estonian spies to cripple Trump's candidacy. He used their phony intelligence as a pretext for a multi-agency investigation into Trump, which led the FBI to probe a computer server connected to Trump Tower and gave cover to Susan Rice, among other Hillary supporters, to spy on Trump and his people.
John Brennan's CIA operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign, leaking out mentions of this bogus investigation to the press in the hopes of inflicting maximum political damage on Trump. An official in the intelligence community tells TAS that Brennan's retinue of political radicals didn't even bother to hide their activism, decorating offices with ''Hillary for president cups'' and other campaign paraphernalia.
A supporter of the American Communist Party at the height of the Cold War, Brennan brought into the CIA a raft of subversives and gave them plum positions from which to gather and leak political espionage on Trump. He bastardized standards so that these left-wing activists could burrow in and take career positions. Under the patina of that phony professionalism, they could then present their politicized judgments as ''non-partisan.''
The Guardian story is written in a style designed to flatter its sources (they are cast as high-minded whistleblowers), but the upshot of it is devastating for them, nonetheless, and explains why all the criminal leaks against Trump first originated in the British press. According to the story, Brennan got his anti-Trump tips primarily from British spies but also Estonian spies and others. The story confirms that the seed of the espionage into Trump was planted by Estonia. The BBC's Paul Wood reported last year that the intelligence agency of an unnamed Baltic State had tipped Brennan off in April 2016 to a conversation purporting to show that the Kremlin was funneling cash into the Trump campaign.
Any other CIA director would have disregarded such a flaky tip, recognizing that Estonia was eager to see Trump lose (its officials had bought into Hillary's propaganda that Trump was going to pull out of NATO and leave Baltic countries exposed to Putin). But Brennan opportunistically seized on it, as he later that summer seized on the half-baked intelligence of British spy agencies (also full of officials who wanted to see Trump lose).
The Guardian says that British spy head Robert Hannigan ''passed material in summer 2016 to the CIA chief, John Brennan.'' To ensure that these flaky tips leaked out, Brennan disseminated them on Capitol Hill. In August and September of 2016, he gave briefings to the ''Gang of Eight'' about them, which then turned up on the front page of the New York Times.
All of this took place at the very moment Brennan was auditioning for Hillary. He desperately wanted to keep his job and despised Trump for his alleged ''Muslim ban,'' a matter near and dear to Brennan's heart. Not only was he an apologist for the Muslim Brotherhood, but Brennan's Islamophilia dated to his days in college, when he spent a year in Cairo learning Arabic and taking courses in Middle Eastern studies. He later got a graduate degree with an emphasis in Middle Eastern studies. In 1996, his ties to the Islamic world tightened after he became the CIA's station chief in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He once recalled that ''during a 25-year career in government, I was privileged to serve in positions across the Middle East '-- as a political officer with the State Department and as a CIA station chief in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, I saw how our Saudi partners fulfilled their duty as custodians of the two holy mosques of Mecca and Medina. I marveled at the majesty of the Hajj and the devotion of those who fulfilled their duty as Muslims by making that privilege '-- that pilgrimage.''
Out of this Islamophilia came a special dislike of Michael Flynn, who had planned to rip up the Obama-era ''reset'' with Muslim countries. Furious with Flynn for his apostasy from political correctness, Brennan and other Obama aides couldn't resist the temptation to take him out after rifling through transcripts of his calls with the Russian ambassador. They caught him in a lie to Mike Pence and made sure the press knew about it.
Were the media not so completely in the tank for Obama and Hillary, all of this political mischief would make for a compelling 2016 version of All the President's Men. Instead, the public gets a steady stream of Orwellian propaganda about the sudden propriety of political espionage. The headline writers at Pravda couldn't improve on this week's official lie, tweeted out by the Maggie Habermans: ''Susan Rice Did Nothing Wrong, Say Both Dem and Republican House Aides.''
Liberals pompously quote the saying '-- ''the bigger the lie, the more it will be believed'' '-- even as their media enshrine it. Historians will look back on 2016 and marvel at the audacity of its big lie: whispers of an imaginary Trump-Russia collusion that wafted up from the fever swamps of a real collusion between John Brennan and foreign powers seeking Trump's defeat.
Justin Trudeau Took Ivanka Trump to a Musical Her Father Should See Instead
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 00:31
Ivanka Trump with Justin Trudeau back in February, 2017.
By Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Bloomberg.
The timing could not have been more jarring for Ivanka Trump as she took her seat in row F next to Justin Trudeau at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater on West 45th Street in Manhattan on Wednesday evening. Her father, President Donald Trump, had left Washington earlier that afternoon to promote his agenda on the road, and so she did, too. A source close to the First Daughter said that they had struck up a friendship when the Canadian prime minister visited the White House last month, and that Ivanka had joined Trudeau at his invitation. The two attended a reception together beforehand, and he seated her next to himself and his wife up front near the stage.
They were there to see the new musical Come from Away, a story based in a small Canadian town that sheltered thousands of air travelers who had been diverted on September 11 and left without a place to go when the North American airspace was shut down. At a time when Muslim travelers were singled out, this Newfoundland town opened its arms to them. ''The world gets to see what it is to lean on each other and be there for each other through the darkest times,'' Trudeau said in brief remarks he made from the stage. Along with Ivanka, the audience was filled with 125 United Nations ambassadors, who had been invited to the show by the Canadian consulate general in New York. ''It's about friendship, as well.''
The inclusive message of Trudeau's Canada could not have been more at odds with that of Donald Trump's America. Ivanka, the source said, found the show's message of acceptance very powerful. But as she clapped along, her father soaked in applause thousands of miles away in Nashville as he promoted the opposite, railing against a federal judge for striking down his revamped executive order banning immigrants from six Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and temporarily halting refugees from entering the U.S.
VIDEO: Donald Trump vs. Immigration
On Wednesday evening, the judge issued a temporary restraining order nationwide, blocking the ban, which was set to go into effect on Thursday. The ruling stated that Trump's executive order'--his second attempt to impose''extreme vetting'' on predominantly Muslim travelers, after his first order was also halted by the courts'--still discriminated on the basis of religion. The second try took Iraq off the original list of the banned countries, took out an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees, and removed portions about prioritizing religious minorities when deciding which refugees get to come into the U.S. It also clarified that immigrants with green cards and permanent visas are not impacted'--an issue that created a great deal of turmoil the first time around. Still, immigrants from Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen, along with all refugees, would have been temporarily stopped from entering the country.
A ''reasonable, objective observer'--enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements, and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance'--would conclude that the Executive Order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose,'' the Hawaiian judge wrote in his opinion. He specifically cited past statements by the president himself, who had called for a ''total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.''
The restraining order did not go over well with the president in Nashville, who called the decision an ''unprecedented judicial overreach'' and a threat to national security. ''The order he blocked was a watered-down version of the first order that was also blocked by another judge and should have never been blocked to start with,'' he said. ''This new order was tailored to the dictates of the 9th Circuit's'--in my opinion''flawed ruling. . . . And let me tell you something, I think we ought to go back to the first one and go all the way, which is what I wanted to do in the first place.''
Trump's speech was hard to square with Trudeau's sermon on the importance of ''leaning on each other'' in the ''darkest of times,'' which Trump's daughter found so moving. That's because the Trump administration has adopted the idea that in the darkest of times, America must turn inward'--with trade, with jobs, with immigration, with refugees. Yet again, Ivanka Trump was caught somewhere in the middle.
Full ScreenPhotos:1 / 16
Ivanka and Tiffany Trump's Half-Sister Act A ringletted, towheaded, toddler Tiffany Trump drew both of her parents' attention in New York City.
