975: Dolleridoos

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

3h 56m
October 22nd, 2017
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Executive Producers: Benjamin Lehto, Sir Onymous of Dogpatch, Sir Slot Car, Sir Kevin McGlaughlin, Ron H Williams, James Blair, Ferdinand den Hertog, Sir David Rosa, Walter Graham, Phillip Crewe, Sir Gordon Walton, Gary Plumridge, James Fraas, Scott Albrecht, Alexander Beaty, Anon, Willy Theunissen, Charles Prestia, Lonnie Webb, Sir Ryan Bemrose, Gavin Bowd, Brian Hertziger, Sir John Hall, Raymond McGowan, Sir Rob Sealock, Ronald Driggs, Thomas Plock, Bill, Dame Janice Kang, Tony Santos, Josh Dilsaver, Anthony Farmer, Stefan Ehret, Sir Timothy of the No Fixed Title, G Moad, Villerreal Villereal, Max Turnquist, John Overall, Jason Green, Mike Kemmerer, Adam L, Matthew Boehm, John Kumar, Robert Perin, Karen Schrock, Brian Wyffels, Steven Johnson, Darrell Arnett, Jon Bolland, Max Windham, Dame Patricia Worthington, Kevin Porter, Richard Terreo, Andrew Wirt, Craig Dashnow, David Poole, Paul Rubbert, Sir JD Baron of Silicon Valley, Ethan Smith, Evan Black, Sir Sander Hochsbergen, Jason Kirk, Timothy McKernan, Robert Smiley, Matthew Davis, Jack Schroeder, Daniel Baxter, Jason Jeffrey, Peter Boyle Jr, Kenneth Lierman Jr, Joseph Costello, Mark Kedrowski, Joshua Thibodeaux, James Huskey, Sir Jim Zucal, James Williams, Norman Lorrain

Associate Executive Producers: Ignacio Garcia Perez, Brian Lawson, Lee Olivares, Kyle Mann, Shinia, David van Sunder, Ryan McConnell, Colton Comer, Anonymous, Anonymous, Keith Jacobs, Dave Cardegna, Brandon M Ellsbury, Gordon Walton, Don, Ralph Massaro, Brian Matthews, Sir Christopher Dolan, Ken Burkett,

Cover Artist: Cesium137

Chapters

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Vegas Massacre
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vegas godundme - Google Search
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 17:23
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Las Vegas shooting - GoFundMehttps://www.gofundme.com/raise-funds/las-vegas-shootingOct 1, 2017 - I'm Steve Sisolak, Clark County Commission Chair from Las Vegas. We are raising funds to assist the victims of the tragic Las Vegas shooting. Donate to LAS VEGAS VICTIMS' FUND - GoFundMehttps://www.gofundme.com/dr2ks2-las-vegas-victims-fund/donateLAS VEGAS VICTIMS' FUND - I'm Steve Sisolak, Clark County Commission Chair from Las Vegas. We are raising funds to assist the victims of the tragic Las ... Support Calabasas Vegas Victim - GoFundMehttps://www.gofundme.com/support-calabasas-vegas-victimOct 2, 2017 - Our friend Christina was a victim of the Route 91 Country Fesitval shooting that took place in Las Vegas. She is out of surgery and now in stable ... GoFundMe for Las Vegas shooting victims crosses $3 millionhttps://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation.../gofundme-las-vegas.../726406001/Oct 3, 2017 - An official GoFundMe raising money for victims of the shooting in Las Vegas killing 59 people and injuring more than 500 has raised more than ... Searches related to vegas gofundme
Las Vegas shooting victim Bill Wolfe loved giving back '' Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 17:40
William ''Bill'' Wolfe Jr. loved nothing more than to give back to his community.
By Sandy Lopez Las Vegas Review-Journal
October 12, 2017 - 8:34 pm
William ''Bill'' Wolfe Jr. loved nothing more than to give back to his community.
The Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, youth sports coach enjoyed the outdoors in all aspects. He went hunting, fishing, boating, camping, gardening and jogging whenever he could.
The 42-year-old father of two was celebrating his 20th anniversary with his wife, Robyn, in Las Vegas at the Route 91 Harvest festival Oct. 1 when a gunman killed 58 people and wounded nearly 500 more in a hail of bullets.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Wolfe at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Shippensburg University.
Wolfe was a Little League coach and coached the Shippensburg youth wrestling program for children in kindergarten through sixth grade, said Tony Yaniello, head coach of the Shippensburg High School wrestling team.
''Bill was a unique person,'' Yaniello told the Review-Journal last week. ''He wasn't self-centered. He was very smart and intelligent and always willing to help.
''Some people simply live in the community, Bill lived for his community.''
Wolfe was a senior project manager for Dewberry Engineers, Inc..
''Words can't express the pain we feel with the passing of Bill,'' wrote Sandra Smith on his GoFundMepage. ''I will miss seeing and talking with him at work. He was a great guy and loved his family. Thinking of him makes me smile. You couldn't ask for a better co-worker and friend. Please know how much Bill touched all of us at Dewberry. May God continue to comfort and bless the Wolfe family and his friends.''
Wolfe loved country music. In the days and hours that preceded his death, he was having the time of his life with his wife, listening to his favorite country singers, according to his obituary on legacy.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bill Wolfe Children's Fund, c/o Members 1st, P. O. Box 2110, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055.
Wolfe is survived by his wife, Robyn N. Finkey Wolfe; two sons, Ethan Robert Wolfe and Trevor William Wolfe; one brother, Scott W. (Cathy) Wolfe; one sister, Tammy J. Scull; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Steve and Cherie Finkey; a brother-in-law, Joseph W. Finkey, all of Shippensburg; a sister-in-law, Stephanie (David) Parson of Chambersburg, a brother-in-law, Ken Scull of Tennessee; five nieces; and one nephew.
Contact Sandy Lopez at slopez@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4686. Follow @JournalismSandy on Twitter.
Las Vegas shooting survivor wakes from coma, learns GoFundMe raised $557K | fox5sandiego.com
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 17:25
LAS VEGAS '-- Another amazing example of humanity has come in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting on Oct. 1.
Tina Frost, a 27-year-old accountant who lives in San Diego, lost her right eye after being shot in the head when 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing 58 people and injuring nearly 500 others at the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival.
Frost's boyfriend, Austin Hughes, was not injured and carried Frost to a pickup truck with help from a stranger, holding his shirt to her wound until they arrived at a hospital.
She was in a coma for nearly two weeks and recently took three steps to a chair and three steps back to her bed with the assistance of nurses.
''It's going to be such a long road, but we are in it for the long haul because she has made it through this far,'' said Tina's mother. ''She'll have pieces of the bullet in her brain forever.'' Reconstructive surgery will also be necessary to repair Frost's face and eyes.
A GoFundMe page has raised more than $557,000 to help with Frost's care.
Trademark and Copyright 2017 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
Gord Downie Pictures and Photos | Legacy.com
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 17:35
October 21, 2017 "My heart aches for the loss of Gord. I've never been this affected by a celebritys passing, but Gord was no ordinary celebrity. Heart of gold and a soul like no other. There's nothing I can say that none of us haven't thought.Thank you for everything.
May you R.I.P.and shine down on us forever. Xo Xo
" - Jaimee-Lea Eymans (Newcastle, ON)
October 21, 2017 "I went from not knowing what to say, to having so much to say. But for now, thank you for being such a huge influence in my life for over 27yrs now. You will be missed so very much and Im sure for so many, including myself, that hole can never be filled. You are a beautiful soul and I hope in some way you can continue to influence more people through music, poetry and education. All my love''¤, Maureen" - Maureen Ryan (Buffalo, NY)
October 21, 2017 "On behalf of all of Canada , you are and will always be Canadian music ROYALTY , I had my hands in the river and my feet back up on the banks , I looked up to the GORD above and said HEY MAN THANKS !!!!!! " - Craig Caddy (Brantford, ON)
October 21, 2017 "Thanks for the memories but thanks even more for bringing Canada together with ur music and ur courage " - Scott Montgomery (Hamilton, ON)
October 21, 2017 "Rest In Peace, Mr Downie. Thank you for everything. " - Amy Holmgren (Scottsdale, AZ)
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Las Vegas Review-Journal becomes first major newspaper to endorse Trump - Chicago Tribune
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 17:40
The Las Vegas Review-Journal became the first major newspaper to endorse Donald Trump for president this election season, stating that, while the candidate has flaws, he'll bring needed disruption and change to Washington.
"Mr. Trump represents neither the danger his critics claim nor the magic elixir many of his supporters crave," the paper said in its endorsement. "But he promises to be a source of disruption and discomfort to the privileged, back-scratching political elites for whom the nation's strength and solvency have become subservient to power's pursuit and preservation."
Trump tweeted, "Thank you Las Vegas Review Journal" with a link to the editorial.
The paper was bought by Sheldon Adelson last year, a major Republican donor who is also another billionaire linked to casinos. It remained unclear who bought the newspaper at the time of the deal, but many speculated whoever it was - that person really wanted to own this newspaper.
Soon after, it was reported that Adelson bought the Review-Journal for a whopping $140 million.
"Suspicions about his motives for paying a lavish $140 million for the newspaper last month are based on his reputation in Las Vegas as a figure comfortable with using his money in support of his numerous business and political concerns," the New York Times reported in January.
The Review-Journal has a circulation of about 98,000 daily, 119,000 on Sundays and "remains a prime target for anyone seeking to influence voters in Nevada," The Post's media critic Paul Farhi wrote.
Chris Megerian and Chicago Tribune staff
Adelson and his wife, well-known Republican donors, gave $5,400 to Ted Cruz in November and the same amount to Lindsey Graham in March, before the South Carolina senator dropped out.
Although smaller papers have endorsed Trump, several large conservative-leaning newspapers have broken ranks and endorsed Hillary Clinton for President in recent months.
The San Diego Union-Tribune broke a 148-year-long streak of endorsing Republicans for president on Sept. 30 and encouraged its readers to vote for Hillary Clinton.
The Arizona Republic (formerly, the Arizona Republican), tweeted out a photo of Clinton gazing into the distance while announcing its endorsement. It's the first time the Republic has endorsed a Democrat since 1890.
The Republic received death threats after its endorsement was announced, as The Post's Katie Mettler reported:
"Within hours of publication, on Sept. 27, the newspaper's Facebook link to the editorial was flooded with outraged comments, threats to cancel subscriptions and proclamations of perceived betrayal."
The Dallas Morning News, whose editorial board had picked a Republican each time since before World War II, said Trump "plays on fear - exploiting base instincts of xenophobia, racism and misogyny - to bring out the worst in all of us, rather than the best."
The Cincinnati Enquirer, which had endorsed Republicans for nearly a century, called Trump "a clear and present danger to our country. ... Our reservations about Clinton pale in comparison to our fears about Trump."
The endorsement could be too late for Trump, whose campaign has been reeling after several women accused the Republican candidate of inappropriate sexual advances. Earlier this month, The Post published a 2005 video in which Trump bragged that his celebrity gave him the ability to grab women "by the p---y. You can do anything."
A survey of key battleground states last week showed Clinton with a decisive lead.
According to The Post's Dan Balz and Scott Clement, Clinton is "leading in enough states to put her comfortably over the 270 majority needed to win the presidential election in November."
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Exclusive: Alleged mastermind tells Obama 9/11 was America's fault | Miami Herald
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 03:56
The alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks wrote former President Barack Obama in a long suppressed letter that America brought the 9/11 attacks on itself for years of foreign policy that killed innocent people across the world.
''It was not we who started the war against you in 9/11. It was you and your dictators in our land,'' Khalid Sheik Mohammed, 51, writes in the 18-page letter to Obama, who he addressed as ''the head of the snake'' and president of ''the country of oppression and tyranny.'' It is dated January 2015 but didn't reach the White House until a military judge ordered Guantnamo prison to deliver it days before Obama left office.
Allah helped us to defend ourselves and attack your most significant military and commercial targets in your land for your crimes in our lands.
Khalid Sheik Mohammed, accused Sept. 11 attacks mastermind
In it, the man on trial for his life at Guantnamo as the alleged architect of the hijackings that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field adds that he neither fears a death sentence nor life in a prison cell. He also appends a 50-page manuscript he wrote, ''The Truth About Death,'' illustrated with a picture of a noose.
An excerpt from Khalid Sheik Mohammed's letter to former President Barack Obama. ''I will be happy to be alone in my cell to worship Allah the rest of my life and repent to Him all my sins and misdeeds,'' he says in the letter that he wrote at the U.S. Navy base in Guantnamo Bay, Cuba.
''And if your court sentences me to death, I will be even happier to meet Allah and the prophets and see my best friends whom you killed unjustly all around the world and to see sheik Osama bin Laden.''
The Herald obtained the document from Mohammed's lawyers after a judicially ordered 30-day review period expired.
The Kuwait-born Pakistani citizen of Baluch ethnic background, lists a long litany of U.S. overseas interventions '-- from Iraq and Iran to Vietnam and Hiroshima '-- to justify the worst terror attack on U.S. soil.
But he is particularly focused on the cause of the Palestinians, highlights civilian suffering and accuses Obama of being beholden to special interests, notably Israel and ''the occupier Jews.'' Israel gets 39 mentions while Osama bin Laden gets a dozen, including once to excoriate Obama for the mission that hunted down and killed the founder of the al-Qaida movement for the 9/11 attacks.
An excerpt from Khalid Sheik Mohammed's letter to former President Barack Obama. Mohammed ridicules Obama '-- ''a smart attorney, well acquainted with human rights'' '-- who ''can kill his enemy without trial and throw his dead body into the sea instead of giving him to his family or respecting him enough as a human being to bury him.''
The former al-Qaida operations chief wrote the letter ''in the context of violence in Gaza and the occupied territories,'' said Mohammed's death-penalty defense attorney, David Nevin. He called it ''the primary motive for the drafting of the letter'' and declined to say whether the client or his legal staff typed it up.
Mohammed began drafting the letter during 2014 when Israel had an offensive in the Gaza Strip that claimed civilian lives, according to his military attorney, Marine Maj. Derek Poteet.
''He's upset at U.S. foreign policy and he plainly perceives that the United States has signed a blank check to Israel,'' Poteet said. In the opening paragraph Mohammed tells Obama: ''Your hands are still wet with the blood of our brothers and sisters and children who were killed in Gaza.''
Mohammed is one of five men in pretrial hearings at the Guantnamo war court that accuses them of engineering the Sept. 11, 2001 hijackings, and seeks their execution if convicted. The man was hidden for 3 1/2 years in the CIA's secret prison network, where he was waterboarded 183 times and subjected to other brutal interrogation techniques.
''I will never ask you, or your court for mercy,'' he writes. ''Do what you wish to do, my freedom, my captivity and my death is a curse on all evil doers and tyrants.''
Mohammed spent about three years in North Carolina in the 1980s. He attended Chowan College in Murfreesboro for one semester and then transferred to North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, where he earned an engineering degree in 1986.
An excerpt from Khalid Sheik Mohammed's letter to former President Barack Obama. Prison officials refused to deliver the letter, a position backed by prosecutors who said it should be suppressed as propaganda.
His Pentagon-paid defense attorneys asked the judge to intervene in September 2015, arguing Mohammed's First Amendment right to petition the president. The Army judge in charge of the trial, Col James L. Pohl, eventually ruled that the commander in chief could receive it, virtually as the Obamas were packing out of the White House '-- and the public could see it a month later, once President Donald J. Trump moved in.
''What's so troubling to me is it took so long to get approval, even to get this litigated,'' Nevin said, reminding that the defense team started out asking the military, ''How do we provide this to the president of the United States?''
Link to the Herald guide to Guantnamo's Sept. 11 trial here
In the letter Mohammed also:
'–ª Endorses Al-Jazeera. ''Don't let Fox, CNN, BBC, or American and pro-Israeli channels cover your eyes ... Their main task is brainwashing. They are experts at lying and distorting the facts to achieve their masters' ends.''