Photo: By Catherine McGann/Getty Images.Ivanka with her father at the Plaza hotel, 1991.
Photo: BY RON GALELLA/WIREIMAGE.Ivanka with Donald at a Beach Boys concert in Palm Beach, 1996.
Photo: FROM DAVIDOFF STUDIOS/GETTY IMAGES.A six-year-old Tiffany Trump, with a cherry-red flamenco dress and gold fan, stood for a portrait at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach in 1999.
Photo: by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images.Donald and Ivanka at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, 2016.
Photo: BY SUZANNE KREITER/THE BOSTON GLOBE/GETTY IMAGES.Ivanka Trump and Tiffany trade whispers across their sister-in-law, Lara, in the audience at the Republican National Convention this summer in Cleveland.
Photo: Photograph by Justin Bishop.Tiffany Trump and Ivanka Trump outside the main doors of Donald Trump's penthouse at Trump Tower, in Manhattan, 2014.
A ringletted, towheaded, toddler Tiffany Trump drew both of her parents' attention in New York City.
By Catherine McGann/Getty Images.
Ivanka with her father at the Plaza hotel, 1991.
Ivanka with Donald at a Beach Boys concert in Palm Beach, 1996.
A six-year-old Tiffany Trump, with a cherry-red flamenco dress and gold fan, stood for a portrait at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach in 1999.
by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images.
Ivanka Trump, in a Canadian Tuxedo, spent Christmastime in Aspen with her father in 1990, where the two celebrated designer Dennis Bassos's fur collection at the Little Nell.
From Getty Images.
A velvet-clad Ivanka Trump and her mother, Ivana, were all smiles on the Studio 54 dance floor.
by Ron Galella/WireImage.
The color-coordinated two sisters celebrate the season finale of their father's hit reality show, The Apprentice.
By by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
Tiffany on the runway during New York Fashion Week, 2016.
Ivanka Trump joined her father and his then-girlfriend (and later, third wife), Melania, at the Met Ball in 2004. The annual gala's theme that year: ''Dangerous Liaisons.''
by Evan Agostini/Getty Images.
Tiffany Trump, her nearly invisible dress, and a friend posed for a selfie last summer at a benefit in the Hamptons.
From IZZY/WENN.com
Ivanka Trump gives her husband, Jared Kushner, a little squeeze after the White House Correspondence Dinner in 2012, four years before the couple set its sights on Washington.
Photograph by Justin Bishop.
After her father clinched the win for the presidency on Nov. 8, Tiffany Trump gave her father a kiss on stage at the New York Hilton.
By SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images.
Donald Trump patted his daughter's baby bump at his victory rally in South Carolina, after he won the Republican primary in the state in February. Ivanka gave birth to her third child, Theodore, a month later.
By JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images.
Donald and Ivanka at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, 2016.
Ivanka Trump and Tiffany trade whispers across their sister-in-law, Lara, in the audience at the Republican National Convention this summer in Cleveland.
Photograph by Justin Bishop.
Tiffany Trump and Ivanka Trump outside the main doors of Donald Trump's penthouse at Trump Tower, in Manhattan, 2014.
The Great Japan Potato-Chip Crisis: Panic Buying, $12 Bags - Bloomberg
Mon, 17 Apr 2017 05:52
Demand for potato chips has surged in Japan this week, with products on offer for 6 times their retail price online after Japanese snack company Calbee Inc. halted the sale of some of its most popular chip brands.
Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
Calbee's pizza-flavored chips were going for about 1,250 yen ($12) on Yahoo Japan Corp.'s auction website Friday. One bag usually sells for less than 200 yen. Photos of near-empty shelves at their local supermarkets were trending on Twitter.
The crunch came after Calbee warned on Monday that it will temporarily halt the sale of 15 types of potato chips due to a bad crop in Hokkaido, a key potato-producing region. The northern island was hit by a record number of typhoons last year. Calbee, which has a market value of 507.9 billion yen and is 20 percent-owned by PepsiCo Inc., has a 73 percent market share of potato chips.
Potato chips are a big deal in Japan, a country also known for its senbei rice crackers and Pocky sticks. Calbee's potato-snack products were the most and second-most popular snacks in a TV Asahi poll of 10,000 people and 13 confectionery makers last year, and the subject of a primetime show that lasted more than two hours.
Typhoon damage in Shimizu, Hokkaido, last summer.
Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images
While the focus has been on potato chips following Calbee's announcement, the shortage may spread to fast-food chains and restaurants that rely on spuds for their dishes in what appears to be shaping up to be the nation's ''Potato Crisis,'' according to the Nikkei newspaper.
''We're doing everything we can to resume sales again,'' said Rie Makuuchi, a spokeswoman for Tokyo-based Calbee. She said the company will consider using more imported potatoes from the U.S. and ask potato farmers in the southern island of Kyushu to harvest their crop earlier than scheduled. She also cited regulatory hurdles, which limit the amount of imported potatoes that can be used in products, as partly responsible for the shortage.
It's not the first time Japan's seen a shortage of food staples -- a declining number of dairy farmers and lack of imports due to high tariffs has led to butter shortages in the past, accompanied by exhaustive media coverage.
Smaller potato-chip rival Koike-ya Inc. has also halted the sale of 9 snack products. The company only uses domestic potatoes and therefore won't rely on imports, according to spokesman Kazuya Obata. Both Koike-ya and Calbee said they aren't sure when sales will resume.
Twitter users sent encouraging tweets to Calbee, which apologized for the crunch via its official Twitter account. If nothing else, the shortage appeared to remind people how much they liked their potato chips.
''I realized how addicted I was to potato chips after the halt,'' one person tweeted. ''I'll be waiting for sales to resume. Hang in there!''
CNN - Book says Hillary talks to dead - June 22, 1996
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 04:30
First lady acknowledged'imaginary' chats.
June 22, 1996
Web posted at: 11:55 p.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton held imaginary conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi as a therapeutic release, according to a new book written by Bob Woodward, says a report in Sunday's edition of The Chicago Sun-Times.
The first lady declined a personal adviser's suggestion that she address Jesus Christ, however, because it would be "too personal," according to Woodward's book, "The Choice."
The book, which is still to be published, takes a behind-the-scenes look at the Clintons, as well as Bob and Elizabeth Dole.
Woodward says the adviser was Jean Houston, co-director of the Foundation for Mind Research, which he describes as a group that studies the psychic experience and altered and expanded consciousness.
The book portrays Houston as an influential adviser who urged Mrs. Clinton to write her book, "It Takes a Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us," and in the process "virtually moved into the White House" for days at a time to help with revisions, the Sun-Times reported.
Woodward suggests the White House hoped to keep Mrs. Clinton's relationship with Houston and her talks with the dead a secret.
"Most people in the White House did not know about Hillary's sessions with Houston. ... To some of the few who did, the meetings could trigger politically damaging comparisons to Nancy Reagan's use of astrology," Woodward wrote.
Mrs. Clinton's spokeswoman, Lisa Caputo, is quoted in the Sun-Times as saying the first lady's interest in Houston is no secret.
Woodward says anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson, daughter of famed anthropologist Margaret Mead, joined her in sessions of imaginary conversations.
Woodward is an assistant managing editor at The Washington Post. As a reporter, he helped break the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein.
Mrs. Clinton herself wrote about her imaginary conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt in her June 10 column. She said she talked to Roosevelt about the role of a first lady.
"She usually responds by telling me to buck up, or at least to grow skin as thick as a rhinoceros," Mrs. Clinton wrote.
In the column, she described Houston as an expert on philosophy and mythology. "(Houston) has shared her views with me on everything from the ancient Greeks to the lives of women and children on Bangladesh," she wrote.
Mrs. Clinton also acknowledged her relationship with Bateson.
"She and I have spent hours discussing the ways in which women in different societies attempt to fulfill their responsibilities to their families, jobs and communities," Mrs. Clinton wrote.
Related stories:
The media's pathetic cheers for Chelsea Clinton | New York Post
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 13:05
How thirsty does Variety look begging readers to join it in doing high V cheerleading moves for Chelsea Clinton?
Thirstier than an ultra-marathoner lost in Death Valley in mid-July.
Hyping the entertainment magazine's latest cover, Co-Editor-in-Chief Claudia Eller gushed this week, ''How cool does Chelsea Clinton look on our Power of Women, NY, cover?''
Welcome to the liberal media's manufacturing of ''cool.'' Leather jacket? Check. Overzealous airbrushing? Check. Humanizing grin? Check. Democratic establishment pedigree? Checkity-check-check.
This is just the latest attempt by The Media Resistance to make Chelsea Clinton a thing. The same liberal lunatics in the press who rage about the Trump children's nepotistic privileges champion the ''refreshingly outspoken'' daughter of the Clinton dynasty '-- who, at 37 years old, will receive a ''Lifetime Impact'' award from Variety on Friday for her ''humanitarian work.''
The honor comes during the same week that the Clinton Global Initiative cash machine officially shut down. Among the generous ''humanitarian'' projects of CGI's parent, the Clinton Foundation: accused of using its resources for Chelsea's wedding to another heir of Democratic corruptocrats, Marc Mezvinsky '-- the newly jobless former hedge-fund manager and son of convicted fraudster Edward Mezvinsky, a former Democratic congressman from Iowa.
Remember: The Clintons' own inner circle lambasted Chelsea's hubby for exploiting the Clinton Foundation and CGI to prop up his now-defunct hedge fund. The duo also siphoned off charitable donations to pay for ''taxes on money from her parents'' and expenses racked up to subsidize her ''life for a decade,'' according to longtime Clinton aide Doug Band.
But I digress from the Cult of Chelsea Coolness. Shake those pompoms, propaganda media:
The New York Times lauded ''Chelsea Clinton, Unbound,'' applauded her ''confrontational tweeting'' against President Trump and interviewed her about books for a series featuring successful authors '-- after her most recent ghostwritten opus on global health care flopped like those famous Filipino divers on YouTube.
BuzzFeed and The Hill cover Chelsea as if she were a Kardashian. Politico also cooed over Chelsea's new ''spicy, sarcastic online personality'' on Twitter. Then the Beltway publication hailed her upcoming children's book, which opportunistically cribs left-wing feminist Sen. Elizabeth Warren's cri de coeur, ''She Persisted.''
The Huffington Post breathlessly reported on Chelsea's brave thoughts about breastfeeding and menstruation. She boldly asserted in a wellness article that we all need to ''support'' breastfeeding women and menstruating girls ''by talking candidly'' about them. OK then. Prepare the Nobel Prize nomination, stat!
Insipid platitudes deserve eye rolls, not gala celebrations. What independent ''power of women'' has Chelsea Clinton exercised '-- other than inheriting her father's name and what's left of her two-time-losing mother's political cachet?
''Lifetime achievement''? She skated through college and pulled family strings to secure her short-lived, high-priced jobs in management consulting and media.
Those who know Chelsea Clinton best see her for what she is: a ''spoiled brat,'' to quote Doug Band.
She is Bill Clinton without the charm, Hillary Clinton without the ruthlessness and full Billary in her bottomless well of inflated entitlement and ideological hackery.
The ineluctable drive to prop up Chelsea Clinton is textbook fake news. The only constituency rooting for her to run for political office is the Hollywood-media complex, which is desperately trying to squeeze blood from a rotten turnip.
How uncool is that?
Ministry of Truthiness
Anne Frank Center's Steven Goldstein Reacts Angrily To Wikipedia Edits | Israellycool
Mon, 17 Apr 2017 19:02
Steven GoldsteinFollowing my previous twoposts on the Anne Frank Center and how it was misrepresenting itself, someone (not me) edited its Wikipedia page to reflect the lies I had exposed, adding this to the History of the Organization section:
Although at one time the Center claimed, on its website, to have been founded by Anne Frank's father Otto Frank, as of April 2017, it no longer makes that claim. [1][9] It has variously claimed to have been founded by Mr. Frank in 1959 and in 1977.[10] In 1977, Mr. Frank would have been 88 years old and living in Basel, Switzerland. [11][12] The Center does not appear to have any connection to the Anne Frank Fonds. [13]
They also changed this:
The organization's choice of ''Mutual Respect'' for its expanded name was inspired by Otto Frank, who founded the organization to help ''build a world based on equal rights and mutual respect.
To this:
The organization's choice of ''Mutual Respect'' for its expanded name was inspired by Otto Frank, although the name change occured 36 years after Mr. Frank's death.
Steve Goldstein, the center's executive director, has reacted furiously, removing the edits and leaving this comment:
This is Steven Goldstein, Executive Director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. Someone made hostile and actionable changes to our Wikipedia page that we took out in this edit.
But he also removed the following part of the History section, including references to Otto Frank.
Other Anne Frank organizations include the museum, Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, which opened in 1960; and the charitable foundation founded by Otto Frank in 1963, the Anne Frank Fonds in Basel, Switzerland.
From 1942 to 1944, Anne, her sister Margot and their parents Otto and Edith hid in a secret annex at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, along with four other Jews. The Nazis, acting on an anonymous tip, found all eight in 1944, and would kill all but Otto. Anne died in 1945 at age 15 at the Bergen-Belsenconcentration camp.
Earlier in his life, Otto Frank lived in the United States. At age 19, he came to New York to do an apprenticeship at Macy's before he returned home to Germany. After Anne died, he realized even more the importance of the American market in preserving Anne's legacy. The success of 1955 Broadway play, The Diary of Anne Frank had made Anne's diary '' the book '' an international sensation. Four years later, he established the Anne Frank organization in the United States.
This all seems to confirm to me that, despite Goldstein's indignation, they were lying all along.
Good job on the Wikipedia edits, Steve, correcting the lies I exposed. Although it looks like someone added them back in.
And you might want to also change the information on your website, which is still false.
Update: At some point after my posts, Goldstein made his Twitter account private:
I think I struck a nerve.
Support more stories like this.
Bana Alabed on Twitter: "I am happy to announce my book will be published by Simon & schuster. The world must end all the wars now in every part of the world. https://t.co/OPJ1tpl5MI"
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:36
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Nazi Fractals
Who Goes Nazi? | Harper's Magazine
Mon, 17 Apr 2017 17:39
I t is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one's acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times'--in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis.
It is preposterous to think that they are divided by any racial characteristics. Germans may be more susceptible to Nazism than most people, but I doubt it. Jews are barred out, but it is an arbitrary ruling. I know lots of Jews who are born Nazis and many others who would heil Hitler tomorrow morning if given a chance. There are Jews who have repudiated their own ancestors in order to become ''Honorary Aryans and Nazis''; there are full-blooded Jews who have enthusiastically entered Hitler's secret service. Nazism has nothing to do with race and nationality. It appeals to a certain type of mind.
It is also, to an immense extent, the disease of a generation'--the generation which was either young or unborn at the end of the last war. This is as true of Englishmen, Frenchmen, and Americans as of Germans. It is the disease of the so-called ''lost generation.''
Sometimes I think there are direct biological factors at work'--a type of education, feeding, and physical training which has produced a new kind of human being with an imbalance in his nature. He has been fed vitamins and filled with energies that are beyond the capacity of his intellect to discipline. He has been treated to forms of education which have released him from inhibitions. His body is vigorous. His mind is childish. His soul has been almost completely neglected.