'–ª Invokes ''the blood of the innocents your drone attacks killed in Waziristan, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia, and elsewhere around the globe.''
'–ª Singles out ''the CIA, the FBI, the Jewish community of Brooklyn, the merchants of AIPAC, the war profiteers, to pro-Israeli militias and the Christian-Zionist Lords'' for condemnation, as well as ''the Christian right wing and the followers of Jerry Falwall, Gary Bauer, Pat Robertson and John Hague.''
'–ª Says ''Allah aided us in conducting 9/11, destroying the Capitalist economy, catching you with your pants down, and exposing all the hypocrisy of your long-held claim to democracy and freedom.''
The theme is not new. In October 2012, when he was first allowed to wear a hunting vest to the war court he scolded the judge with this: ''Your blood is not made of gold and ours is made out of water. We are all human beings.''
The Herald obtained the document from Mohammed's lawyers after a judicially ordered 30-day review period expired. Pohl ruled on Jan. 6 that there was no ''legal basis for continued sealing of the letter's contents'' but gave the prison an extra month to scrub it of sensitive information before releasing it on the Pentagon war court website whose motto is ''Fairness * Transparency * Justice.''
A spokesman at the Pentagon could not explain Wednesday why the document was not yet posted on the website. The Herald asked Obama's office on Tuesday whether the former president had read the letter. It has yet to respond.
An excerpt from Khalid Sheik Mohammed's letter to former President Barack Obama.
Saudi Arabia says no evidence links it to Sept. 11 attack '' Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 04:06
Saudi Arabia on Tuesday asked to be dropped from a Sept. 11 lawsuit victims' families filed, saying no evidence links it to the deadly terrorist act.
By Larry Neumeister The Associated Press
August 1, 2017 - 1:50 pm
NEW YORK '-- Saudi Arabia on Tuesday asked to be dropped from a Sept. 11 lawsuit victims' families filed, saying no evidence links it to the deadly terrorist act.
Lawyers for Saudi Arabia made the request in papers filed in Manhattan federal court, saying lawyers for Sept. 11 families and survivors of the 2001 attack had failed repeatedly for the last 14 years to generate sufficient evidence to subject the U.S. ally to the $100 billion lawsuit brought against numerous governmental and non-governmental defendants. Defendants Iran, the Taliban and al-Qaida already have been found in default.
The lawyers said purported new evidence, like ''the thousands of pages they unsuccessfully presented before,'' are hearsay and speculation and are ''insufficient to support the findings required for jurisdiction over Saudi Arabia.'' They added that the plaintiffs had reached ''grandiose conclusions'' that far exaggerate the importance of ''threadbare allegations and nonexistent evidence.''
In the lawsuit, hundreds of victims' relatives and injured survivors, along with insurance companies and businesses, claim that employees of the Saudi government directly and knowingly assisted the attack's airplane hijackers and plotters and fueled al-Qaida's development into a terrorist organization by funding charities that supported them.
Fifteen of the 19 attackers were Saudis. Now-declassified documents show U.S. investigators looked into some Saudi diplomats and others with Saudi government ties who had contact with the hijackers after they arrived in the U.S. The 9/11 Commission report found ''no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded'' the attacks al-Qaida masterminded, but the commission also noted ''the likelihood'' that Saudi-government-sponsored charities did.
U.S. District Judge George Daniels already tossed Saudi Arabia out as a defendant once, but Congress passed legislation that eliminated some defenses and enabled the Sept. 11 victims to reassert their claims.
After Tuesday's filing, a New Vernon, New Jersey-based group representing Sept. 11 families and survivors said there's plenty of evidence against the kingdom.
''It's been almost 16 years since 9/11, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to do everything possible to duck, dodge and distract from the overwhelming evidence that their government officials and agents aided and abetted these horrific attacks,'' said Terry Strada, National Chair for the 9/11 Families and Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism.
He added that Congress made clear when it passed the law last year allowing the claims to go forward against Saudi Arabia that the Sept. 11 families and survivors ''deserve their day in court and all of the Saudi's high-priced lawyers, lobbyists and foreign agents in the world aren't going to stop us.''
Related
Saudi Arabia could fight back against 9/11 lawsuit bill after congress veto override
Judge dismisses 9/11 claims against Saudi Arabia
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Boots on the ground from Dame Angela
Just had lunch with a friend who works at MB. Couple of details
1. The security guard was not hit with a bullet but was hit with shrapnel from the door.
2. There was a go fund me account set up by other security guards for him. They have been unable to locate him since he left the hospital.
3. Mandalay Bay is tracking the emails sent to employees about speaking to media. (Similar to mailchimp).
4. Before the hotel was cleared out, a helicopter was encircling the building at the 9th floor level.
Not sure what, if anything, this all means but thought I’d let you know.
Thanks
Angela
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SJW BLM LGBBTQQIAAP
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THERE'S A LIST!-The Whisper Network After Harvey Weinstein and ''Shitty Media Men'' | The New Yorker
Sun, 22 Oct 2017 13:27
Three years ago, shortly after I moved to the city, I was introduced to the whisper network'--the unofficial information channel that women use to warn each other about men whose sexual behavior falls on the spectrum from creepy to criminal'--for New York media. I had encountered these networks before, in college and grad school and in the Peace Corps. Over time, in my experience, the whisper network always proves reasonably accurate: firings and settlements and investigations accrue to the names you've been hearing in different anecdotes for years. Gossip distorts details, but there are ways to test the information. Women ask for and examine sourcing; you know whether the story is firsthand or thirdhand. ''I've heard that he gets grabby'' is one type of information, and ''this guy physically hurt one of my best friends'' is another. Women know how hard it is to connect male misconduct to real consequences. The most we generally hope for is to save other women some heartache and trauma and time.
There are blunter alternatives: on college campuses, women scribble warnings about men on bathroom walls; these days, accusations lodged on social media sometimes blow up into major news. Following the meticulously reported revelations of harassment and assault allegedly perpetrated by Harvey Weinstein for decades, many journalists started talking among themselves about the open-secret reputations of a handful of well-positioned men in their own industry. There was guilt, and soul-searching. How many personal experiences had we been burying? How much had we ourselves been complicit in abuse? Like many women, I have found myself thinking that the whisper network needs to be expanded, and dramatically. That network is distributed through social and professional connections; the women who urgently need the information but lack those connections tend to be young and marginalized'--exactly those women on whom predatory men most commonly prey. And, of course, I wish it were easier to assume that stories of male misbehavior would be the natural gossip, business, and responsibility of other men.
On Wednesday morning, a Google spreadsheet began circulating among women in the media. It was open to anyone; you could add to and edit it anonymously. There were columns in which you could input a person's name, company affiliation, alleged misconduct, and miscellaneous notes. A disclaimer noted that the document was a collection of ''allegations and rumors,'' and added, ''Take everything with a grain of salt. If you see a man you're friends with, don't freak out.'' The spreadsheet was called ''Shitty Media Men.'' Over the course of the day, I watched women on Twitter make reference to it, cryptically and uneasily. By Wednesday night, friends told me, the document had nearly seventy names and double-digit concurrent viewers online. By 1 A.M. on Thursday, the document had been made private, and there was a piece up on BuzzFeed, headlined ''What To Do With 'Shitty Media Men'?''
The piece, written by Doree Shafrir, noted the spreadsheet's good intentions, the ubiquity of abusive male behavior, and the drawbacks of this anonymous, open method of information collection: the claims were unsubstantiated, distribution couldn't be controlled by the spreadsheet's honor system, the misconduct alleged on the list ranged from creepy direct-messaging to physical violence and rape. The backlash to Shafrir's piece was strong and immediate. (Shafrir declined to comment for this piece.) The shortcomings that she noted were obvious, and it is morally reasonable to request privacy for a document that is meant to share suppressed stories of abuse. At the same time, the spreadsheet was destined to become a news item that reduced it to its flaws. Later, through a friend, I was connected to the woman who created the spreadsheet, who works in media and answered questions over e-mail, asking to remain anonymous. She told me that she decided to start the document after reading about the allegations against Weinstein. She felt an ''eerie sense of familiarity,'' she wrote, with the description of a long-rumored predator who was also immensely successful and respected.
''I realized that I had been keeping this list in my mind for years, and that to make it I relied on backchannels and friendships that I only developed after having been in media for some time,'' she wrote. ''I didn't have this information when I was 22, interning, and eager to make my potential apparent to the people'--men'--in power.'' The democratization of the whisper network was always the goal of the spreadsheet, she explained, and anonymity was a necessity. But this, she realized, ''was both what gave the spreadsheet its potential and also what doomed it.'' The document was distributed more widely, and faster, than she expected'--a testament, in her view, to ''the pervasiveness of the problem'' and to ''the generosity of women who wanted to keep each other safe.'' I asked her if, with time, women would have found a way to identify and remove any baseless allegations from the spreadsheet. ''I hope so, but honestly I have no idea,'' she wrote. ''We didn't get a chance to find out.''
The whisper network is an informal but relatively orderly reporting method, regulated by the direct accountability of a social ecosystem: if I give you false information, then my credibility and relationships will suffer. The network can be manipulated toward falsehood, but we know how to take that into account: we ask around, monitor social situations, shut down the rare false rumor. An open online document is not governed by the same moral physics'--it's governed by the physics of the Internet, which insure that groups attempting to combine openness, secrecy, and growth are inevitably exposed. There is no reason, in a vacuum, to take a single claim on the spreadsheet as true. But, as with the bathroom-wall system, people producing and receiving anonymous information don't do so in a vacuum. When accusations are lodged in unconventional and unregulated ways online'--and this will surely keep on happening'--there is a built-in imperative to triangulate the information with what we know in real life.
On Thursday night, I finally looked at the spreadsheet, after getting a PDF copy from a friend. (This, of course, is another difference between a spreadsheet and a bathroom scribble: there is much less chance that a scribble will be delivered to Breitbart or Reddit.) I saw a dozen serious, painful allegations that I've heard from multiple women, and a dozen allegations describing behavior that might warrant an H.R. reprimand but not much else. I saw friends and former colleagues, men at publishing imprints and literary magazines, at Web sites and major newspapers. There was an entry that I don't believe about a close friend'--the extensive and specific allegation was identical to one further up, as if it had been copied and pasted. I asked him about it directly, and I believe his answer. So, in person, I'll stake my credibility on the rumor being false, and wait for someone, in person'--and I'll believe you'--to tell me that it's true.
The whisper network tries to address the inadequacies of the ''proper channels,'' which, as we've seen in recent cases of sexual harassment and assault, often punish women for speaking out. But there are inadequacies in the whisper network, too. If there weren't, the spreadsheet would not exist. We excuse or dodge bad behavior in our social circles'--a moral error, even if the behavior is outside the bounds of the workplace or the law. I think we also underestimate the degree to which these various systems'--formal, modest, chaotic'--might require one another's existence. It would be a waste of an exhausting political moment not to recognize that most decent people now understand that whispers need to be, as they haven't been before, seriously examined, and pushed up the chain.
Last year, the nonprofit organization VIDA: Women in Literary Arts published deliberately ''de-identified'' accusations against a poet. At Jezebel, where I worked at the time, I reported on the story at length. In talking to people about the fallout from the incident, I felt crushed by the extent to which male sexual misconduct had been configured, once more, as a women's problem. Then, as now, women who agreed on almost everything'--about the extent and urgency of the problem, about the failures of existing institutions'--found themselves at war over methodology. Part of the problem was the way that different goals kept getting conflated. Speech about sexual assault can stem from a variety of worthy motivations: to warn other women, to find closure and catharsis, to enact or perform solidarity, to get an abusive person out of a position of power, to change institutional procedures. These goals can overlap, and they often do'--but not automatically. They don't in the case of the spreadsheet, a fact we can look at straight on. It would help if we didn't rely single-handedly on women's speech to lead us straight to justice, or if we understood that attempts to repair a flawed system are unlikely to be either perfect or categorically wrong.
Why it's reasonable to feel a queasy mix of emotions about the "shitty media men" spreadsheet.
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 23:57
There was no way to guarantee the list would stay in the hands of trustworthy actors. Thinkstock
In the wee hours of Thursday morning, BuzzFeedreported the existence of a Google spreadsheet full of alleged sexual misdeeds. Titled ''SHITTY MEDIA MEN,'' the document contains a list of a few dozen men in the media industry, each of whom is paired with a description of the accusations against him.
Christina Cauterucci is a Slate staff writer.
As of Thursday afternoon, some of the men on the list are labeled as stalkers or persistent harassers. There are detailed accounts of violence and rape'--men on the list have allegedly forced nonconsensual anal sex, choked a woman ''until she lost consciousness,'' and taken off condoms without consent. Some, though, are named for misdeeds as murky as ''weird lunch 'dates''' and ''creepy AF in the DMs.'' The spreadsheet is anonymous, so no one can see who wrote what. It begins with a disclaimer: ''This document is only a collection of misconduct allegations and rumors. Take everything with a grain of salt. If you see something about a man you're friends with, don't freak out.''
In a way, telling women things they didn't know about their friends was exactly the point of the document. Since the wave of sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein began crashing down last week, many journalists (including me) have written about the pervasiveness of serial sexual harassment in every industry, reminding readers that it's not just Hollywood with a problem. If you saw a friend or colleague's name on the list next to rape allegations from multiple women, of course you'd freak out. All women like to believe that the men in their lives are the ''good guys,'' the ones who post feminist links on Twitter and would never come close to committing sexual assault. But sexual abusers often don't harass their friends; many probably wouldn't put their own actions in the same category as the actions of the assailants who rise to national infamy. Weinstein himself walked in a Women's March.
The ''SHITTY MEDIA MEN'' document is supposed to be both secret and anonymous, a kind of physical manifestation of the interpersonal warnings women sometimes offer as protection against men who've done wrong. In almost every recent high-profile case of sexual assault or harassment by a man in the public eye'--Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes, Donald Trump'--the first accusation is followed by another, then another, and sometimes dozens more. Some of these women had no idea whether their harasser had done the same thing to others; several of Weinstein's accusers have written of feeling intense guilt after learning that he'd gone on to abuse other women while they remained silent. Harassment and abuse are easier to prove when there's an established pattern, but shame, self-blame, and fear of retribution keep individual survivors isolated from one another. Telling other women about a mutual acquaintance's bad behavior is one way to find other victims of the same man's abuse before coming forward. It also allows the recipients of the information to take precautions when getting a drink alone with a colleague who's said to have groped a friend.
Taking a collection of allegations that would normally be spread friend-to-friend and putting it on the internet raises several important red flags, though. First of all, though the list was never meant to be public, there was no way to guarantee it would stay in the hands of trustworthy actors. Men at nearly every major media outlet are implicated. BuzzFeed reported that several men on the list somehow got their hands on it, indicating that women sent the document in good faith to other women they wanted to protect, who then shared it with men accused of sexual harassment or assault. The barrier to entry for writing on the list is low to nonexistent, leaving it open to hijacking and reducing the trustworthiness of every bit of information to that of any other anonymous online comment. Since there is no way to tell who made what allegation, there is no way to put the claims in meaningful context, as there usually is with word-of-mouth warnings. And some of the reported behaviors, such as "flirting," are relatively minor and subjective, though sometimes paired with more serious allegations.
The implications of these failings are severe. If rape and assault allegations can be brushed off as gossip from sources that can't be held accountable for their reports, it throws a layer of doubt on all the accusations on the list, many of which are truly horrifying. The specter of one motivated person getting a hold of the document for the wrong reasons and creating multiple anonymous accounts to manufacture claims against a man in media is highly unlikely, but nevertheless possible; the slight possibility poisons the entire well. Hiring managers in media could get their hands on a list like this and use it as an argument against job candidates who seem too risky to hire but never had a chance to answer for their alleged crimes.