At any rate, let us look round the room.
The gentleman standing beside the fireplace with an almost untouched glass of whiskey beside him on the mantelpiece is Mr. A, a descendant of one of the great American families. There has never been an American Blue Book without several persons of his surname in it. He is poor and earns his living as an editor. He has had a classical education, has a sound and cultivated taste in literature, painting, and music; has not a touch of snobbery in him; is full of humor, courtesy, and wit. He was a lieutenant in the World War, is a Republican in politics, but voted twice for Roosevelt, last time for Willkie. He is modest, not particularly brilliant, a staunch friend, and a man who greatly enjoys the company of pretty and witty women. His wife, whom he adored, is dead, and he will never remarry.
He has never attracted any attention because of outstanding bravery. But I will put my hand in the fire that nothing on earth could ever make him a Nazi. He would greatly dislike fighting them, but they could never convert him. . . . Why not?
Beside him stands Mr. B, a man of his own class, graduate of the same preparatory school and university, rich, a sportsman, owner of a famous racing stable, vice-president of a bank, married to a well-known society belle. He is a good fellow and extremely popular. But if America were going Nazi he would certainly join up, and early. Why? . . . Why the one and not the other?
Mr. A has a life that is established according to a certain form of personal behavior. Although he has no money, his unostentatious distinction and education have always assured him a position. He has never been engaged in sharp competition. He is a free man. I doubt whether ever in his life he has done anything he did not want to do or anything that was against his code. Nazism wouldn't fit in with his standards and he has never become accustomed to making concessions.
Mr. B has risen beyond his real abilities by virtue of health, good looks, and being a good mixer. He married for money and he has done lots of other things for money. His code is not his own; it is that of his class'--no worse, no better, He fits easily into whatever pattern is successful. That is his sole measure of value'--success. Nazism as a minority movement would not attract him. As a movement likely to attain power, it would.
The saturnine man over there talking with a lovely French emigree is already a Nazi. Mr. C is a brilliant and embittered intellectual. He was a poor white-trash Southern boy, a scholarship student at two universities where he took all the scholastic honors but was never invited to join a fraternity. His brilliant gifts won for him successively government positions, partnership in a prominent law firm, and eventually a highly paid job as a Wall Street adviser. He has always moved among important people and always been socially on the periphery. His colleagues have admired his brains and exploited them, but they have seldom invited him'--or his wife'--to dinner.
He is a snob, loathing his own snobbery. He despises the men about him'--he despises, for instance, Mr. B'--because he knows that what he has had to achieve by relentless work men like B have won by knowing the right people. But his contempt is inextricably mingled with envy. Even more than he hates the class into which he has insecurely risen, does he hate the people from whom he came. He hates his mother and his father for being his parents. He loathes everything that reminds him of his origins and his humiliations. He is bitterly anti-Semitic because the social insecurity of the Jews reminds him of his own psychological insecurity.
Pity he has utterly erased from his nature, and joy he has never known. He has an ambition, bitter and burning. It is to rise to such an eminence that no one can ever again humiliate him. Not to rule but to be the secret ruler, pulling the strings of puppets created by his brains. Already some of them are talking his language'--though they have never met him.
There he sits: he talks awkwardly rather than glibly; he is courteous. He commands a distant and cold respect. But he is a very dangerous man. Were he primitive and brutal he would be a criminal'--a murderer. But he is subtle and cruel. He would rise high in a Nazi regime. It would need men just like him'--intellectual and ruthless. But Mr. C is not a born Nazi. He is the product of a democracy hypocritically preaching social equality and practicing a carelessly brutal snobbery. He is a sensitive, gifted man who has been humiliated into nihilism. He would laugh to see heads roll.
I think young D over there is the only born Nazi in the room. Young D is the spoiled only son of a doting mother. He has never been crossed in his life. He spends his time at the game of seeing what he can get away with. He is constantly arrested for speeding and his mother pays the fines. He has been ruthless toward two wives and his mother pays the alimony. His life is spent in sensation-seeking and theatricality. He is utterly inconsiderate of everybody. He is very good-looking, in a vacuous, cavalier way, and inordinately vain. He would certainly fancy himself in a uniform that gave him a chance to swagger and lord it over others.
Mrs. E would go Nazi as sure as you are born. That statement surprises you? Mrs. E seems so sweet, so clinging, so cowed. She is. She is a masochist. She is married to a man who never ceases to humiliate her, to lord it over her, to treat her with less consideration than he does his dogs. He is a prominent scientist, and Mrs. E, who married him very young, has persuaded herself that he is a genius, and that there is something of superior womanliness in her utter lack of pride, in her doglike devotion. She speaks disapprovingly of other ''masculine'' or insufficiently devoted wives. Her husband, however, is bored to death with her. He neglects her completely and she is looking for someone else before whom to pour her ecstatic self-abasement. She will titillate with pleased excitement to the first popular hero who proclaims the basic subordination of women.
On the other hand, Mrs. F would never go Nazi. She is the most popular woman in the room, handsome, gay, witty, and full of the warmest emotion. She was a popular actress ten years ago; married very happily; promptly had four children in a row; has a charming house, is not rich but has no money cares, has never cut herself off from her own happy-go-lucky profession, and is full of sound health and sound common sense. All men try to make love to her; she laughs at them all, and her husband is amused. She has stood on her own feet since she was a child, she has enormously helped her husband's career (he is a lawyer), she would ornament any drawing-room in any capital, and she is as American as ice cream and cake.
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Australia to introduce stricter rules on working visas - BBC News
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:33
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Malcolm Turnbull says the changes will put Australians first Australia will introduce stricter visa requirements for skilled workers from overseas, the government said.
The 457 visa programme is used mainly to hire foreign workers in the restaurant, IT and medical industries - the majority came from India, the UK and China.
But PM Malcolm Turnbull said it will be abolished to prioritise the recruitment of Australian nationals.
Critics of 457 said Australian workers lost out to foreign counterparts.
In its place, two new temporary visas will carry additional requirements and draw from a smaller list of eligible professions.
"The new system will be manifestly, rigorously, resolutely conducted in the national interest," Mr Turnbull said on Tuesday.
What was the 457 visa?A four-year business visa which allowed people to live in Australia with their immediate family.
It was designed to fill gaps in skilled labour but it had been criticised as being too accessible.
In 2016, the most 457s were granted to cooks, developers, programmers and medical workers
According to government statistics, 95,758 people were living in Australia on 457 visas last year, with the highest proportion coming from India (24.6%), the UK (19.5%) and China (5.8%).
What are the changes? Mr Turnbull said the current four-year 457 system will be replaced by visas lasting two or four years.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Almost 100,000 people were living in Australia on 457 visas last year For the shorter visa, more than 200 jobs will be removed from an existing list of about 650 eligible professions.
The list for the longer visa will be even more strict, said Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.
The changes will also require applicants to be more proficient in English, undergo a criminal check, and be subject to labour market testing.
Current 457 visa holders will not be affected by the changes, Mr Turnbull said.
Will it affect migration?Yes, according to Mr Dutton. He described the possibility of eventual citizenship as a "significant part of the attraction" of the 457 visa.
"The existing 457 visa program is conducted for a period of four years, but essentially it is open-ended, and it results, in many cases, in a migration outcome," he said.
"What we propose is that under the temporary skills shortage visa short-term stream there will be a two-year visa... but there won't be permanent residency outcomes at the end of that."
The new four-year visa will also result in fewer permanent residents because of the eligibility changes, he said.
It comes after Australian said last month that it would largely end granting visas to foreign workers in the fast food industry.
Will you be affected by the Australian visa changes? Share your views and experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk .
Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:
WhatsApp: +447555 173285Tweet: @BBC_HaveYourSaySend pictures/video to yourpics@bbc.co.uk Upload your pictures / video hereSend an SMS or MMS to 61124 or +44 7624 800 100
Australian Embassy-United States of America
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 11:01
Additional informationUS citizens and permanent residents: 'FBI Identity History Summary' issued by the FBI or an approved channeler and a State Police Clearance for each State in which you have lived for at least 3 months for the last 12 months.
US temporary residents and visitors: 'FBI Identity History Summary' issued by the FBI and if you resided in the US for at least three months in the past year, a State Police Clearance for each State in which you have lived for at least 3 months during the last 12 months.
Approved FBI channelers (US citizens and permanent residents only): The department has approved the following channelers for penal checks for immigration purposes:
Provide: A covering letter, a set of both rolled/inked and plain fingerprint impressions placed on a standard paper fingerprint card, satisfactory proof of identity, consisting of full name, date and place of birth, postal address for return of results.
The FBI will send the results directly to you. It is recommended that you list a US residential address/phone number, and chose a channeler who will email results by email.
If applying directly with the FBI, the FBI will only post results. If clients are applying via a channeler, it is recommended that they elect to receive results by email for those channelers that provide email as an option.
Processing time: The processing time to obtain an Identity History Summary through an approved channeler is approximately 5-7 days. The time to obtain an Identity History Summary through the FBI is currently 14-16 weeks.
Obtaining fingerprints: Apply to your local police authority with proof of identity. For a standard fingerprint card, use Form FD-258.
If a blank fingerprint card cannot be obtained from the local police authority, further information and blank FBI fingerprint forms are available at the web address above.
State Police Clearances: Apply in person or by post to the relevant city, county or state police department. Please ensure that the clearance is requested under all names you have previously held.
The type of certificate issued depends on individual state procedures.
Fee: Payable.'‹
Fact Sheet - The Character Requirement
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 10:32
'‹Everyone who wants to enter or stay in Australia must satisfy the character requirement as set out in Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act). This includes all non-citizens, sponsors of visa applicants and non-migrating family members seeking to enter or stay in Australia.
Entering or remaining in Australia is a privilege, and it is expected that non-citizens are, and have been, law-abiding. Visa holders must also continue to satisfy the character requirement.
Irrespective of which visa you apply for, you must advise us if you have any criminal convictions inside or outside of Australia, and you may be asked to provide police certificates as part of your assessment against the character test. If you do not inform us of your criminal history, your visa application may be refused or your visa cancelled.
We and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection have the power to refuse or cancel a visa on the basis that a person does not pass the character test.
In some cases, even if you do not pass the character test, we or the Minister can exercise discretion not to cancel your visa.
Decisions to cancel or refuse visas on the basis of the character test are made after full consideration of all the circumstances of a case.
Mandatory cancellationIf you are currently serving a full-time custodial sentence and have ever been sentenced to 12 months or more imprisonment, regardless of time actually served, or have been convicted of, had a charge proven for or have been found guilty of a sexually based crime involving a child, your visa must be cancelled. We will provide you with 28 days to request revocation of this decision if your visa is cancelled in these circumstances.
In considering requests for revocation of a mandatory cancellation decision, we will consider all circumstances of your case.
The character testYou will not pass the character test if:
you have a substantial criminal recordyou have been convicted of escaping from immigration detention, or convicted for an offence that you committed:while you were in immigration detentionduring an escape from immigration detentionafter an escape, but before you were taken into immigration detention again.you are or have been a member of a group or organisation, or had or have an association with a person, group or organisation that the Minister reasonably suspects of being involved in criminal conductthe Minister reasonably suspects that you have been involved in people smuggling, people trafficking, genocide, a war crime, a crime against humanity, a crime involving torture or slavery, or a crime that is of serious international concern, whether or not you have been convicted of such an offenceyour past and present criminal or general conduct shows that you are not of good characterthere is a risk that while you are in Australia you would:engage in criminal conductharass, molest, intimidate or stalk another personvilify a segment of the Australian communityincite discord in the Australian community or in a part of itbe a danger to the Australian community or a part of it.you have been convicted, found guilty or had a charge proven for, one or more sexually based offences involving a childyou are subject to an adverse security assessment by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisationyou are subject to an Interpol notice, from which it is reasonable to infer that you are a direct or indirect risk to the Australian community, or a segment of the Australian community.See: Fact sheet - Controversial Visa Applicants'‹
Substantial criminal recordA substantial criminal record is based on the length of a sentence imposed by a court of law, rather than the time actually spent in prison.
For the purpose of the character test, a person is deemed to have a substantial criminal record if they have been:
sentenced to death or life imprisonmentsentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or moresentenced to two or more terms of imprisonment (even if served concurrently), where the total of those terms is 12 months or morefound by a court to be not fit to plead in relation to an offence but found to have committed the offence and as a result have been detained in a facility or institution.Discretionary powers and Ministerial Direction 65When a person does not pass the character test, the Minister or his delegate will decide whether or not to refuse the application or sponsorship, or to cancel their visa. When making this decision, a wide range of factors will be considered, including the protection of the Australian community, the best interests of any minor children in Australia who may be affected by a decision to refuse or cancel the person's visa and expectations of the Australian community. Other factors are also considered, such as Australia's international legal obligations, the impact of visa refusal or cancellation on a person's family in Australia, any impact on Australian business interests and the impact on the Australian community if a visa were to not be refused or cancelled.
The exercise of the discretion is guided by Ministerial Direction 65 made under section 499 of the Act.
See:Ministerial Direction 65 (427KB PDF)'‹
Exclusion from AustraliaA person who is removed from Australia after their visa is cancelled on character grounds will be permanently excluded from being granted another visa to re-enter Australia. The cancellation of your visa will also prevent you from applying for most other visas to remain Australia.
AppealsWhere the decision to refuse or cancel a visa is made by the Minister personally, the person has no right of appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). If a delegate of the Minister either refuses or cancels a person's visa and the person is in Australia they will have a right to have the decision reviewed by the AAT. If they are not in Australia, they may also have a right to have the decision reviewed, for example, if they have either a sponsor or nominator in Australia.
However, if a person's visa is mandatorily cancelled because they are serving a custodial sentence and have ever been sentenced to 12 months or more, or have been convicted of, had a charge proven or found guilty of a sexually based crime involving a child, they have no right of appeal at the AAT. In these circumstances, we will provide the person with 28 days to request revocation of the decision to mandatorily cancel their visa. A decision made by a delegate of the Minister to not revoke a mandatory cancellation decision is reviewable by the AAT.
Strict time limits apply on appeals to the AAT. Applicants in Australia seeking reviews of decisions must apply to the AAT within nine days of being notified of the decision.
For applicants outside Australia, the application for review must be lodged by a sponsor or nominator within 28 days of the day of being notified of the decision.
The AAT will be deemed to have confirmed the decision if it does not make its own decision within 84 days of the date on which the applicant was notified of the original decision.
Whether or not there is an appeal avenue available to the AAT, an applicant may seek judicial review of the decision, if they believe the decision was not lawfully made.
NPR Spreads Old Lie That Planned Parenthood Offers Mammograms (Updated)
Mon, 17 Apr 2017 22:06
Two years ago, The Washington Post ''Fact Checker'' declared it was a ''Three Pinocchios'' lie to claim (or imply) Planned Parenthood offers mammograms. Their boss Cecile Richards admitted they while they do breast exams, they have no mammogram machines. They said "supporters should drop this talking point." But the most liberal news outlets still spread this untruth.