But if a woman has been raped, who's to tell her she has no right to scream his name from the rooftops? Taking part in the word-of-mouth chain of mutual warning is a privilege young and less-connected journalists are unlikely to have. And if women ever want to make a case against an abuser, either to law enforcement or to an industry that enables him with jobs and connections, they're far more likely to get results if they find other survivors first rather than going it alone. In a justice system that demands perfect victimhood, bulletproof evidence, and skin of steel of anyone who comes forward with a claim of sexual violence, there are few good options for recourse. Traditional chains of command for reporting workplace harassment can fail when those chains are full of abusers' friends. The ''SHITTY MEDIA MEN'' spreadsheet was not a perfect system, but a perfect system does not exist.
Women have tried to create similar lists of alleged intra-industry harassers and abusers before. In Los Angeles, women in the comedy scene shared stories in a private Facebook group, leading to at least one police investigation and the effective ostracization of three men who'd racked up multiple accusations. I spoke to one woman, Jennifer, who helped create a similar document for women and gender-nonconforming people in her local arts community. (Her name has been changed at her request.)
Jennifer and her co-creators formed a working group after a woman accused a well-known man in their community of rape in an online comment. ''At first, I felt like, 'well, that's a shitty thing to say,' '' she said. But at the working group's first meeting, woman after woman described other stories they'd heard about the same man, and shared personal accounts of his abuse. Not all the allegations involved rape, but a pattern of similar boundary violations began to take shape, corroborated by multiple independent accounts. As names of other men began to come up, Jennifer and her group had to decide what belonged on a semi-public list and what did not. They discussed whether it was appropriate to put rape on the same plane as ''sketchy and unethical and coercive'' behavior'--in at least one case, they decided to leave an accused man off the list because his alleged violations didn't rise to the level of assault.
''We didn't necessarily feel like it was the best alternative, but we felt like there was no other alternative,'' Jennifer said. ''This sort of being an 'open secret' in whatever community doesn't stop the behavior, as we've seen with Weinstein and all the rest.''
Some colleges have started using an app that purports to be a better platform for anonymous reporting. Callisto allows accusers to input their allegations into the app anonymously and choose to either report it to the school immediately, timestamp it and save it for later, or save the report and notify the accuser when any other student inputs an allegation against the same perpetrator. Other industries could conceivably make similar systems'--Callisto's code is public'--to help aggregate assault reports and facilitate communication between survivors. As my colleague April Glaser wrote in Wired last year, features like encryption and identity verification could lend anonymous reporting mechanisms extra layers of both security and credibility.
The ''SHITTY MEDIA MEN'' spreadsheet does try to make a distinction between ''physical sexual violence'' and, say, ''inappropriate communication.'' When multiple women have accused the same man of the former, his line on the spreadsheet is highlighted in red. But red men are mixed in with ones accused by just one person of something like ''workplace harassment,'' which could mean anything from an unwelcome remark about a physical feature to offering a raise in exchange for sex. After closing the document, all but the most vile deeds became irrelevant. Only the names remained in my head.
The document was locked for a period of time on Thursday; it's now once again publicly accessible to anyone who has the link. But even if it disappears, it will live on as an ethical quandary and potentially teachable case study. It forces people who consider themselves upstanding colleagues and allies to confront some difficult questions with no clear-cut answers. What should happen to men in our industry who've been accused of sexual violence? What if those accusations come from multiple women? What if those women are anonymous? It makes sense not to hire rapists. But should every man who's ever verbally harassed a woman never work again? What about ''creeps''? For those of us who believe that the prison system and sex offender registries do far more harm than good, what alternatives can we offer survivors and perpetrators? At what point could an industry consider a harasser reformed and hirable? How can women protect one another without trampling the rights of the accused?
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Ahead of Halloween, universities nationwide tell students what not to wear - The College Fix
Thu, 19 Oct 2017 15:13
Ahead of Halloween, universities nationwide tell students what not to wear
Throughout October, universities across the nation are warning their students against Halloween costumes some consider offensive.
Gone are the days when college students could dress up without fear of being reported to a bias response team. In recent years, more and more campus leaders have made it their mission to warn students what not to wear.
Fliers, memos, workshops and more impart the admonitions.
''Unacceptable costumes'' listed on a University of St. Thomas diversity flier are ''wearing Native American headdresses, dressing up as a 'Mexican' by wearing a sombrero, dressing as a 'geisha,' any form of blackface.''
''Cultural appropriation is defined as 'the act of taking intellectual and cultural expressions from a culture that is not your own, without showing that you understand or respect the culture,''' explains a University of St. Thomas diversity memo to students.
''This can be as simple as wearing a Dashiki without knowledge or respect to West African culture, and as serious as wearing a fake Native American headdress without any regard of its sacredness,'' adds the memo. ''It generally incorporates a history of prejudice and discrimination by perpetuating long-standing stereotypes.''
At UC Santa Barbara, a social justice workshop set for Tuesday will delve into how Halloween costumes abuse ''indigenous wear'' and teach students how to ''spot appropriation with the help of bell hooks' essay 'Eating the Other.'''
At a ''Conversation Circle'' at Princeton University this Sunday, students will ''engage in a dialogue about the impact of cultural appropriation, Halloween, and why culture is not a costume.''
MORE: Campus police to probe 'offensive' Halloween costumes, students told
A guide put out by Northern Arizona University's Housing and Residence Life warns against African-inspired get ups, a Pocahontas costume, Asian rice hats and more.
A workshop scheduled for Tuesday at the University of Southern Indiana will include a discussion of cultural appropriation in Halloween costumes and culminate with an opportunity for students to make their own costumes that
are ''culturally appropriate,'' according to an online event description.
An October letter written by members of University of Utah's student affairs diversity council states: ''As you get ready for Halloween here are some tips you can put into practice. Think to yourself: 'Does the actual name on the costume packaging say 'tribal' or 'traditional'? Does the costume include race related hair or accessories (dreads/locs, afros, cornrows, a headdress)? Does the costume play into racial stereotypes? '... If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should rethink the costume and try again.''
Meanwhile, a ''Not Your Festival Wear'' workshop is slated for Oct. 24 at Minnesota State University Moorhead and Vanderbilt feminists will help to lead an event about cultural appropriation ''just in time for Halloween,'' its website states.
A ''Halloween and Cultural Appropriation Tabling'' at Goucher College earlier this month explained to students that the ''scariest thing about your costume isn't what you think,'' and a cultural appropriation diversity workshop already took place at Texas A&M University on Oct. 9.
The University of New Hampshire went so far as to host an entire cultural appropriation ''teach in'' last week that didn't just stick to Halloween but also included Cinco de Mayo and Dia de los Muertos.
MORE: Here come the warnings about 'proper' Halloween attire
IMAGE: Northern Arizona University screenshot
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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix. She previously worked as a daily newspaper reporter and columnist for a decade in Southern California, and prior to that held editorial positions at The Weekly Standard, Washington Times and FrontPageMagazine. She is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship recipient and has contributed to National Review.
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Hurricane Harvey
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Harvey Weinstein #metoo: Robert Scoble sorry after sex harassment charges
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 05:04
Thousands of women are identifying themselves as victims of sexual harassment or assault following a call to action propelled by Alyssa Milano in the wake of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein's downfall over of allegations of sexual misconduct. (Oct. 17) AP
Tech blogger Robert Scoble wears Google Glass at the Dublin web summit being held at the RDS in October 2013. Scoble apologized Friday for sexually harassing women in the tech industry. (Photo: Niall Carson, PA Wire/Press Association Images)
SAN FRANCISCO '-- #SiliconValleyToo.
Silicon Valley is being rocked by a new wave of sexual harassment charges, this time involving influential technology evangelist Robert Scoble. The claims follow a national uproar over charges that powerful producer Harvey Weinstein for years sexually harassed women in Hollywood and a viral #MeToo movement on social media with women coming forward with their stories of sexual harassment.
Two women stepped forward Thursday to accuse Scoble of sexual harassment and a third said he verbally harassed her.
In an interview with USA TODAY, Scoble apologized for the behavior that he claims occurred when he had a drinking problem. Scoble announced in 2015 that he was entering AA and said he was sexually abused as a child.
"I did some things that are really, really hurtful to the women and I feel ashamed by that," Scoble told USA TODAY. "I have taken many steps to try to get better because I knew some of this was potentially going to come out."
Journalist Quinn Norton accused Scoble of groping her breast and grabbing her buttocks at the annual Foo Camp conference run by O'Reilly Media. She says he also groped and kissed a woman too drunk to consent, prompting other attendees to separate the two.
Scoble says he does not remember the incidents at Foo Camp. In a Medium post, Quinn said they occurred in the "early 2010s."
Scoble has a booming presence in the tech world, attracting a large following on social media with his opinions on technology and the industry. He started his Scobleizer blog in 2000, which became a springboard for roles at a series of technology companies including Microsoft, Rackspace, and most recently, UploadVR, which recently settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with a former employee.
Michelle Greer, a former colleague of Scoble's at Rackspace, this week accused him of harassing her. She says Scoble groped her in February 2010 at the Startup Riot tech conference in Atlanta. Greer was a senior manager in corporate communications who helped produce content for a Scoble project called "Building 43."
"I remember seeing him with two drinks in his hand," Greer told BuzzFeed. "My boss sat next to me, and Scoble sits across from me and starts touching my leg."
A couple of days after the conference, Greer says one of Scoble's producers told her: "I'm so sorry, my employees will never touch you again."
Greer says it disturbed her to see Scoble act as an ally to women in the tech industry on social media.
"I have always worked with mostly men. They know things should change. If you don't get rid of the bad actors though, nothing changes," she posted on Facebook in July. When Scoble liked her comment, she responded: "You're a bad actor. I can't tell you how awful I felt after working with you. Watching you like this post angered me." He said: "Saying I am sorry isn't enough to undo the harm I have done."
More:Sexual harassment scandal shakes insular, influential venture capital world
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More:The #MeToo movement didn't begin with Harvey Weinstein. And it won't end there
More:Start-up investor Dave McClure resigns from 500 Startups
Even though women outnumber men at the top schools and in the workforce and use the latest gadgets and apps in equal if not greater numbers, they still represent a small fraction of executives, entrepreneurs, investors and engineers. And the tech industry, famous for its bravado about changing the world, still lags behind other industries in its treatment of women, many of whom say they routinely confront sexism in the companies where they work and at the tech conferences they attend.
Silicon Valley's sexual harassment scandal over the summer exposed tales of bad behavior by venture capitalists, two of whom, Dave McClure and Justin Caldbeck, resigned. The removal of two prominent investors sent shock waves through Silicon Valley, where for years there were few consequences for sexist behavior.
Greer says she came forward because women had approached her recently complaining of Scoble's behavior. Scoble told USA TODAY he no longer harassed women after entering AA.
"There are too many talented women who get suppressed because of guys like this. We can't just talk about it at an aggregate level. We have to call these people out," Greer told USA TODAY. "This is why women hate tech. We need more women in tech. We can't afford to have people who can't keep hands to themselves or can't speak respectfully to other people."
Sarah Kunst, the ProDay founder who was one of the women who accused McClure of sexual harassment, says she was "verbally harassed" by Scoble and his wife in 2014 at Dent, an annual conference in Idaho.
Late Friday, Scoble posted a note on Facebook, apologizing for his behavior.
"I'm deeply sorry to the people I've caused pain to. I know I have behaved in ways that were inappropriate. I apologize for that. The question is not if it happened or if anyone got hurt (they did) but how can I do better?" he wrote. " I know that apologies are not enough and that they don't erase the wrongs of the past or the present. The only thing I can do to really make a difference now is to prove, through my future behavior, and my willingness to listen, learn and change, that I want to become part of the solution going forward."
These are not the first allegations lodged against Scoble. Earlier this year, Scoble apologized after defending the founders of Upload VR over the sexual harassment lawsuit.
"I must admit my own role in sexism in this industry and world," Scoble wrote on Medium at the time. "I am flawed too, and am working to fix those flaws. Have I caused others pain? Yes. Does that make me happy about myself? No. Looking in the mirror is a tough thing."
Norton says she hopes Scoble and the women he harmed get the help they need.
"And I hope that Scoble and the people who helped Scoble perpetrate this violence against the women around him spend their time lifting up the careers of these women, as some small recompense for what they endured in their workplace," she wrote.
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Robert Scoble and Me '' Quinn Norton '' Medium
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 20:33
Foo Camp, the original unconference thrown by O'Reilly every year, is one of my favorite events in the technology world. In many ways, it's often felt like one of the safest'Š'--'Šit welcomes crazy ideas, breaks down social barriers, starts cross disciplinary conversations. Their format encourages people to contribute to sessions, or leave them, not if they're angry, but just if they're not getting much out of it or have much to contribute. People bounce around the space and ideas and conversations, and so many of the normal social distances break down into collaboration. This format is creative, and gave me access to both people and ideas that helped me shape my work and get it in front of a wider audience.
Where it is not as safe as I'd like is in sexual harassment'Š'--'Šthough to be clear, it's not worse than any other tech conference. It's just even more upsetting given the warmth and openness and honesty of the event in other ways. At one of my first talks on body hacking, one of the creators of VisiCalc sat in the front row and yelled out sexually explicit questions at me while everyone, not just me, grew increasingly uncomfortable. I avoided him after that, but these were attitudes you couldn't avoid anywhere in tech.
In the early 2010s I was standing by the campfire on the Saturday night of Foo and a man was making out with a woman. Both were obviously drunk. Foo fosters a casual atmosphere, especially at night, and drinking is not uncommon. The making out was pretty weird though, and uncomfortable. I and some other friends chatted about it, loudly, about how it wasn't appropriate here, but the pair went on anyway, either not hearing us or not caring. One of my friends was getting a bit upset, and managed to break things up by starting a conversation with the woman, but before long the pair were back at it. He came back to me, on the verge of panic, and whispered in my ear. The woman was so drunkenly disoriented that she didn't seem to understand what was happening, and the guy kept pouring drinks for her. It was quite possibly headed towards rape. He asked me what to do, and I realized the man in question was someone powerful. I blanked and said I wasn't sure what to do, maybe try get them apart? My friend gave me a fantastic no-duh look and went back over to them.
At one point when they were separated the man in question was standing beside me at the camp fire. The person on the other side of me nervously decided to introduce us. It went roughly: ''Robert, this is Quinn Norton. Quinn, this is Robert Scoble, he's dangerous.'' Scoble laughed and quickly said he wasn't dangerous. I looked at him, keeping a blank expression, and said ''I am.'' I had learned this attitude after many years working in tech, that knowing how to deliver pain and putting everyone on notice that you would, was a way to avoid harassment. I knew this was fucked up, but it had been my normal for years.
And then, without any more warning, Scoble was on me. I felt one hand on my breast and his arm reaching around and grabbing my butt. Scoble is considerably bigger than I am, and I realized quickly I wasn't going to be able to push him away. Meanwhile, the people around just watched, in what I can only imagine was stunned shock. I got a hand free and used a palm strike to the base of his chin to knock him back. It worked, he flew back and struggled to get his feet under him. I watched his feet carefully for that moment. He was unbalanced from the alcohol and I realized if he reached for me again I could pull him forward, bounce his face off my knee, then drive it into the ground. (I knew this move because it had been done to me, then the martial arts expert who did it picked me up and apologetically showed me how to do it.) He laughed and rubbed his chin and said something like ''I like this one, she has spirit.'' I said this: ''If you touch me again I will break your nose.'' I could still feel his hands on me, his intentions, all of it. He laughed again, and I repeated, ''If you touch me again I will break your nose.'' He didn't grab me again after that.