On Friday's All Things Considered, NPR health policy correspondent Alison Kodjak was the offender as she reported on President Trump's reversal of Barack Obama's attempt to preserve Planned Parenthood subsidies in red states that moved to defund them. Here's where the truth got mangled:
CORNISH: Can you tell us more about the states where this could have real impact?
KODJAK: Well, it depends a little bit on the make-up of the states, obviously. It's states that are run by Republican legislatures with Republican governors who are likely to support this kind of legislation. States with rural - a lot of rural areas are likely to see a lot of impact because these clinics aren't everywhere. So if Planned Parenthood is the closest clinic where you can get family planning services -- and when I say that, I'm talking about pap smears, mammograms, birth control and in some cases obviously abortions -- you might have to travel very far to get those services. You might not get them at all.
There was no balance in this report. Cornish only interviewed Kodjak, which was like interviewing a publicist for Planned Parenthood. Kodjak even complained that in Texas, which set up its own family-planning network, there was a regrettable rise in births: ''the result was, after a couple of years, childbirth paid for by Medicaid -- which is the population that these Planned Parenthood clinics often serve -- rose by 27 percent.''
Kodjak offered none of what NPR surely considers the ''anti-abortion'' side of the argument: that the defunding followed videotaped exposes of Planned Parenthood coarsely discussing the sale of body parts from its aborted babies. Instead, all the ''hostility'' to health care came from Republicans.
Cornish offered one tiny glimpse of a pro-life nuance: the obvious point that Planned Parenthood is a for-profit business:
CORNISH: In the meantime, any concerns over at Planned Parenthood about their business as a result of this?
KODJAK: Well, they're not in danger broadly of going out of business. The real issue of the impact on women who depend on Planned Parenthood for the women's health care. They're going to have to find a new provider, or perhaps they won't get the care at all. And really this is part of an overall trend among Republican legislators and President Trump who've been showing a lot of hostility towards women's reproductive health.
In the debate over the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, there was an ongoing question of whether or not health insurance should actually have to cover maternity care and pregnancy and childbirth. And then there's also been this ongoing debate over the years about whether or not birth control should be covered at all. So the concern is that this is part of this ongoing trend in rolling back access to women's health broadly in this country.
Once again, the program ridiculous titled All Things Considered fails to consider that birth-control controversies include forcing Catholic nuns to offer contraceptives in their benefits package, and forcing men to have maternity care among their benefits. But NPR and Kodjak like the mudslinging echo of this "Republicans are hostile to women's reproductive health" garbage.
Feel free to contact (politely) NPR's ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen about Kodjak's inaccurate and biased Friday report.
UPDATE: NPR's web page for the Kodjak report now includes a correction at the bottom (which doesn't fix the mistake which aired coast to coast):
In this report, we say that Planned Parenthood offers mammograms. While it does do breast cancer screenings and makes referrals for mammograms, Planned Parenthood does not do mammograms at its clinics.
Ministry of Truthiness
War on Men
Report Finds Male Pets More Likely to Destroy Your Phone
Sun, 16 Apr 2017 14:12
Hide your tablets, hide your laptops and hide your cellphones, because your pets are out there and they are bored.
SquareTrade, a protection plan provider for electronics, recently released its aptly-named Pet Break Stuff Damage Report, which takes a look at what devices pets are breaking and how they are destroying them.
While TV, tablets, game consoles and laptops are all victims to pet carelessness, it's smart phones that see the brunt of the damage, with 59% of SquareTrade users polled for the report saying their pets have destroyed at least one phone.
As for the offenders themselves, it turns out males are a little more mischievous than females. Males made up 63% of the tech wreckers, 55% of the culprits were small in size and 58% were middle-aged. So if you have a male Chihuahua that's around 7 years old, watch out!
Curiosity will kill your gadgets: 63% of responders described their pets as curious and 73% said they believe their pet was bored when they ''accidentally'' destroyed their stuff.
FROM COINAGE: Ask Yourself These Questions Before You Buy A Home
In regards to how the deed was done, most owners (59%) said their gadget was chewed up by a pet, knocked off a high place came second (19%) and liquid spilled on it came in third (10%).
Overall, these numbers add up to pets damaging an average of 3.3 devices per owner. So keep your phone in your pocket, and maybe think about getting your furry friend a few food puzzles to keep them occupied.
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VIDEO - Run, Liz, Run! Andrea Mitchell & Company Want Warren in 2020 | MRCTV
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 05:13
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
On her 12 p.m. ET hour MSNBC show on Monday, anchor Andrea Mitchell and USA Today's Susan Page were positively giddy about the prospect of Senator Elizabeth Warren running for president in 2020. Promoting an interview she just conducted with the Democrat, Page excitedly recalled: ''I asked if she was going to promise Massachusetts voters that she would serve all six years of her second Senate term. And she said, 'Well, that's certainly the plan.' That is not exactly a denial of interest in the 2020 presidential race.''
Mitchell enthusiastically chimed in: ''At all. And she's 67 years old. She is plenty young enough compared to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton to run four years from now.'' Page gushed: ''Yeah, she is. And she's got, of course, a huge base of support among liberals in the Democratic Party who feel like if only she or Bernie Sanders had been nominated last time around, they believe they would have had a better chance of defeating the kind of campaign that Donald Trump ran.''
VIDEO - Today Hosts Eager to Launch Presidential Campaign of Trump's 'Top Agitator' Warren | MRCTV
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 04:44
More in the cross-post on the MRC's NewsBusters blog.
On Tuesday, the hosts of NBC's Today were thrilled to have an exclusive live interview with Donald Trump's ''top agitator'' and left-wing bomb thrower Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. In addition to inviting her to blast the President over his tax returns and praising her ''fight'' for ''the middle class, the person who doesn't seem to catch a break,'' Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie made it clear they were ready for the Democrat to run for president.
Teasing the upcoming softball interview at the top of the show, Guthrie portrayed Warren as liberal champion: ''Taxes Due? The White House standing firm on the President not releasing his tax returns despite earlier promises he would. As critics around the country turn up the heat.... Will the White House be forced to give in? The President's top agitator, Senator Elizabeth Warren, here exclusively.''
VIDEO - MSNBC Panel Unloads on 'Madman' Trump for Handling of North Korea | MRCTV
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 04:39
***To read the full blog, please check out the complete post on NewsBusters***
During Monday's The 11th Hour on MSNBC, serial liar Brian Williams trotted of an expert panel of Trump critics and let them loose to smear the President's actions against North Korea. ''On the one hand, Brian, when you have a dangerous stand-off with a nuclear-armed adversary, of course, you would like to think that within our government we have stability, methodical planning, every step is very calculated,'' declared Politico's Michael Crowley, ''And I'm not sure we can be certain that that's happening in this administration right now.''
Crowley began his comments by suggesting that Trump's approach to foreign policy is that of Nixon's ''madman theory.'' Basically, the theory says you act so unpredictably that your adversary can't predict your actions and will come to the table to negotiate.
''But I definitely see that as part of the strategy here, to kind of psych the North Koreans out, to try to dislodge this status quo, by suggesting we're just crazy enough to do the thing that George W. Bush or Barack Obama would never do,'' he explained, ''I just don't think it has a high probability of working.''
Those comments opened the floodgates and unleashed anti-Trump condemnation from the other commentators.
VIDEO - Are You Kidding Me? CNN's Don Lemon Compares Jon Ossoff to Barack Obama | MRCTV
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 04:38
See more in the cross-post on the NewsBusters blog.
No, that headline is not a joke. Just before midnight between Tuesday and Wednesday, CNN Tonight host Don Lemon swooned that Georgia Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff sounded just like former President Barack Obama when addressing supporters after Tuesday's special election.
Despite the fact that Ossoff blew through over $8 million and failed to hit the 50 percent threshold and outright win that the media desperately wanted, Lemon kept up the hope.
VIDEO - GMA Hails 'Emotional Victory' for Dem Who Didn't Win Election | MRCTV
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 04:26
Despite falling short of the 50% of votes needed to win Tuesday night, ABC's Good Morning America crowned Democratic hopeful Jon Ossoff as the victor of last night's special election in Georgia. Correspondent Cecilia Vega and anchor George Stephanopoulos gushed over the ''rookie'' who came ''just short'' of ''winning the whole thing.'' GMA used the race's closeness as a reason to bash Trump while political analyst John Avlon spun that Democrats had ''an emotional victory.''
Read more on Newsbusters here.
VIDEO - Warren Can't Even Say One Nice Thing About Trump When Asked Specifically to Do so | MRCTV
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 04:19
Senator Elizabeth Warren was on Wednesday's The View to talk about her new book, but it turned into the usual slob fest of friendly questions and Trump-bashing answers. However, the interview started off unexpectedly, with libertarian host Jedediah Bila asking Warren to play devil's advocate and name one thing that Trump had done ''right'' in his first 90 days in office. Warren, ever partisan, couldn't even manage that and turned the question around to name everything Trump had done ''wrong'' in office so far.
VIDEO - Bill Nye Answers Science Questions From Twitter | WIRED - YouTube
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 02:56
VIDEO - Alex Jones Responds To Claims He Is An Actor >> Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind!
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 02:56
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VIDEO - You Want to Run America Like the Taliban, What Are Your God's Demands? (w/Guest Matt Walsh) - YouTube
Thu, 20 Apr 2017 02:54
VIDEO - Bose Headphones Secretly Collected User Data - Lawsuit | Fortune.com
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 17:53
The audio maker Bose, whose wireless headphones sell for up to $350, uses an app to collect the listening habits of its customers and provide that information to third parties'--all without the knowledge and permission of the users, according to a lawsuit filed in Chicago on Tuesday.
The complaint accuses Boston-based Bose of violating the WireTap Act and a variety of state privacy laws, adding that a person's audio history can include a window into a person's life and views.
Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones Bose "Indeed, one's personal audio selections '' including music, radio broadcast, Podcast, and lecture choices '' provide an incredible amount of insight into his or her personality, behavior, political views, and personal identity," says the complaint, noting a person's audio history may contain files like LGBT podcasts or Muslim call-to-prayer recordings.
The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit is a man named Kyle Zak, who claims he followed the company's suggestion to "get the most out of your headphones" by downloading the Bose Connect app, and supplying information such as his name, phone number and email address.
Zak is seeking to represent other headphone owners over allegations of illegal data mining. According to the complaint, Bose created detailed profiles of customers' listening histories and habits, and shared it with marketing companies, including a San Francisco firm called Segment whose website offers to "collect all or your customer customer data and send it anywhere."
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The lawsuit says the case is worth more than $5 million but doesn't specify damages. Bose, whose wireless QuietComfort 35 headphones have received enthusiastic reviews, did not immediately reply to an email request for comment about the complaint.
While Bose customers can use the headphones without the smartphone app (simply connect using Bluetooth settings or the audio cable), the app provides more options to use the device'--and opened the door for data collecting.
In addition to the QuietComfort 35 headphones, the other Bose products cited in the complaint are the SoundSport Wireless, Sound Sport Pulse Wireless, QuietControl 30, SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphones II, and SoundLink Color II.
If the allegations are true, the Bose case is just the latest privacy incident involving the so-called "Internet of things" in which more companies and devices that are connected to the web can't resist the temptation of harvesting the consumer data they throw off.
Last month, for instance, a "smart sex toy" maker called We-Vibe agreed to pay around $3.75 million to settle claims its app had illegally collected information about how its customers used the product.
According to Jay Edelson, the privacy lawyer who filed the Bose lawsuit, companies should not be able to help themselves to consumer data just because they can.
"Companies need to be transparent about the data they take and what they are doing with it, and get consent from their customers before monetizing their personal information," said Edelson.
The complaint, which you can read for yourself here, also accuses Bose of unjust enrichment and "intrusion upon seclusion." It also seeks an injunction to force Bose to stop the alleged data collection.
VIDEO - Alex Jones: Conspiracy Pusher or Performance Artist?: The Daily Show - YouTube
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 15:28
VIDEO - (203) Folsom Prison Blues/Pinball Wizard Mashup - Johnny Cash - The Who - Puddles Pity Party - YouTube
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 13:03
VIDEO - audioBoom / Tales of the New Cold War: False narratives, phony Trump dossiers & Demon Putin. Stephen F. Cohen @NUYU @Princeton EastWestAccord.com
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 13:01
audioBoom / Tales of the New Cold War: False narratives, phony Trump dossiers & Demon Putin. Stephen F. Cohen @NUYU @Princeton EastWestAccord.com04-18-2017
(Photo:... The MI6 Building - Albert Embankment, London | by ell brown )
Twitter: @
Tales of the New Cold War: False narratives, phony Trump dossiers & Demon Putin. Stephen F. Cohen @nuyu @ EastWestAccord.com
'''...Washington (CNN)The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification to win approval to secretly monitor a Trump associate, according to US officials briefed on the investigation.
The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks, as one of the sources of information the bureau has used to bolster its investigation, according to US officials briefed on the probe.
This includes approval from the secret court that oversees the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to monitor the communications of Carter Page, two of the officials said. Last year, Page was identified by the Trump campaign as an adviser on national security.
Officials familiar with the process say even if the application to monitor Page included information from the dossier, it would only be after the FBI had corroborated the information through its own investigation. The officials would not say what or how much was corroborated.
The dossier first came to light when CNN reported that a summary of it had been presented to President Obama and President-elect Trump back in December by top US Intelligence officials.
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VIDEO - 69 mins in - Winter Is Coming: The Trump regime and the American press - NYU Journalism
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 12:32
April 18th, 2017
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute
7th Floor Commons
20 Cooper Square, NYC
Live Stream will begin at 6:20 PM EST''For a free press as a check on power, now is the darkest time in American history since World War I,'' Jay Rosen has written. But this is a complex development that goes well beyond Donald Trump's reckless attacks on the news media. It involves failures in journalism, and shifts in the underlying media system, as well as an organized movement, to discredit the mainstream press that predates Trump's political career. Join NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen as he unfolds his perspective on these events and explains his new project: US ambassador for De Correspondent, a Dutch news site that is ''optimized for trust'' and will soon expand to the American market.
Special guest: Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Professor of History and Italian Studies at NYU, will give a 10-minute response. She is an expert on Italian Fascism who speaks and writes frequently on authoritarian rulers and the rise of Donald Trump.
Jay Rosen has been professing journalism at NYU since 1986. He is the author of the blog, PressThink, and a press critic with a focus on the coverage of politics.
RSVP IS REQUIRED (Seating is first come)
Link to RSVP: https://goo.gl/DuPztt
VIDEO - (203) "Decentralized Internet w/Blockstack" - Lunduke Hour - Apr 17, 2017 - YouTube
Wed, 19 Apr 2017 11:16
VIDEO - Official: White House, Pentagon miscommunicated on aircraft carrier's location - CNNPolitics.com
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 23:57
A senior administration official blamed a miscommunication between the Pentagon and the White House over reports that the aircraft carrier has not made its way to the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, as an expected show of force to North Korea.
The official blamed the mixup on a lack of follow-up with commanders overseeing the movements of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier.