Scoble went back to making out with the other inebriated woman before my friend established that she wasn't able to consent in any way, was married to someone else, and wasn't able to walk on her own. He interceded. She was propped up between two of my friends, walked away from the scene, and looked after for the evening. Both of those guys will have my undying respect for what they did that night. But that was also on my mind when I started thinking about telling this story.
I checked in with the organizers after that to make sure I would still be invited again if I broke Robert Scoble's nose for sexually assaulting me. They said sure. But neither me nor they did or said anything more. I can't be sure why for anyone but me, but I know why I decided to stay silent. I never knew who that woman was, I never had a name, contact information, anything. But I knew she was likely to get uncovered and destroyed if I spoke up. I had protected myself, the way I had for years in the technology scene, by threatening what should have been a professional contact with violence. I realized I was part of the problem that night'Š'--'Ša woman's safety in her career environment shouldn't require credible threats of violence.
I talked to a lot of people after the weekend. Every time the question was raised of what I should do about Scoble assaulting me, I flashed back to another friend, K, who I'd known long before I got into this world. I got to know her when she married a friend of mine. She was a warmhearted and energetic person. But after one fateful party, she told her new husband that she was sexually assaulted. He threw her assaulter off a mailing list we were all on, and then quit as the list administrator. It blew up into a local scandal, and people demanded to know who the victim was. We tried to hide her identity, but her name got posted to the list. Once she was outed as a victim, the hate mail, the barrage of nasty questions, the endless accusations took, such a toll on her. Eventually, she took her own life. She'd just never been able to put it all back together after that.
A few weeks after I met Scoble at Foo Camp I met up with a friend in San Francisco who also knew him. He introduced me to one of Scoble's female co-workers. She agreed with angry enthusiasm about Scoble's behavior. Harassment was just part of working with him, it was commonly known, one of our ''Open Secrets'' in the tech world. But again, I couldn't come forward and name her for risk of destroying her career and possibly personal life. So, despite being in the best position a woman could hope for, despite having an ironclad reputation and pretty damn good at opsec, I've stayed silent. I couldn't risk the other women.
For years when I saw Scoble's name on something, or the mention of Rackspace, his employer, I flinched. I stopped consuming media that was supported by Rackspace, not wanting to feel those hands on me every time they were mentioned.
It's been a long time now. With any luck, those other women will be hard to find if they want to be. Scoble has gotten sober and written apologetically about doing bad things.
I'm very mixed on this. I believe if we don't provide paths of redemption for badly behaved people, we enable abusers as much as we do by remaining silent. I also believe we need to talk about these things plainly, and we need to seek to help and elevate the victims.
I learned when I was raped as a teenager that the complete demonization of the rapist is counterproductive. My rapist was my high school boyfriend, considered a better student and a boy with much better prospects than me. It was occasionally suggested that I'd be lucky to be raped by a boy of his stature, always with encouragement that I let the whole thing go. I never did. It was never said, but it was implied that I was trying to ruin a person whose life was, simply put, worth more than mine.
What we both were was fucked teenagers who needed help, and one had hurt the other. Not strange, not rare. Instead of addressing that, I was pushed out of school, and his emotional problems were ignored and neglected. In the end, my rapist and I were better allies to each other than our schools and families were.
The demonization of either rapists or victims is what makes the subject unapproachable, and doesn't let anyone intercede to get abusive people the help they need, much less the victims. Men aren't wild predators, but sometimes the broken ones can do very bad things. Sometimes, even if rarely, broken women do bad things to men. So the people who care for, love, or need these broken people cover for them. They destroy the people that seem the most likely to destroy their loved ones: the victims. Ultimately, this neglect destroys their loved ones, too.
I've watched this toxic dynamic play out in my life and others since I was a child. This is the first reason I became a fan of restorative justice. Not because I am some kind of soft-on-crime libtard, but because I'd rather less people got assaulted and raped in the future, and restorative justice prevents more terrible things from happening. But restorative justice is hard, for everyone, not just the aggressor and victim. It requires admitting and discussing painful issues, and looking for ways to make things whole, by the community, not just the people directly involved. This has to happen even when things can never be whole again.
I do hope Robert Scoble gets the help he needs, and I hope that the women he hurt get the help they (we) need. And I hope that Scoble and the people who helped Scoble perpetrate this violence against the women around him spend their time lifting up the careers of these women, as some small recompense for what they endured in their workplace.
3 women have accused Robert Scoble of sexual and verbal harassment
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 20:31
Tech evangelist Robert Scoble JD Lasica licensed under CC BY 2.0
Robert Scoble is a well-known US tech figure who blogs about technology and is a regular feature at conferencesThree women in tech, including a former colleague at Rackspace, have come forward to accuse Scoble of inappropriate behaviour and harassment between 2009 and 2014One said he "grabbed [her] butt" at an event, while his former colleague said she left Rackspace as a resultThree women have accused high-profile tech evangelist and writer Robert Scoble of sexual and verbal harassment.
Michelle Greer, Scoble's former colleague at Rackspace; journalist Quinn Norton; and ProDay founder Sarah Kunst all said Scoble acted inappropriately with them, mostly around 2009 and 2010 onwards. We first saw Greer's comments via BuzzFeed, while Norton and Kunst wrote about their experiences on Medium and Twitter.
Robert Scoble is well-known in certain tech circles. He rose to prominence as a "technical evangelist" at Microsoft, where he kept a regular blog about the company, winning readers with uncensored and often harsh opinions about the company. He took up a similar role at Rackspace in 2009 to build out a content network for the web hosting firm, called Building43. Most recently, he became entrepreneur-in-residence at UploadVR, which was sued by an employee for sexual harassment claims.
Norton kicked off the claims against Scoble in a Medium post published on Thursday. She accused Scoble first of groping and kissing a woman too drunk to consent and, later, of "grabbing my butt" and groping her breast. The alleged incidents took place in "the early 2010s" at Foo Camp, an annual hacker conference run by O'Reilly Media.
Founder Tim O'Reilly said the company banned Scoble from future events but admitted it "could have done more."
Responding to Norton's post, ProDay founder Kunst said she had been "verbally harassed" by Scoble and his wife in 2014 at Dent, an annual conference in Idaho. She criticised Dent for continuing to invite Scoble, even after she'd warned the organisers of his alleged behaviour. Dent said it took all allegations seriously, but did not comment further.
You can read her tweets here:
Greer, speaking to BuzzFeed, said Scoble had touched her inappropriately while she worked on the Building43 project with him at Rackspace. She said her team had gone out for drinks and Scoble, in front of his manager and other colleagues, touched her leg.
"I remember seeing him with two drinks in his hand," she said. "My boss sat next to me, and Scoble sits across from me and starts touching my leg."
Greer escaped to her room and was eventually let go by Rackspace after her performance was affected by the incident.
A Rackspace spokesman said: "Rackspace condemns any form of harassment. We are aware of the allegations reported in the media today and are monitoring the development of this story closely."
Scoble has been vocal about women in tech, and the trauma of abuse.
In November 2014, Scoble talked about his own abuse at the hands of a family friend, noting that the friend had himself been abused as a child.
In April this year, he complained about sexual harassment of women in social VR, saying the industry needed to fix the problem.
Twitter
Scoble has acknowledged, but not addressed the allegations.
He stated on his Facebook page he would post a video announcement early on Friday morning but, in a message to Business Insider, said he had postponed the video in order to discuss the allegations with his wife, Maryam Scoble.
The allegations follow a stream of reports of sexual harassment in tech. Amazon Studios head Roy Price was suspended last week after allegations of harassment.
If you have experienced harassment issues in tech or venture capital, please get in touch at sghosh@businessinsider.com.
Robert Scoble has allegedly continued to sexually harass women after going sober '' TechCrunch
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 05:02
Venture capitalists Dave McClure, Justin Caldbeck and Chris Sacca, SoFi CEO Mike Cagney and a top Uber engineer have all been accused of sexual impropriety in the last six months as a growing number of women have come forward about the harassment they have endured by those in power in the tech industry.
However, Robert Scoble, who has been accused of sexual misconduct in the past, has so far gone unscathed. Though twowomen recently stepped forward, accusing Scoble of inappropriately grabbing them, both incidents happened prior to 2015, when Scoble publicly confessed that he was an alcoholic. Scoble said at the time he was getting help and going into Alcoholics Anonymous.
Earlier this afternoon, in an interview with USA TODAY, Scoble apologized for his past, repeating his claims that his bad behavior occurred back when he'd had a drinking problem.
Many have since dismissed Scoble's past actions as just that '-- in the past.
But that isn't true, according to several women TechCrunch has spoken with.
Despite Scoble's public apologies, he has allegedly continued to drink, smoke pot and proposition women repeatedly, say two women, even after they say they told him to stop.
After journalist Quinn Norton recently published her Medium post accusing Scoble of grabbing her, NASA analyst Sarah Seitz said in the post's comment section that Scoble had propositioned Seitz for an affair a year and a half ago '-- after he'd publicly stated that he was cleaning up his act.
Seitz later told TechCrunch she'd turned Scoble down, but that he continued to pursue her anyway.
Another woman who chose to remain anonymous told TechCrunch that Scoble made a pass at her, telling her how much he wanted to make out with her after getting high at a tech conference earlier this year. She said that Scoble later apologized for his behavior and lavished her with praise; he also connected her with people she needed to help further her career, which she said effectively silenced her.
''It made me sick to work with him, but also he was offering so much help,'' she told TechCrunch. ''As women we sometimes have to make tough choices. Do I want to call him out, or do I want to advance my career?''
Scoble is in a position of power to many people in the tech industry '-- a point that has arisen repeatedly in our interviews with women in his sphere. His actions '-- both past and present '-- have been kept under wraps for that reason, they say.
In fact, two additional women have told TechCrunch that Scoble was still making inappropriate advances after he'd publicly stated he was going sober, but neither wanted to go on record for fear of the repercussions.
Scoble has so far declined to answer numerous questions from TechCrunch about these allegations. He told TechCrunch yesterday that he would be doing a live stream to address the two women who've come forward about his past; that has yet to happen. Scoble also said he'd be sending a statement about more recent allegations but hasn't done so as of this writing, though he now says it will come out this weekend.*
He may be waiting to do anything while he lets these allegations ''play out,'' according to an email he sent to Redesk exec Guy Pearson:
Scoble has long been viewed as Silicon Valley's favorite narcissist '-- someone so blatantly self-absorbed it has often verged on comedy. (Who can forget the image of a red, wet Scoble coming out of the shower in Google Glasses?)
He's also been helpful to both people and startups when they've sought out his attention. It seems unlikely that his vast network will continue to view his brand of self-involvement as quite so comical now.
*Update: Minutes after publishing this article, Scoble has on his Facebook profile offered an apology for his past and recent behavior, saying, ''I have damaged the trust many people had in me. I have made many steps in my life to try to improve, including getting sober more than two years ago. I have committed to making amends where appropriate and to living a life of transparency, integrity, and honesty.''
Scoble did not address these recent allegations specifically, instead committing to proving himself through future behavior. The question now is if he really means it and, further, if he is to be believed.
Featured Image: Niall Carson - PA Images / Contributor
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#MeToo - We all say something and we all do nothing?
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Dozens of Disney workers arrested over sex with minors - Telegraph
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 05:37
Two of the cases of possessing child pornography occurred on Disney property. One of the men involved was jailed for six years last year.
The accused Disney employees included a ride repair manager, a costumer, security guards, a trainee VIP tour guide, a gift shop worker. and maintenance men.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd in Florida told CNN: "Wherever you find children, you'll find sexual predators that want to be there."
The Sheriff said Disney and others should be allowed to use lie detector tests when hiring workers, which they are currently prevented by law from doing.
Walt Disney World employs 70,000 people. In a statement a Disney spokeswoman told CNN: "Providing a safe environment for children and families is a responsibility we take very seriously. We have extensive measures in place, including pre-employment and ongoing criminal background checks and computer monitoring and firewalls.
"The numbers reported by CNN represent one one-hundredth of one percent of the 300,000 people we have employed during this time period. We constantly strengthen our efforts."
Ernie Allen, president of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, said: "It's hard to imagine any company (Disney) that's done more, that cares more, that's trying harder on these issues, and part of the reason is Disney recognises that it's a magnet, it's a magnet that is sort of America's symbol for children."
A spokesman for Universal Studios told CNN: "We have zero tolerance for this kind of activity. We deal with situations such as this immediately and permanently. All our team members undergo thorough background checks as part of the hiring process."
A SeaWorld spokesman told CNN it had "policies and procedures in place and we need to take appropriate action as needed."
Aangirfan: 'FOX, DISNEY AND BBC LINKED TO CHILD ABUSE RING IN HOLLYWOOD'
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 05:47
Former teen model Michael Egan (above) has named more child sex abusers, and they are linked to Disney, Fox and the BBC.Egan says he was sexually abused by a Hollywood child abuse ring starting when he was aged 15
Michael Egan has filed suits against the following:
Garth Ancier
1. Garth Ancier, who oversaw the launch of Fox television, and also served as president of BBC Worldwide America.
David Neuman
2. David Neuman, the former president of Disney TV.
3. Gary Goddard, who helped develop EPCOT, Tokyo Disneyland , and River Country.
Egan's attorney, a sex abuse lawyer from Florida, Jeff Herman (left), with Egan (right)
An affidavit from 2003 describes the sexual abuse four teenage boys allegedly endured at the hands of Marc Collins-Rector and Chad Shackley.Rector was later convicted of child sex abuses.
A source told TMZ that one of the 4 victims, 'Minor #4', is Egan.
Rector, whose last-known country of residence was the Dominican Republic, a country notorious for its AIDS infected prostitutes. Rector reportedly told Egan that: "90 per cent of show business is gay. "You need to sleep with people if you want to go anywhere."We stay together, but you do not want to see my dark side."
Rector then took out his gun. Rector then reportedly said:
Serial rapists walk free in Detroit as up to 9,000 rape kits remain untested 5 YEARS after being discovered abandoned in a police warehouse
'Jeepers Creepers 3' Director Victor Salva, A Convicted Pedophile, Wrote Molestation Into the Film '' IndieWire
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 05:39
''Jeepers Creepers 3'' hit theaters for one night only on September 26, and certain plot points are rubbing critics the wrong way given the criminal history of writer-director Victor Salva. The 59-year-old was convicted in 1988 of the sexual molestation of Nathan Forrest, the 12-year-old actor and star of his film ''Clownhouse.'' Salva videotaped the sexual act and was also convicted of possessing commercial videotapes and magazines containing child pornography.
Salva only served 15 months of his three-year sentence, and he somehow went on to have a career in Hollywood in the years that followed. Disney hired him to direct their supernatural drama ''Powder,'' and Salva found his greatest success with ''Jeepers Creepers,'' the 2001 horror film that spawned a franchise.
''Jeepers Creepers'' is currently on its third installment, and it has been drawing criticism not only because it marks another opportunity for the convicted pedophile to make a feature but also because it includes a character whose backstory involves being molested by her stepfather. Deadline reported last year that a casting notice for the main role of Addison was looking for an ''18-year-old actress [to play a character] who at the age of 13 had been sent to live with her grandmother after her stepfather 'started making overtures' to her.'' Gabrielle Haugh landed the role.
''Jeepers Creepers 3'' does not depict any kind of child molestation, but it does include one moment where two characters are discussing why Addison no longer lives with her stepfather. One of the two characters is romantically interested in Addison and seems to understand why her stepfather would make ''overtures'' on her. ''Can you blame him though? I mean look at her,'' the character says. ''The heart wants what it wants, am I right?''
IGN's Adam Dileo originally singled out the quote for scrutiny in his review. He has since updated the article noting that the line was removed for the theatrical cut but was included on the screening link sent to critics who reviewed the film.
Salva's history rightfully caused numerous production delays on ''Jeepers Creepers 3.'' The Union of British Columbia Performers (UBCP) made an official warning against Silva and urged actors not to audition or accept a part in the movie after a casting call revealed Salva was looking for an 18-year-old to play a character whose stepfather made ''overtures'' at her when she was 13. Salva left this backstory in the film for the theatrical cut.
The director is already working on a fourth ''Jeepers Creepers'' movie. The third film will reportedly return to theaters for a second showing on October 4.
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David Neuman accused of being part of Hollywood sex ring that abused a minor | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 05:44
A former Disney executive accused of being part of a Hollywood sex ring that abused a minor has filed a lawsuit against his accuser, claiming that it was part an extortion plot to extort money for prominent gay men in the entertainment industry.
David Neuman was named last April by aspiring actor and model Michael Egan, 31, as one of a number of men who he alleged sexually abused him when he was 15 at various L.A. pool parties and during two Hawaiian vacations in 1999 when he was 17.
Egan and his lawyer Jeff Herman held a news conference to make their graphic claims, but the case quickly fell apart and by June they had been forced to withdraw their allegations against Neuman.
David Neuman, right, was named last April by Michael Egan, left, as one of a number of men who he claimed sexually abused him when he was a teenager
Now Neuman is suing both Egan and Herman for smearing his reputation, reports The Wrap.
In a complaint filed on Monday, he accused them of hatching 'a despicable scheme to enrich themselves by inventing and then litigating totally false claims which they would then use to extort settlement payments.'
The complaint goes on to allege that Egan and Herman 'expected that rather than fight these vicious and provably false clams, Mr. Neuman would simply choose to pay defendants a sum of money to settle the claims and end the litigation.'
Neuman says that the pair planned to target other gay men in the entertainment industry to 'intimidate and extort fraudulent settlements' from them 'by threatening to ruin their lives forever' with false accusations of sexual abuse.
Egan had also sued X-Men director Bryan Singer, theater producer Gary Wayne Goddard and former television executive Garth Ancier.
All of the defendants denied the claims and the charges were all eventually dropped.
Neuman is now suing both Egan and her lawyer Jeff Herman, above, for smearing his reputation
Egan had also attempted to sue X-Men director Bryan Singer, right, and former television executive Garth Ancier, left, but the charges were all eventually dropped
The case against Neuman collapsed after it was revealed that Egan had said in an statement under oath in 2003 that Neuman was not in Hawaii with him and didn't sexually assault him or engage in any kind of sexual behavior with him.
'Now, more than 10 years after signing the declaration, plaintiff inexplicably has chosen to suddenly claim that Mr. Neuman had engaged in the very conduct which 10 years earlier he swore Mr. Neuman had no part of,' said lawyers for Neuman last June.
Neuman has worked for Disney and CNN as a TV executive.
Bombshell documentary about Hollywood pedophile ring preying on child actors that's been linked to X-Men director Bryan Singer premieres in New York | Daily Mail Online
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 05:42
Uncomfortable topic: Director Amy Berg attends New York premiere of her controversial documentary An Open Secret about child sex abuse in Hollywood
A controversial documentary that allegedly links X-Men director Bryan Singer to a gang of Hollywood pedophiles got its first '' and possibly only '' viewing in New York last night.
An Open Secret contains the astonishing revelation that a major child star was sexually abused by X-Men actor Brian Peck but refused to speak out for fear of wrecking his career.
Whilst there is no suggestion that Singer was involved in the abuse of the unnamed actor, Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg admitted she had yet to find any company willing to distribute the disturbing 100-minute film.
Stopping short of saying that Hollywood was protecting its own, Ms Berg confessed that even small movie festivals had refused to show An Open Secret.
'We have this one screening. Maybe we will get distribution but it is not very likely,' she said. 'But people will talk about it.'
The documentary '' discredited after one of the major accusers filed, then dropped lawsuits against Singer and three other men -- finally aired at the Doc New York festival before 400 people in a quarter-empty Chelsea theater.
Singer, 49, gets several mentions in the film. He is shown in archive footage discussing X-Men and his inspirations, yet only once does his young male accuser Mark Egan allege impropriety.
Former child actor Egan filed lawsuits against Singer, TV executive Garth Ancier, Broadway producer Gary Goddard and ex Disney honcho David Neuman in California and Hawaii earlier this year alleging wide-scale sexual abuse, only to dramatically drop the action a few months later.
Egan is one of the major voices in the documentary and claims Singer, who vehemently denies the allegations, was one of the big players at drug-fueled male-only parties.
Scroll down for video
Emotions running high: Evan Henzi, 21, who had accused talent manager Marty Weiss of grooming him for sex abuse, wept throughout the movie
Photo-op: Amy Berg, second from right, poses with (L to R) Paula Dorn, Anne Henry, Evan Henzi and Anita Henzi at DOC NYC at the SVA Theater Friday
He alleges he and other young boys were urged to get naked in a hot tub with Singer and his middle-aged entertainment industry friends.
Amy Berg refused to cut Egan, who also sued another group of Hollywood players 10 years ago alleging similar abuse, from her documentary.
'He puts Bryan Singer at the party,' she told MailOnline. 'He talks about him being at the party.'
Asked about 31-year-old Egan's rocky history filing, then dropping, lawsuits, she snapped: 'I met him two years ago and I am not changing my film.'
Berg, 44, uncovered large-scale sex abuse in the Catholic Church for her Oscar-nominated 2006 documentary Deliver Us From Evil.
The initial premise of An Open Secret was to follow the lives of five aspiring child stars whose innocence was destroyed by predatory older males in Hollywood.
Now adults, they tell how a network of Hollywood agents and managers including Bob Villard, who represented Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey McGuire when they were children, abused them.
Villard was later convicted of selling images of young boys on eBay.
Hollywood's wall of silence: Berg (center) said she has been having trouble finding a distributor for her film
Changing the culture: Anne Henry (right) started the organization BizParentz to help families of child actors navigate the pitfalls of Hollywood
Berg's film revolves around an early web TV company called Digital Entertainment Network and its owners Marc Collins-Rector, Chad Shackley and Brock Pierce.
Major Hollywood players including Singer, David Geffen and Arianna Huffington's gay ex-husband Michael invested $150million into the company, according to the documentary.
Collins-Rector, Shackley and Pierce threw lavish parties where young boys were encouraged to drink and take drugs before mandatory skinny-dipping sessions in the swimming pool and hot-tub.
Naming names: Actor Brian Peck (left), who had a role in Bryan Singer's (right) X-Men, is named in the documentary as one of the major abusers.
The boys claimed Collins-Rector, who later fled to Spain before being jailed for child abuse, hinted he could have people 'eliminated' and would derail the careers of anyone who spoke out.
Egan, who filed lawsuits against the DEN owners a decade ago, did not attend the New York screening but two other accusers, Evan Henzi and Joey Coleman, did.
Henzi, 21, cried throughout the film and fought back tears when he told MailOnline how talent manager Marty Weiss had groomed him for abuse.
Coleman, who appeared in Growing Pains, confronts one of his alleged abusers Michael Harrah, a Screen Actors Guild child rep, in the documentary.
X-Men and Return of the Living Dead star Peck, a close friend of Charlie Sheen, is named in the documentary as one of the major abusers.
Accuser: Michael Egan III, pictured in April after he filed lawsuits against four Hollywood figures, appears in the film and recounts the alleged abuse he witnessed at pool parties hosted by internet company bosses
Lawsuit: Egan, pictured left as a boy, accused X-Men director Bryan Singer, right, of abuse but later dropped the lawsuits after it emerged he had given inconsistent stories. Singer has always denied the abuse
Change of heart: Egan filed a lawsuit against ex Disney executive David Neuman (pictured), but later dropped it
Anne Henry, who set up BizParentz to help families navigate the pitfalls of Hollywood, claims that a major child star filed charges against 50-year-old Peck anonymously.
'People don't want this out,' she said. 'Brian Peck moved to Nickelodeon. He befriended a pretty major child actor, who filed charges against him.
'Peck pleaded guilty. The victim was anonymous so he was able to continue to work.
'The kid who wants to speak out would have to give up their career.
Named: The film also looks at accusations that Marc Collins-Rector, an internet company owner, pictured, hosted pool parties for men and young boys
'Peck is still working on kids shows and he has been convicted.'
Henry slammed the handful of convictions as 'the tip of the iceberg,' questioning how Peck could continue to work with children.
Diff'rent Strokes star Todd Bridges also talks in the documentary about abuse he suffered as a child star and Corey Feldman is seen in archive footage discussing his own experiences at the hands of older Hollywood men.
The documentary also flashes up a clip of Home Alone star Macauley Culkin discussing his career with David Letterman.
Perhaps the most disturbing story in the documentary involves Mark Ryan, an aspiring model from Cincinnati, Ohio, who turned to drink after being abused in Hollywood.
His parents, Fred and Jane, appear throughout the film, initially proudly showing off Mark's high school sports photos and modeling shots.
Then as the film progresses, they talk about how he returned from Hollywood withdrawn and broken.
After attempting to give up booze cold-turkey, he suffered an alcohol-withdrawal seizure and is now confined to a wheelchair, unable to speak or feed himself.
His friend Egan is seen visiting him at the nursing home, where he needs 24/7 medical care. And his father is in tears as he recounts finding legal papers in Mark's bedroom recounting the sexual abuse he suffered in Hollywood.
Some filmgoers who saw Friday's screening believe if Berg had concentrated on Mark's story she would probably have had another award-winning documentary on her hands.
Instead, An Open Secret has become tangled up in Egan's allegations against Singer, whose girlfriend, Michelle Clunie, is expecting their first baby.
Familiar faces: Diff'rent Strokes star Todd Bridges (left) also talks in the documentary about abuse he suffered as a child star and Corey Feldman (right) is seen in archive footage discussing his own experiences
Accused: Marty Weiss, a talent agent, pleaded no contest in 2012 to two counts of committing lewd acts
His lawyer Martin Singer, who is not related to the Usual Suspects director, told MailOnline: 'My client and his representatives have not seen the movie.
'It's disappointing and sad that Amy Berg would rely on the word of Michael Egan, a proven liar, who recently was admonished by a federal judge for lying in court.
'Egan continues to lie about our client. He has no credibility at all and can hardly be considered a reliable source for Berg's so-called documentary.'
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Antifa!
'Antifa' Waging Civil War on November 4, According to Right Wing Conspiracy
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Communists Funding the Resistance: The Alliance for Global Justice - Capital Research Center
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 23:22
Summary:The obscure left-wing nonprofit, Alliance for Global Justice, punches well above its weight. The organization serves as a conduit, keeping funds flowing to radical and anti-American groups that terrorize conservatives on campus. It has helped to set the tone of the ''resistance'' movement opposed to President Trump.
During the salad days of the Cold War, communists developed a clever tactic for infiltrating the mainstream of American society. Whenever they founded an organization, they almost never used the term ''Communist'' in the name. Rather, communists would give the organization a professional-sounding title.
Groups like American Youth for Democracy, League of American Writers, and National Lawyers Guild were either fronts for the Soviet Union or established by American-born communists. By using an innocuous title, these groups were able to make themselves appealing to mainstream America. Avoiding the term Communist, they were able to hide their true aim, the spread of an ideology that destroyed liberty and caused the deaths of tens of millions of persons.
After the Cold War, communists replaced the veneer of professionalism in their titles with a hefty dollop of sanctimony. Otherwise, the tactic is the same: employ a name that, on its face, few will find objectionable and that hides the group's true goals.
One of the better known such groups is International Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER). This group came to prominence during the Iraq War of the last decade. ANSWER is an umbrella group that organizes anti-war protests. About the only objection one could have was to point out how sanctimonious its name was.
But the group's seemingly innocent title concealed a sinister reality. ANSWER was established by the International Action Center, a front group for the Workers World Party. The Workers World Party wears its communism on it sleeve, openly embracing the totalitarian nightmare that is North Korea.
Another such organization is the Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ). This Tucson, Arizona-based group had largely flown under the radar since its 1998 founding.[1] Yet in February 2017, AfGJ gained notoriety when the Daily Caller revealed that it had funneled $50,000 to Refuse Fascism, the group that was behind the riotous shutdown of a speech that conservative speaker Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to give at the University of California, Berkeley.
AfGJ bills itself as ''A little bit people's think tank, a whole lot of organizing.'' Indeed, everyone on AfGJ's staff has considerable experience in organizing, both at home and abroad. But AfGJ does more than just organize. It helps fund many different left-wing groups through a legal maneuver known as ''fiscal sponsorship.'' And, as explained below, in a nation that is as polarized and has as many discontented young people as today's America does, an organization like AfGJ can prove dangerous.
FundingAccording to its most recent (2015) IRS filing, AfGJ had just under $2.3 million in revenue, $2.1 million in expenses, and $753,909 in assets.
AfGJ's funding reads like a Who's Who of radical left-wing foundations. Since 2004, AfGJ has received over $200,000 in funding from the Tides Foundation. Tides' radicalism has been documented many times by Capital Research Center. Indeed, when other left-wing foundations want to give money to radical leftist groups but don't want to be seen giving it directly, they donate to Tides as a pass-through. (Previous CRC papers on Tides: Green Watch, August 2012; Foundation Watch, July 2011; and Foundation Watch, October 2010.) From 2004 to 2006, the Open Society Institute (now known as Open Society Foundations) gave $100,000 to AfGJ. The Open Society Institute was founded by billionaire George Soros, who seems never to have met a leftist cause he didn't want to fund.
Other such foundations include:
-The Arca Foundation, which has given $245,000 since 2002. CRC's Matthew Vadum described Arca as ''on the cutting edge of radical left-wing causes, embracing Fidel Castro's Cuba, the Palestinian cause, Saul Alinsky-inspired community organizing, and the never-ending social justice campaigns of the Left'' (Foundation Watch, October 2011).
-The Firedoll Foundation has given $101,500 since 2008. Firedoll has also donated to the Palestine Children's Relief Fund, a ''charity'' that had financial ties to the Holy Land Foundation. The founders of the Holy Land Foundation were given prison sentences ranging from 15 to 65 years in 2009 after being convicted of funneling over $15 million to the terrorist organization Hamas.
-The Brightwater Fund has donated $510,00 to AfGJ since 2011. Brightwater also funds the radical leftist Popular Resistance, which has protested at the homes of members of the Federal Communications Commission. In one instance, members of the group blocked the driveway of Commissioner Tom Wheeler.
-The New World Foundation has donated $95,000 since 2003. The philanthropy also gives money to the Tides Foundation. From 1982 to 1988 it was chaired by none other than Hillary Clinton. During that time, it donated money to radical groups like the Christic Institute, Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), and the National Lawyers Guild (the aforementioned communist front group).
-AfGJ has also received $30,000 in grants from the Foundation for Deep Ecology, an environmental foundation that considers human beings to be a plague upon the earth; $172,000 from the Hill Snowdon Foundation, which has given over $5 million since 2000 to the Tides Foundation; and $30,000 from the charitable arm of every leftist's favorite confectionary maker, the Ben and Jerry's Foundation.
AfGJ has also taken money from corporate foundations, including $10,000 from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, $10,000 from the Aetna Foundation, $5,000 from the Bank of America Charitable Gift Fund, $119,000 from the Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund, and $21,100 from the Schwab Charitable Fund (the last three corporations provide ''donor-advised funds'' to individuals or foundations who use the funds to make charitable donations, often anonymously).
Earlier this year, Capital Research Center reported about these funding streams on its blog Bombthrowers, (''Do Bank of America, Fidelity, and Schwab support the Berkeley violence?'' February 8, 2017). The blog post asked:
Now that esteemed companies like Bank of America, Fidelity Investments, and Charles Schwab Corporation know that the money they give to [AfGJ] can be funneled to violent groups like Refuse Fascism, do they condone violence like that which occurred in Berkeley?
Do they approve of mobs that prevent conservative speakers from being heard?
And, if they don't, will they stop funding [AfGJ]?