On April 8, US Pacific Command, which oversees military operations in the region, issued a statement saying that the Carl Vinson and an accompanying strike group would leave Singapore and head to the Western Pacific, with a US military official telling CNN that it was a "show of force" in response to North Korea's provocations.
Following the announcement, President Donald Trump and some of his top aides highlighted the deployment as part of the administration's response to Pyongyang's recent missile tests.
"We are sending an armada. Very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you," Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network.
And the announcement that the Vinson had been dispatched to the region increased tensions with Pyongyang, with its official Korean Central News Agency calling the carrier's deployment "nothing but a reckless action of aggression to aggravate the tensions in the region."
The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson leads the guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy and the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain in the Indian Ocean on April 14.
But soon after the Pacific Command statement, US military officials clarified to CNN that the strike group would first complete a previously scheduled military exercise with the Australian navy.
Further confusion was added when Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters last week that the exercises had been canceled. Multiple US defense officials told CNN that Mattis had inadvertently misspoke and that it was a port visit in Australia that was canceled to allow for the group's redeployment to the waters near the Korean Peninsula.
The strike group, including the 97,000-ton carrier and its 60-plus aircraft, the guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Michael Murphy and the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain, will arrive off the Korean Peninsula by the end of April, multiple US defense officials told CNN.
VIDEO - Senator Thom Tillis 81 US interventions elections | User Clip | C-SPAN.org
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:33
About C-SPAN Resources Follow C-SPAN Channel Finder Find C-SPAN On Your TV ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Channel Finder ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("Found C-SPAN On Your TV ");$('nav.channel-finder div').append("");if (provider['STATUS'][0] == 1){var cspan1 = provider['CHANNEL'][0].split(',');$.each(cspan1, function(index, value) {cspan1[index] = parseInt(value);});cspan1 = cspan1.sort(compareNumbers).join(', ');$('nav.channel-finder div table').append("C-SPANChannel " + cspan1 + ((typeof provider['HDCHANNEL'][0] == 'string') ? " & HD " + provider['HDCHANNEL'][0] + "*" : "") + "");}if (provider['STATUS'][1] == 1){var cspan2 = provider['CHANNEL'][1].split(',');$.each(cspan2, function(index, value) {cspan2[index] = parseInt(value);});cspan2 = cspan2.sort(compareNumbers).join(', ');$('nav.channel-finder div table').append("C-SPAN2Channel " + cspan2 + ((typeof provider['HDCHANNEL'][1] == 'string') ? " & HD " + provider['HDCHANNEL'][1] + "*" : "") + "");}if (provider['STATUS'][2] == 1){var cspan3 = provider['CHANNEL'][2].split(',');$.each(cspan3, function(index, value) {cspan3[index] = parseInt(value);});cspan3 = cspan3.sort(compareNumbers).join(', ');$('nav.channel-finder div table').append("C-SPAN3Channel " + cspan3 + ((typeof provider['HDCHANNEL'][2] == 'string') ? " & HD " + provider['HDCHANNEL'][2] + "*" : "") + "");}if (hd)$('nav.channel-finder div').append("* Not available in all packages and areas. Please contact your provider if you don't see C-SPAN on your channel lineup.
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VIDEO - (203) V28 North Korean Numbers Station "The Parrot" 3266.9kHz GMT 2017-04-04 10:35~10:40 - YouTube
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 18:59
VIDEO - Waters Claims She's Never Called for Trump's Impeachment Hours After Tweeting She Wanted Him Impeached - Washington Free Beacon
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 18:57
BY: David Rutz
April 18, 2017 2:10 pm
Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) found herself getting fact-checked in the middle of her MSNBC interview on Tuesday when she claimed she has never called for the impeachment of President Trump.
Waters is a fervent critic of Trump, and she tweeted as recently as Tuesday morning that she would "fight everyday until he's impeached." MSNBC host Craig Melvin read the tweet out at the beginning of their interview and asked Waters what those impeachable offenses were.
Waters said there were questions about whether Trump and the Russian government colluded to defeat Hillary Clinton, but as she listed her accusations against various members of Trump's Cabinet, Melvin tried to cut in.
"You have enough information that leads us to, I think, a credible investigation to find out whether or not there was collusion, and whether or not an oil deal is involved in all of this," Waters said.
"You just started that by saying, 'The question becomes,'" Melvin said. "Should we wait to call for impeachment until we have the answers to that question or some of the questions?"
"I have not called for impeachment," she said.
Melvin sounded like he was in disbelief.
"You said I'm going to fight every day until he's impeached! That's what you tweeted," Melvin said.
"Yeah, but here's what I've said," Waters responded. "I've said that we need the information. We need to connect the dots. We need the facts in order to do the impeachment, and I'm going to work every day to try and help get those facts and to reveal them to the republic, to our public, until of course impeachment [has] taken place."
As Waters was talking, MSNBC showed a screenshot of her tweet in which she had called for Trump's impeachment that morning. Melvin then moved on to another subject.
Waters has repeatedly called for Trump's impeachment since he took office.
Waters even led an "impeach 45" chant at a Tax Day rally in Washington, D.C., over the weekend.
Left-wing website Salon, which recently posted a video of five reasons why Waters should run for president, wrote up Waters' remarks with praise:
"I don't respect this president," she said. "I don't trust this president. He's not working in the best interests of the American people. I will fight every day until he is impeached!" Then she led the crowd in a chant of "Impeach 45!" It doesn't get any more resistant than that.
VIDEO - (203) BERKELEY PROTEST VICTIM: Woman Punched On Video Talks About Assault During Berkeley Demonstration - YouTube
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 18:47
VIDEO - Episode 4: Dvorak - YouTube
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 10:26
VIDEO - Prince William and Lady Gaga discuss mental health - BBC News
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:18
Prince William and Lady Gaga have chatted about mental health as part of the Heads Together #oktosay campaign.
The Duke of Cambridge asked the pop star to get involved after she wrote an open letter last year, revealing she has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In their video call - released on the Royal Family's Facebook page - they discussed ending the stigma. Prince William said: "It's so important to break open that fear and that taboo."
Lady Gaga added that people with mental health problems were "not hiding anymore".
VIDEO - Advocates Urge Trump to De-escalate with North Korea, Not Ratchet Up Threats & Military Aggression - YouTube
Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:52
VIDEO - 'Zombie trailers' take over road in N. Portland neighborhood - KPTV - FOX 12
Mon, 17 Apr 2017 18:11
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A street in north Portland appears to be turning into a dump site for abandoned RVs. People in the neighborhood are calling them ''zombie trailers'' and the road is getting so crowded that drivers have to take turns using the street.
The makeshift RV graveyard is taking over North Columbia Court.
''One morning we came in and somehow they had gotten towed here, overnight. You're looking at two semi-trailers too. They've been here for about 6 months now with people living in them'...as you can see, it's pretty messy,'' said Deeanne Starks, who works at a scrap yard nearby.
The RVs are ripped apart and all of them are missing parts, even engines are gone.
''Back and forth people will stop and camp and leave the vehicles. To be honest it's gotten so bad, I don't stay at my shop by myself anymore,'' said Starks.
Starks said the RVs have little to zero scrap value. But above all, she said many tow yards just don't have enough space.
''The tow yards from what I'm hearing are just completely full of these things. We don't take motor homes to break down because they are way too expensive to break it down,'' said Starks.
Tow warnings from the city are slapped on several of the RVs on Columbia Court. The notices state that the vehicles need to be removed from the public right of way.
A few of the notices were dated from April 10.
However, Starks said, as soon as a spot opens up, another RV mysteriously shows up to fill the space.
Copyright 2017 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
VIDEO - (203) Underweight newborns & sick residents downwind from coal-fired power plant - YouTube
Sun, 16 Apr 2017 13:53


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