This prompted a response from Adam Banker of Media Relations at Fidelity Charitable. In his email, Banker stated that Fidelity Charitable is a national donor-advised fund and that such funds ''are cause-neutral charitable giving vehicles that enable those who fund their own donor-advised fund accounts to recommend grants from those accounts to IRS-qualified, 501(c)(3) public charities.'' Grants ''recommended by donors do not, in any way, represent an endorsement by Fidelity Charitable or Fidelity Investments.'' (Again, Bank of America Charitable Gift Fund and the Schwab Charitable Fund also provide donor-advised funds.)
Refuse Fascism
Fair enough. However, this writer replied to Banker by asking if Fidelity would allow future donations to the AfGJ now that it was aware AfGJ sponsored a violent group like Refuse Fascism. Banker did not respond. I followed up with Banker for this article, and posed the same question to the Aetna Foundation, Schwab Charitable Fund, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and Bank of America Charitable Gift Fund. Only Schwab Charitable responded:
Schwab Charitable account holders recommend grants to charities of their choice. These recommendations do not reflect the views of Schwab Charitable, its management, or employees.
Our role is not to encourage or discourage individuals from making donations to specific, eligible charities. Our role is to ensure that charities are eligible to receive grants recommended by donors. The Internal Revenue Service determines which organizations are eligible charities, and we rely on the IRS's judgment. We verify each organization's charitable status regularly, and if a charity loses its eligible status, we stop approving grants to that organization.
Apparently corporate donor-advised funds will facilitate donations to a tax-exempt organization regardless of what that organization does or believes.
Is AfGJ Really 'Communist'?Calling an organization communist is potentially inflammatory and, in some cases, defamatory. The term has very negative connotations in the United States, albeit well-deserved ones. Thus, it is important to be precise when defining communism.
A communist is someone who, in theory, supports an economic and social system in which all property and resources are controlled by a classless society and not by individuals. In practice, being a communist means supporting a government run by a small elite whose members control most of society's resources and put severe restrictions on individual liberty.
Does AfGJ fit that definition? The ''Our Principles'' page of the AfGJ's website proclaims, ''We are anti-capitalist without rigidly adhering to any one utopian alternative economic model.'' It also states, ''We support group rights as equal to or superior to the rights of individuals articulated by 18th Century European men.'' Anti-capitalist, utopian economic model, group rights over individual rights'--that fits the first part of the definition of communist quite well.
But what about the second part? There are two countries in the world that few would dispute are run by communist regimes, Cuba and North Korea. James Jordan, an employee of AfGJ, boasts that he ''got to visit Cuba before Pres[ident] Obama did. There was not nearly the fanfare, but I can say I experienced some moments of warmth that may have even exceeded what the president encountered.''
Jordan visited the island prison twice in 2015. In his description of his visits he focuses on ''myths that persist until this day'' that ''have been the driving force shaping US policy towards Cuba.'' One of those myths is that there is no freedom of religion in Cuba. Jordan says, ''I can say categorically in both of my visits that I saw absolutely no evidence of any kind of suppression of the right to worship, or not to worship, as one pleased.'' One suspects he didn't look too hard.
Another myth is that ''there is no freedom of speech or dissent and that censorship is rampant'' in Cuba. Jordan writes, ''I did hear dissent openly expressed. More often I heard nuanced criticisms of the government made by persons who were nonetheless supportive, but they recognized some problems and had ideas on how to make things better.'' Jordan follows that up with this whopper:
My general impression was that the Cuban people I spoke with, whether dissidents, critical supporters or 100% gung-ho fans of the socialist government seemed significantly less paranoid and worried about surveillance and government repression than my fellow Leftist activists living here in the United States, especially since passage of the Patriot Act and its spawn. It amazes me that pundits in the United States will still drone on about the lack of freedom in Cuba, and that many find these over-the-top pronouncements to be valid. They seem to forget or ignore that we are living in the nation with the world's largest rate of incarceration of its population (even though crime rates have been going down since the 1970s), in a land where people just assume the NSA, FBI and a variety of other initials are keeping tabs on us, in a nation that in fact has hundreds of political prisoners.
We in the U.S. can laugh ourselves silly at Jordan's useful idiocy. Armando Valladares and 'scar El­as Biscet, dissidents who spent decades in Fidel Castro's gulags, would no doubt be less amused.
The staff at AfGJ are also able to suspend disbelief regarding the totalitarian nightmare that is North Korea. Stansfield Smith, a committed Marxist and frequent contributor to AfGJ's website, visited North Korea in 2013 when tensions were particularly high over North Korea's nuclear weapons program. On AfGJ's website Smith wrote, ''I asked my Korean tours guides to be interviewed so I could present their views to US people'' on the escalating tension in the region.
Smith took at face value his tour guides' claims that the tension was due to American, South Korean, and Japanese hostility, that North Korea developed nuclear weapons to protect itself from U.S. aggression, and that North Korea negotiated with the U.S. over nuclear weapons ''but the U.S. broke agreements, and increased sanctions five times.''
Stansfield Smith
The biggest howler came in response to Smith's question about the effect of U.S. sanctions:
The sanctions affect every household, every individual in (North Korea). There are power cuts, a heating and energy shortage, a food problem. Even you visiting tourists are affected by the sanctions, as you see with your hotels. There is a lack of oil and spare parts for machinery.
For loyal communists in an organization like AfGJ it is axiomatic that North Korea's economic problems are the result of U.S. ''aggression.'' It would never occur to them that such problems are the result of Pyongyang's central planning. Nor does it occur to Smith that his tour guides are toeing the party line because if they didn't, they'd be lined up and shot.
It's not clear how anyone can be so patently deluded decades after the barbarity of communist regimes all over the world has become common knowledge. What is clear is that AfGJ does its best to put a warm, kind face on two of the most brutal regimes on the planet. As such, AfGJ fits the second part of the definition of communist to a T.
Hard Core Left-Wing LeadershipThe Alliance for Global Justice finds its origins in an organization founded in 1979 called the Nicaragua Network, a group that was dedicated to supporting the Marxist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. By the 1990s the Nicaragua Network was running a number of international campaigns involving World Bank protests and labor rights. According to AfGJ's website, when a group named Nicaragua Network tried to organize campaigns that had little to do with Nicaragua, it confused its activists and donors. In response, members of the Nicaragua Network formed the Alliance for Global Justice in 1998.
AfGJ was initially headquartered in Washington, D.C. It still maintains an office there, and its most recent IRS filing lists a telephone number with DC's 202 area code, but in 2013 AfGJ moved its primary headquarters to Tucson, Arizona, according to its IRS disclosures.
Katherine Hoyt and Chuck Kaufman have served as ''National Co-Coordinators'' for AfGJ, which they joined as staff members in 2003. Both have long histories of involvement in far-left causes. Hoyt received a Ph.D. in political science from Rutgers University. In the 1960s, she moved to Nicaragua where in 1967 she married Dr. Bayardo Gonzalez. She was an active supporter of the Sandinistas prior to their overthrow of the corrupt Somoza regime.
When the Sandinistas advanced against the Somoza government in 1979, she and her husband permitted the Sandinista guerrillas to use her house. At one point, according to Hoyt, the guerillas stockpiled Molotov cocktails in her dining room.
After the coup, Hoyt went to work for the Sandinista government, ultimately working as a translator for the national legislature. After leaving Nicaragua, she was involved in numerous leftist groups and causes, including the Nicaraguan Network, the Pledge of Resistance, and the Michigan Interfaith Committee on Central American Human Rights. Recently, she stepped down as a Co-Coordinator for AfGJ but has stayed on as an advisor.
Kaufman has long been active in anti-war movements and Latin American ''Solidarity'' networks. His biography states that he was one of the original founders of International ANSWER, the communist group with affinity for North Korea mentioned earlier. More recently, he has been coordinator of the Nicaragua Network and Venezuela Solidarity Network.
AfGJ provides fiscal sponsorship services that fund groups that do not have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status from the Internal Revenue Service. This means AfGJ is a ''pass through'' entity that allows donors who want to give to a group that lacks tax-exempt status to donate instead to the AfGJ. This mechanism helps individual donors, who may now deduct the donation from their income taxes, and also helps foundation donors, who are generally forbidden to give to groups that lack nonprofit status. It also helps the groups that finally receive the monies, because they don't have to report on their activities to the public and, if convenient, they can pop up, perform legally dubious actions, and then disappear with no accountability. AfGJ takes a 7 to 8 percent administrative fee from the money that it passes on to other groups.
The purpose of AfGJ's fiscal sponsorship service, according to its IRS filing, is ''to help the progressive movement grow and gain more influence on regional, national, and international levels.'' AfGJ claims to have supported over 85 groups in this manner.
Who's the Fascist?On February 1, 2017, a group of about 150 masked thugs rioted before the scheduled speech of conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos at U.C. Berkeley. They caused injuries and over $100,000 worth of property damage on campus and, according to the Downtown Berkeley Association, another $400,000 to $500,000 worth of damage elsewhere. The university cancelled Yiannopoulos' speech.
A group calling itself Refuse Fascism organized the thugs. Refuse Fascism was launched in December 2016 as the Left lost its collective mind in the wake of Donald Trump's election victory. Its website proclaims, ''It's Fascism: Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!''
Its leaders appeared to have no compunctions about causing the Berkeley riot, because they brag it was ''righteous.'' Calling Yiannopoulos a ''major fascist operative,'' Refuse Fascism justified shutting down his speech'' with the assertion, ''Milo Yiannopoulos is not engaging in 'free speech.' He is consciously spearheading the Nazification of the American University.'' Lastly, Refuse Fascism declared, ''These protests should be supported and defended by all those who value critical thought.''
Yet if one visits Refuse Fascism's website, it becomes readily apparent that critical thinking is not the group's strong suit. The website never actually explains why the Trump administration or Yiannopoulos are fascist. (Perhaps Mike Pence goosesteps into his office every day, or Milo's cameraman wears a brown shirt?) The silliest part of the website is the page that purports to list Trump's ''crimes against humanity,'' which include revoking ''federal guidelines that mandated transgender students have the right to use public restrooms that match their gender identity,'' signing ''a law giving states the option to deny funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that provide legal abortions,'' and refusing ''to hold regular press briefings; attack[ing] and threaten[ing] individual reporters and news outlets, and'... tweet[ing] a video of himself beating up a CNN reporter.'' Refuse Fascism doesn't explain how such actions rise to the level of, say, genocide.
AfGJ didn't appear to have any regrets about being a pass-through for Refuse Fascism. When the Daily Caller contacted AfGJ about Refuse Fascism's role in the Berkeley riot, Co-coordinator Kaufman responded, ''AfGJ acts as fiscal sponsor for Refuse Fascism which means we process tax-deductible donations for them. As long as their use of the money falls into areas permitted for tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations, we don't involve ourselves one way or the other in their program work.'' Just a guess, but provoking a riot probably doesn't qualify for tax-exempt status.
More recently, Refuse Fascism claimed to be a big part of protests at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Those protests turned violent as well, with hundreds of police officers injured. It's not clear whether Refuse Fascism took part in the violence.
Despite the riot in Berkeley, AfGJ still assists Refuse Fascism. The fundraising part of Refuse Fascism's website states: ''To support our educational activities and make a tax-deductible donation by mail, make your check out to Alliance for Global Justice'' '... designate Refuse Fascism in the memo and mail to the address above. RefuseFascism.org is a fiscally sponsored project of the Alliance for Global Justice, a registered 501(c)3.''
It seems hypocritical for an organization like AfGJ, which supposedly promotes ''peace'' around the world, to support a violent group. But AfGJ's commitment to peace is just a matter of convenience. The group states in its principles that, ''We do not criticize the strategies and tactics of authentic organizations of the oppressed. Our parent organization, the Nicaragua Network, was founded to support an armed revolution.'' It claims to respect pacifism but does ''not support imposing that personal belief on others, especially the marginalized and oppressed.'' The leaders of AfGJ see their role as articulating the ''priorities of our oppressed partners rather than to tell them what we think is best for them.'' Presumably Refuse Fascism is somehow an ''oppressed group,'' and thus AfGJ won't criticize its strategies and tactics, even violent ones.
Ultimately, what may be most disturbing about Refuse Fascism, aside from its violent nature, is the irony of its name. After all, what the group did at Berkeley came much closer to resembling Kristallnacht than anything the Trump administration or Yiannopoulos has done.
Other ''Solidarity'' ProjectsSince 2000, AfGJ has raised over $2.2 million in grants for an organization called the Chiapas Media Project. Chiapas is the southernmost state of Mexico and the base of operations for the Zapatista Army of National Liberation, known more commonly as the Zapatistas. While it is hard to nail down the exact ideology of the Zapatistas, it is undoubtedly a left-wing movement.
The Chiapas Media Project bills itself as a ''bi-national partnership that provided video equipment, computers and training enabling marginalized indigenous communities in Southern Mexico to create their own media.'' ''Marginalized indigenous communities'' is a euphemism for Zapatista supporters, as is clear from the documentaries produced with support from the Chiapas Media Project. Some documentaries display this in their titles, such as We Are Equal: Zapatista Women Speak and The Silence of the Zapatistas.
For other videos, one has a look a bit beyond the title. For example, the description of The Sacred Land states:
For more then [sic] 500 years indigenous people in Chiapas have been struggling to regain ownership of their lands. Until the Zapatista uprising in 1994, most indigenous people in Chiapas existed by working on large plantations for rich landowners.'... Produced in the autonomous municipality of ''November 17th'' and edited by indigenous video makers, The Sacred Land helps provide a context for the events of 1994 through unique insight into the past. Community members reflect on how life has changed since 1994 and express their hopes and dreams for their collective future.
Is this really a documentary showing the struggles of indigenous people in Chiapas, or is it a veiled justification for the violence unleashed by the Zapatistas? One can't find out for free since the documentaries are not available on YouTube. Rather, this leftist organization sells its videos for $20 each online.
If supporters of the Zapatistas are filming these documentaries, chances are slim that these films come anywhere close to an objective look at the violent conflict between the Zapatistas and the Mexican government. They are more likely pro-Zapatista propaganda that the filmmakers and their funders are trying to pass off as examinations of ''indigenous people.'' Little wonder, then, that AfGJ has been so active in the funding of the Chiapas Media Project.
The other groups that are part of AfGJ's fiscal sponsorship run the gamut of left-wing causes: pro-Palestine, remnants of Occupy Wall Street, LGBT, pro-illegal immigration, anti-prison, and anti-police (a.k.a. Black Lives Matter), and environmentalism. Of particular note are groups like The FANG Collective and We Are Cove Point. FANG, which is short for Fighting Against Natural Gas, and We Are Cove Point are anti-fracking organizations. Although study after study has shown fracking to be safe, that hasn't put a dent in the Left's anti-fracking activism.
As with many groups supported by AfGJ, FANG and We Are Cove Point engage in civil disobedience, i.e., breaking the law to harass private citizens and businesses. Recently, a member of We Are Cove Point was arrested for trespassing on a construction site and trying to deliver a ''People's eviction notice'' to Dominion Construction. In November 2016, FANG activists used bike locks to chain themselves to the door of a TD Bank in Providence, Rhode Island, because TD Bank funded construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
AfGJ's support for anti-fracking groups seems particularly ironic, if not hypocritical, given its constant cries for economic justice. According to one analysis, the fracking boom has created over 4.6 million jobs. Many of those jobs go to working-class people, people that socialists like AfGJ pretend to fight for.
Why AfGJ MattersIt would be easy to dismiss AfGJ as an insignificant group that takes in about $2 million in revenue annually'--a relatively small amount for a group trying to exert both national and international influence. That, however, would be a mistake.
First, many of its employees, such as Hoyt and Kaufman, are experienced organizers who have considerable skills at mobilizing the left-wing grassroots. Additionally, the costs of organizing are much less today than they were a quarter century ago, thanks to the Internet and social media. Just consider the beginning of Refuse Fascism, which AfGJ participated in. Within two months of its founding, the group had enough organizational prowess to cause a riot and shut down a speech at UC Berkeley. Barely eight months later (July 15) it was able to organize nationwide protests.
Of course, organizing is of limited use if people aren't buying what you're selling. In more normal times, when the economy was more robust and the political landscape was less polarized, AfGJ would probably be finding its radicalism a hard sell. The group wouldn't be much more than an irritant, occasionally causing problems, but seldom doing any long-term damage.
But these are not normal times. The U.S. economy has been sluggish for years, and as the recent presidential election suggested, the electorate is more polarized than at any time since the 1960s. In such times many people, especially young people, are looking for easy explanations and simple solutions. Communist organizations like AfGJ are eager to provide them.
Another reason to be concerned is that here in the U.S. and in other nations, a particular demographic is ripe for exploitation by groups like AfGJ: a class of young people who are well-educated but either unemployed or underemployed. Seduced by the false promises of a college education, they often major in soft subjects like sociology or ethnic and gender studies. After they graduate, they find such degrees have little value in the job market, and if they find employment, it's often in jobs that do not require a college degree. Worse, they've often piled up thousands of dollars in student loans that will take decades to pay off. This is borne out by surveys of protesters. A poll of Occupy Wall Street found that 49 percent of the participants were under age 30, and 33 percent were either unemployed or underemployed. A recent study of a left-wing protest in Berlin found 72 percent of the participants under age 30, 92 percent still living with their parents, and a third unemployed.
As the economist Thomas Sowell noted, ''People who have acquired academic degrees, without acquiring any economically meaningful skills, not only face personal disappointment and disaffection with society, but also have often become negative factors in the economy and even sources of danger especially when they lash out at economically successful minorities and ethnically polarize the whole society they live in.''
This is a phenomenon that has occurred in many nations throughout history, including the former Czechoslovakia, India, Hungary, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, Romania, Sri Lanka, and Canada. And now it may be playing out in the United States. Groups like AfGJ will fan the flames of these young people's resentments, focusing their ire on corporations, wealthy people, and conservatives. Fan it enough, and eventually many of these people will act out violently, causing millions of dollars in property damage, injuries, and perhaps even death. Berkeley and Hamburg may be portents of things to come.
David Hogberg is a writer living in Maryland. He is author of Medicare's Victims: How the U.S. Government's Largest Health Care Program Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians.
[1] There is a Seattle, Washington-based group called the ''Community Alliance for Global Justice.'' This is a separate entity unrelated to the Tucson-based group.
About | Alliance for Global Justice
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 23:13
Our Vision
We envision societies which explore and implement alternatives to the unjust domination of governments, global financial institutions and multinational corporations which denigrate the world's peoples and devastate ecosystems. We envision the development of a unified domestic and international movement of transformational grassroots organizations that promote a socially, ecologically and economically just world.
Our Mission
It is the mission of the Alliance for Global Justice to achieve social change and economic justice by helping to build a stronger more unified grassroots movement. We recognize that the concentration of wealth and power is the root cause of oppression requiring us to work together across ideologies, issues and communities. The Alliance nurtures organizations seeking fundamental change in international and national conditions that disempower people, create disparities in access to wealth and power, poison the earth, and plunder its resources.
We support locally-based grassroots organizing by sharing political analysis, mobilizing for direct action, monitoring the centers of corporate and government power, expanding channels of communication, and sharing skills and infrastructure. Our commitment to solidarity and to non-hierarchical democratic process enables us to respectfully listen and respond to each other within the movement.
Four Areas of Struggle
We identify four main areas of interwoven struggle for liberation from Empire and for a better, more beautiful world. These are the struggles:
For Economic Justice''We stand in favor of community-based development versus corporate globalization and privatization. We believe a just society is oriented toward meeting the needs and supporting the sufficiency of its own people, not toward creating vast inequality and mega-profits for those at the top at the expense of the many. We oppose neoliberal economics and its manifestations as Free Trade Agreements and austerity programs imposed on other countries via ''aid'' programs that encourage privatization, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and various other institutions.
Against US Militarism''We recognize that at their roots, militarism and modern wars result from coercive force and violent oppression waged in favor of economic and political systems that seek to concentrate wealth, power and resources in the hands of a privileged few. Spending about as much as the rest of the world combined on military expenditures, the US war machine has become global Capital's ''insurance company'', fighting to open, secure, protect and guard the interests of transnational corporations via US military dominance around the world.
For Real Democracy''We work for participatory democracy and against false democratic forms that reinforce inequality and undermine communities. We denounce electoral processes that give enormous and undue influence to wealthy corporations while marginalizing the decision-making capabilities of our own communities. We consider to be a major part of our international solidarity work the task of exposing and opposing US interference in other countries via the mis-named National Endowment for Democracy and other components of US democracy manipulation efforts.
For Ecological Integrity''We advocate for ecological sustainability, threatened worldwide because of the consumptive excesses of wealthy nations and their constant search for new resources to exploit. Global warming is a direct result of this excess and the drive to put profits before the planet's own health. Another result is the ongoing effort by private, multinational corporations to gain control over natural resources. The communities that live in and are part of an ecosystem should have a direct voice in deciding how its resources will be used and managed, over and above corporate and foreign interests.
In Memory of Trim Bissell (1942-2002)
The art utilized as the background for this website was painted by Trim Bissell. Trim founder and National Co-Coordinator of the Alliance for Global Justice's Campaign for Labor Rights, succumbed after a 20-month battle with a brain tumor and left the ranks of those who struggle for justice and peace. Trim died on June 15, 2002 in the home he shared with his wife, Ruth Evan. He was surrounded by his art, vividly colored paintings and sculptures that were his third passion in life following Ruth and the Campaign for Labor Rights. His memory is carried on in his art and the work of the Alliance for Global Justice.
Donate | In the Name of Humanity We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 23:11
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What You Can Do | In the Name of Humanity We Refuse To Accept a Fascist America
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 23:09
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Come to the next Nov. 4 organizing meeting!
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India / Pakistan
Days of Pakistan depending on US are over: PM Abbasi
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 04:53
ISLAMABAD: The days of Pakistan depending on the US to meet its military and other requirements are over, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi told Arab News.
The world should recognize Pakistan's efforts in fighting the ''world's war'' on terror, he said, in his first interview since returning from the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in September.
''If one source dries up, we have no option but to go to another source. It may cost more, it may consume more resources, but we have to fight that war, and that's what we emphasized to all the people that we met,'' Abbasi added.
''Any sanctions or restraints'... put on our systems only degrades our efforts to fight terror, and it affects the whole equation in this region,'' he said.
''We have major US weapons systems in our military, but we've also diversified. We have Chinese and European systems. Recently, for the first time we inducted Russian attack helicopters.''
Pak-Saudi Relations
Relations with Saudi Arabia are ''as old as Pakistan is,'' said Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
As such, it was ''natural'' for him to make his first visit after assuming office on Aug. 1 to the Kingdom, he said, describing Saudi Arabia as ''our oldest friend.''
Abbasi said that during his visit to Riyadh on Aug. 23, he told Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that in Pakistan ''we have a lot of differences on every issue,'' but ''we only agree on only one thing: Saudi Arabia.''
Abbasi described the visit as ''very cordial,'' adding that they discussed Crown Prince Mohammed's Vision 2030 reform plan.
The prime minister said Saudi Arabia also feels a deep and strong bond with Pakistan. He said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told him that a quarter of last year's Umrah visitors to the Kingdom were from Pakistan. ''They had 8 million Umrah visitors and 2 million came from Pakistan. So, 25 percent of the Umrah visitors were from Pakistan,'' he said.
''There are more than 2.5 million Pakistanis working in Saudi Arabia,'' said Abbasi. ''I also worked there, and visited on and off for almost six years in the mid-1980s.''
The Kingdom ''is like another home to us,'' he added.
''Every household you find here (in Pakistan) has some connection to Saudi Arabia. People have visited for Hajj or Umrah, or they have relatives working there or doing business there.''
Complexity of governance
It has been two months since Abbasi assumed office after being voted in by Parliament via special elections on Aug. 1. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the ruling party, holds the numbers in Pakistan's National Assembly, and Abbasi being a staunch loyalist and trusted comrade of Nawaz Sharif was the suitable choice.
He has hit the ground running, facing a barrage of domestic and international challenges including terrorism, an energy deficit, and economic and regional volatility.
''It's a complex job,'' he said, adding that governing a country with a ballooning population of over 207 million is no walk in the park.
''Pakistan is one of the largest countries in the world'... It's a nuclear power. We have a challenging neighborhood. There's a war on terror in the country. There are issues in Afghanistan. There's a very large foreign military presence there... We have a neighbor to the east with which we've had several wars. They (India) are also a nuclear power. We have a dispute. They occupied Kashmir, which is our territory'... The economic challenge is (also) there.''
Elections
Abbasi, 58, is a US-qualified electrical engineer with a bachelor's degree from the University of California and a masters from George Washington University.
He was a pilot for 40 years, and is Pakistan's first premier to have flown an F-16 aircraft during an air force training exercise.
He entered mainstream politics in 1988 and later became an MP. Being part of a politically connected family helped him become an accomplished politician, being elected to Parliament six times.
Abbasi is also a prosperous businessman, having launched Pakistan's first successful budget airline and keeping it profitable when other private carriers shut down.
The incumbent government's term finishes on June 4, 2018, and he is confident that the next general elections will be held within two months of that.
''Whatever happens, elections will happen on time and in early August. Pakistan will, God willing, have a new government. Hopefully the same party (PML-N) will come to power,'' he said, smiling.
UNGA and US
Abbasi and his delegation held meetings with several ''key players'' on the sidelines of the UNGA, including eight heads of state, the UN secretary-general, US Vice President Mike Pence and international investors.
The meeting with Pence was ''very constructive,'' Abbasi said, adding that there was ''also a small interaction with President (Donald) Trump at his reception.''
This was the first high-level communication between the two allies since Trump strongly criticized Pakistan in his Afghanistan and South Asia strategy that he unveiled on Aug. 21.
''There was no meeting scheduled (with Trump). In fact, the meeting with Vice President Pence wasn't scheduled. It was at their request,'' Abbasi said. ''This was a visit to the UN to basically present Pakistan's case at the General Assembly.''
Bilateral ties
The ''candid'' discussion with Pence was essential for official engagements in the future because when Trump's policy statement on South Asia came out, there were ''a lot of apprehensions on what it meant, and what it meant for Pakistan-US relations,'' Abbasi said.
''I think we moved substantially forward in that direction. Whatever concerns they (the US) have, we've shown our willingness to address those concerns.''
The meeting paved the way for one between Pakistani Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday in Washington.
They discussed Trump's South Asia policy, and Asif told Tillerson that Islamabad pursues a zero-tolerance approach to ''all terrorist and militant groups.''
This was in response to Trump's assertion that Pakistan harbors ''agents of chaos,'' which he blames for Afghanistan's continued instability.
On Tuesday, Defense Secretary James Mattis said the US was willing ''one more time'' to work with Pakistan on Afghanistan, but would resort to measures set by Trump in case of non-compliance regarding the allegations of support for militants.
Abbasi said: ''We can categorically state that we don't provide any sanctuaries to anybody. The bottom line is'... today we have a common objective: To destroy terror and bring peace to Afghanistan.''
Afghanistan
''We're partners in the war on terror, and that's what we emphasized. We emphasized to everybody we met there (at the UNGA) that nobody wants peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan,'' added Abbasi.
''The reality today is that much of the area bordering Pakistan is controlled by the Taliban. The people we're fighting in Pakistan today, their sanctuaries are in Afghanistan, their leadership is living there, the planning is done there, the logistical bases are there, and they regularly cross the border and attack our installations. We recently had a suicide attack on the deputy chairman of the Senate. He survived, but 22 people were killed. It was by an Afghan national who had crossed the border to attack his convoy deep inside Pakistan,'' Abbasi said.
''We're fencing our border. We're open to Afghan liaison officers. We have Afghan refugees here. So if anything is pinpointed and the intelligence is provided, we take action,'' he added. ''Whatever happens in Afghanistan affects us. Whatever happens here affects them.''
India's role
Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan via a solution that ''is owned and led by the Afghans,'' said Abbasi, warning that Washington's desire to include India would be detrimental.
''We don't believe that injecting India into the Pakistan-US relationship will help resolve anything, especially in Afghanistan, where we don't see any role for India. India has a relationship with the US. That is between them and the US.''
Pakistan wants an ''equal relationship or partnership with the US, like every other nation,'' he said.
It wishes to work with the US ''to resolve regional'' and ''global issues'... ranging from the economy to nuclear'' matters.
Cost of war
Pakistan has fought ''a very hard and vicious'' war on terror, said Abbasi, adding that ''200,000 of our troops are deployed. We have 6,500 shaheeds (martyrs) in the army. We have 21,000 of our citizens who've been killed, including police personnel. Almost 35,000 people have been seriously injured.''
He added: ''Nobody has fought a bigger war on terror than we have, with our own resources. Even the most conservative economic estimates of Pakistan's losses are over $120 billion. It has been a very difficult war, but our army has performed very well.''
War on Religion
Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology - MarketWatch
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 20:29
Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology - MarketWatch By Kari Paul
Published: Oct 21, 2017 7:22 am ET
In tumultuous political times, the 18-30 demographic is reaching for the stars.Co-founders of astrology app Co'--Star.
When Coco Layne, a Brooklyn-based producer, meets someone new these days, the first question that comes up in conversation isn't ''Where do you live?'' or ''What do you do?'' but ''What's your sign?''
''So many millennials read their horoscopes every day and believe them,'' Layne, who is involved in a number of nonreligious spiritual practices, said. ''It is a good reference point to identify and place people in the world.''
Interest in spirituality has been booming in recent years while interest in religion plummets, especially among millennials. The majority of Americans now believe it is not necessary to believe in God to have good morals, a study from Pew Research Center released Wednesday found. The percentage of people between the ages of 18 and 29 who ''never doubt existence of God'' fell from 81% in 2007 to 67% in 2012.
Meanwhile, more than half of young adults in the U.S. believe astrology is a science. compared to less than 8% of the Chinese public. The psychic services industry '-- which includes astrology, aura reading, mediumship, tarot-card reading and palmistry, among other metaphysical services '-- grew 2% between 2011 and 2016. It is now worth $2 billion annually, according to industry analysis firm IBIS World.
An image from a market hosted by Catland, where customers can buy occult accessories.
Melissa Jayne, owner of Brooklyn-based ''metaphysical boutique'' Catland, said she has seen a major uptick in interest in the occult in the past five years, especially among New Yorkers in their 20s. The store offers workshops like ''Witchcraft 101,'' ''Astrology 101,'' and a ''Spirit Seance.''
''Whether it be spell-casting, tarot, astrology, meditation and trance, or herbalism, these traditions offer tangible ways for people to enact change in their lives,'' she said. ''For a generation that grew up in a world of big industry, environmental destruction, large and oppressive governments, and toxic social structures, all of which seem too big to change, this can be incredibly attractive.''
Co'--Star, a new app for millennials
Like the existence of God, however, there's no actual scientific proof. Astrology has been debunked by numerous academic studies, but Banu Guler, co-founder of artificial intelligence powered astrology app Co'--Star said the lack of structure in the field is exactly what drives young, educated professionals to invest their time and money in the practice.
How to invest in the future of health care(2:48)Here's everything you need to know to invest in the next generation of medical, biotech and pharmaceutical companies.
''It's very different from the way we usually work and live and date, where everything is hyper-mediated and rational,'' she said. ''There is a belief vacuum: we go from work to a bar to dinner and a date, with no semblance of meaning. Astrology is a way out of it, a way of putting yourself in the context of thousands of years of history and the universe.''
Case in point: Co'--Star's servers were so overwhelmed by demand after it launched on October 12 that the app crashed three times in its first week.
Astrology isn't the only spiritual field overwhelmed by demand: Danielle Ayoka, the founder of spiritual subscription service Mystic Lipstick, said her customer base is growing exponentially. The self-described astrologer sells a ''mystic box'' subscription, which includes crystals, ''reiki-infused bath salts,'' and incense customized to the unique energy of the current moon cycle for $14.99 a month. She says she's seen 75% increase in her audience in the past year.
''When I started my journey in 2010, I was the weirdo,'' she said. ''Now it is becoming more and more normalized, and I believe it is because more people are looking to heal. Millennials are much more open-minded.''
One Mystic Lipstick box, which is $14.99 a month.
With this overwhelming demand comes a rise of products claiming metaphysical benefits, not all of which take the cultural context of the occult into account, notes Layne. Urban Outfitters sells sage, a product that has its roots in indigenous cleansing ceremonies, for $18 a pop and a crystal mobile for $32.
Actress turned CEO Gwyneth Paltrow sells a variety of spiritual wares on her website, many of which are borrowed or ''inspired'' by other cultures. A jade egg that costs $66 has its roots in ancient Taoist practice. Her $85 ''Goop Medicine Bag'' is ''inspired by the Shaman's medicine bag from various indigenous traditions,'' and a $59 Tarot card deck features ''mystical artwork'' that mirrors Native American patterns.
But Layne, whose interest in Eastern medicine is rooted in her Taiwanese heritage, said white women are often able to profit from ancient practices that are not theirs to sell.
''It is really important to give credit to who is doing the work,'' Layne said. ''There is a whole culture of white women who capitalize off of spirituality, but it all comes from people of color. People need to do their homework: being in touch with your spiritual side is a natural, human thing to do. To be able to connect yourself is essential to healing not only your own wounds, but healing together.''
Also see:
See original version of this story
Copyright (C)2017 MarketWatch, Inc.
All rights reserved.
By using this site you agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy(Updated Oct. 19, 2017) .
Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology - MarketWatch By Kari Paul
Published: Oct 21, 2017 7:22 am ET
In tumultuous political times, the 18-30 demographic is reaching for the stars.Co-founders of astrology app Co'--Star.
When Coco Layne, a Brooklyn-based producer, meets someone new these days, the first question that comes up in conversation isn't ''Where do you live?'' or ''What do you do?'' but ''What's your sign?''
''So many millennials read their horoscopes every day and believe them,'' Layne, who is involved in a number of nonreligious spiritual practices, said. ''It is a good reference point to identify and place people in the world.''
Interest in spirituality has been booming in recent years while interest in religion plummets, especially among millennials. The majority of Americans now believe it is not necessary to believe in God to have good morals, a study from Pew Research Center released Wednesday found. The percentage of people between the ages of 18 and 29 who ''never doubt existence of God'' fell from 81% in 2007 to 67% in 2012.
Meanwhile, more than half of young adults in the U.S. believe astrology is a science. compared to less than 8% of the Chinese public. The psychic services industry '-- which includes astrology, aura reading, mediumship, tarot-card reading and palmistry, among other metaphysical services '-- grew 2% between 2011 and 2016. It is now worth $2 billion annually, according to industry analysis firm IBIS World.
An image from a market hosted by Catland, where customers can buy occult accessories.
Melissa Jayne, owner of Brooklyn-based ''metaphysical boutique'' Catland, said she has seen a major uptick in interest in the occult in the past five years, especially among New Yorkers in their 20s. The store offers workshops like ''Witchcraft 101,'' ''Astrology 101,'' and a ''Spirit Seance.''
''Whether it be spell-casting, tarot, astrology, meditation and trance, or herbalism, these traditions offer tangible ways for people to enact change in their lives,'' she said. ''For a generation that grew up in a world of big industry, environmental destruction, large and oppressive governments, and toxic social structures, all of which seem too big to change, this can be incredibly attractive.''
Co'--Star, a new app for millennials
Like the existence of God, however, there's no actual scientific proof. Astrology has been debunked by numerous academic studies, but Banu Guler, co-founder of artificial intelligence powered astrology app Co'--Star said the lack of structure in the field is exactly what drives young, educated professionals to invest their time and money in the practice.
How to invest in the future of health care(2:48)
Here's everything you need to know to invest in the next generation of medical, biotech and pharmaceutical companies.
''It's very different from the way we usually work and live and date, where everything is hyper-mediated and rational,'' she said. ''There is a belief vacuum: we go from work to a bar to dinner and a date, with no semblance of meaning. Astrology is a way out of it, a way of putting yourself in the context of thousands of years of history and the universe.''
Case in point: Co'--Star's servers were so overwhelmed by demand after it launched on October 12 that the app crashed three times in its first week.
Astrology isn't the only spiritual field overwhelmed by demand: Danielle Ayoka, the founder of spiritual subscription service Mystic Lipstick, said her customer base is growing exponentially. The self-described astrologer sells a ''mystic box'' subscription, which includes crystals, ''reiki-infused bath salts,'' and incense customized to the unique energy of the current moon cycle for $14.99 a month. She says she's seen 75% increase in her audience in the past year.
''When I started my journey in 2010, I was the weirdo,'' she said. ''Now it is becoming more and more normalized, and I believe it is because more people are looking to heal. Millennials are much more open-minded.''
One Mystic Lipstick box, which is $14.99 a month.
With this overwhelming demand comes a rise of products claiming metaphysical benefits, not all of which take the cultural context of the occult into account, notes Layne. Urban Outfitters sells sage, a product that has its roots in indigenous cleansing ceremonies, for $18 a pop and a crystal mobile for $32.
Actress turned CEO Gwyneth Paltrow sells a variety of spiritual wares on her website, many of which are borrowed or ''inspired'' by other cultures. A jade egg that costs $66 has its roots in ancient Taoist practice. Her $85 ''Goop Medicine Bag'' is ''inspired by the Shaman's medicine bag from various indigenous traditions,'' and a $59 Tarot card deck features ''mystical artwork'' that mirrors Native American patterns.
But Layne, whose interest in Eastern medicine is rooted in her Taiwanese heritage, said white women are often able to profit from ancient practices that are not theirs to sell.
''It is really important to give credit to who is doing the work,'' Layne said. ''There is a whole culture of white women who capitalize off of spirituality, but it all comes from people of color. People need to do their homework: being in touch with your spiritual side is a natural, human thing to do. To be able to connect yourself is essential to healing not only your own wounds, but healing together.''
Also see:
See original version of this story
Copyright (C)2017 MarketWatch, Inc.
All rights reserved.
By using this site you agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy(Updated Oct. 19, 2017) .
AFRICOM
U.S. will expand counterterrorism focus in Africa, Mattis tells senators - The Washington Post
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 16:17
The military is shifting its counterterrorism strategy to focus more on Africa, put decision-making authority in the hands of commanders in the field, and expand the ability to use lethal force against suspected terrorists, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told two senior members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Friday.
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters that Mattis outlined the new rules of engagement during back-to-back briefings for Graham and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the panel. Graham added that he supported Mattis's plans, and that the secretary had pledged to work more closely with lawmakers to keep them informed about expanding operations and newly identified threats for Congress to exercise oversight authority.
''The war is morphing,'' Graham said. ''You're going to see more actions in Africa, not less; you're going to see more aggression by the United States toward our enemies, not less; you're going to have decisions being made not in the White House but out in the field.''
Graham said that other changes to the Pentagon's counterterrorism policy would include the adoption of a ''status-based targeting'' system for suspected terrorists, meaning troops will be able to use lethal force against a suspected member of a terrorist organization even if that person does not pose an immediate threat.
He said Mattis had informed them that the military would also be changing how it decides when to use ground troops and when troops should be deployed in more of an advisory role.
The changes come as lawmakers have pressed the White House and Pentagon for details about what led to the Oct. 4 ambush in Niger in which four U.S. Special Forces soldiers were killed. Graham indicated that lawmakers are determined to learn what led to the soldiers' deaths and whether they could have been prevented.
The ambush occurred near Niger's border with Mali, where al-Qaeda's North Africa branch has been battling both the government and a French-led coalition seeking to flush them from desert hideouts. Of specific concern is whether U.S. intelligence assets in the region failed to detect the existence of a threat to American personnel in the region.
Graham said it's too early to know for certain.
''In war you fail, you make mistakes and the whole goal is to learn from your mistakes and not repeat them,'' he said. ''The one thing I don't want to do is jump to conclusions.''
[McCain threatens to subpoena Trump aides for information on Niger attack that left 4 U.S. troops dead]
McCain threatened Thursday to use a subpoena if necessary to compel information from the Trump administration. Mattis appeared on Capitol Hill a day after McCain's warning. After meeting with McCain for about 15 minutes, Mattis told reporters that military investigators would provide him with information about the Niger attack ''as soon as they can,'' but he would not commit to a specific timeline about when more information would be available.
As chairman of the Senate committee with primary oversight over the military, McCain argued, he must be better informed of such operations ahead of time.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Oct. 19 that the ambush in Niger earlier this month that killed four U.S. soldiers is under investigation. "We do not have all the accurate information yet," he said. (Reuters)
But it remained unclear what kind of ''operation'' the slain soldiers were involved in. ''The U.S. military does not have an active, direct combat mission in Niger,'' AFRICOM said in a statement Friday. It said about 800 military personnel there provide support to the U.S. Embassy in Niamey, the capital; and to support construction at what it called a ''temporary, expeditionary contingency'' being built at Agadez, in the middle of the country. The Washington Post reported in 2014 that the United States had received permission from the Niger government to construct a drone base near Agadez.
AFRICOM, the command said in the statement, provides ''training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces, including support for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance to facilitate their efforts to target violent extremist organizations.'' Security operations, it said, ''are executed almost exclusively'' by partnered security forces.
U.S. forces, Mattis said earlier this week, provide refueling, intelligence and surveillance support for more than 4,000 French troops. A permanent French air base is in Niamey. Trump, in a June letter to Congress listing overseas military operations under the War Powers Resolution, described the Niger deployments in similar terms, along with an additional 300 U.S. military personnel in neighboring Cameroon. Both missions were begun, and regularly reported to Congress, by the Obama administration.
The frustrations McCain expressed toward the Pentagon went further than just Niger. After several critical statements earlier in the week, however, he struck a more conciliatory tone after his Friday meeting with Mattis, noting that they were ''clearing up a lot'' and ''continu[ing] to try to improve our lines of communication.''
When asked, McCain said he would base his decision on subpoenaing the administration ''on whether we get the witnesses or not.''
Mattis pledged to be forthcoming, saying ''when the Senate and the House calls, they always show up, is my policy.''
''And I have the technology to make that happen,'' Mattis added.
Part of the Pentagon's new order, Graham said, is a pledge from Mattis that the military will brief lawmakers more regularly on the status of operations and new designations of threats as they are being made.
''I will insist, as the war expands and as the rules change to be more aggressive, that Congress is informed more often so that Congress can exercise our constitutional authority whether or not we want to authorize this operation through the appropriations process,'' Graham said.
But he warned against trying to ''rein in'' the military's new strategy through any type of congressional action, guessing that the new rules would only intensify a debate over an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against the Islamic State that is expected to begin in coming days.
Graham said that there would be a role for the intelligence community to play in particular in keeping Congress informed about the status of operations, through members of the intelligence committee. The chairman and ranking minority-party member of the Senate Armed Services Committee are ex officio members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are due back on Capitol Hill on Oct. 30 for a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about whether the administration believes a new authorization for use of military force is necessary.
According to Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), co-author with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) of the Senate's most popular AUMF proposal, the Niger attack only accentuates the need for Congress to specifically authorize the military's operations against the Islamic State.
''The many questions surrounding the death of American service members in Niger show the urgent need to have a public discussion about the current extent of our military operations around the world,'' Kaine said in a statement. ''A new AUMF is not only legally necessary, it would also send an important message of resolve to the American public and our troops that we stand behind them in their mission.''
When asked, Mattis would not give his opinion on whether the Niger attack changed the debate about a new AUMF.
But Graham was adamant Friday that it should not.
''There'll be a lot of members of Congress who say, wait a minute, if you can go anywhere you want to go, you can kill anybody you want to kill, then we need to rein you in,'' Graham said. ''That's not the way it works.''
''It's up to Congress to have oversight of these operations and if we don't like what they're doing then we can cut off funding,'' Graham said.
He said that he expected McCain and Mattis to work out the frequency and conditions under which the Pentagon would brief Congress about ongoing operations under the expanded counterterrorism rules of engagement.
Read more at PowerPost
Karen DeYoung contributed to this report.
EuroLand
European Union Voting To Lower Age Of Consent To 13 - Your News Wire
Sun, 22 Oct 2017 10:27
The European Parliament will vote this week on a motion which could lower the legal age of sexual consent from 16 to 13 years of age across the European Union.
Laurent Henry proposed the motion which ''could free thousands of unjustly convicted prisoners'' if the parliament decides to pass it.
''Our prisons are filled with young men that have been robbed of their youth, condemned to rot in jail for an act that should not be a crime. Why are we denying these young men the chance to play a more positive role in modern society?'', he said before the assembly Tuesday.
''Some even argue that a law on the age of consent has become superfluous and should no longer exist.''
''Outdated laws''
Laws on pedophilia are outdated claims top German immigration attorney, Hans Goldsberg.
''There will be the need for a consolidation of national laws under the current European system on the legal aspects of sex. Most of these national rulings don't represent the modern social complexities of our times and are legally baseless. Some even argue that a law on the age of consent has become superfluous and should no longer exist,'' claims the lawyer who has worked for more than 35 years in his field of work.
Support for the European motion also exists in the United States.
''Just think about how 2,000 years ago the Greeks were a much more open society. We must remember that love between a man and a boy where not as taboo as today,'' explains cultural anthropologist, Thomas Black, from the University of Michigan.
Adults who have sex with underage children now face from two to six years in prison and up to 12 years according to current European law if they have performed oral or penetrative sex.
Currently the age of consent varies by jurisdiction across Europe and is currently set between 14 and 18.
Baxter DmitryBaxter Dmitry is a writer at Your News Wire. He covers politics, business and entertainment. Speaking truth to power since he learned to talk, Baxter has travelled in over 80 countries and won arguments in every single one. Live without fear.Email: baxter@yournewswire.com
Follow: @baxter_dmitry
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Service Goats
Tightening the leash on fake service dogs - Alaska Dispatch News
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 20:41
Nation/World Author: Michael Ollove, Stateline.org Updated: 18 hours agoPublished 1 day agoChris Slavin of Danvers, Massachusetts, with her 3-year-old service dog, Earle. Massachusetts is considering a bill that would crack down on people who misrepresent their pets as service dogs. Nineteen other states have adopted similar measures. (Chris Slavin)
WASHINGTON '-- Chris Slavin was in an elevator a couple years ago with Earle, her yellow Lab service dog, sitting calmly beside her wheelchair. The elevator doors opened and in walked a woman holding a purse. In the purse was a teacup poodle the color of apricots.
The doors closed just as the poodle spotted Earle. That's when the trouble started. In an instant, the poodle leaped from the purse, flung himself at Earle, and clamped his teeth into the bigger dog's snout, leaving Earle bleeding onto the elevator floor.
"As soon as this occurred the woman said the poodle was a service dog," said Slavin, who has a severe spinal injury that requires use of the wheelchair. "She then said he wasn't a service dog but an emotional support dog. Finally, she admitted he was a pet she just wanted to bring in the building with her."
Incidents like that one in Reading, Massachusetts, not far from where Slavin lives in Danvers, have spurred 19 states to enact laws cracking down on people who try to pass off their pets as service animals. The push has been gathering steam in recent years: Virginia implemented its new law in 2016, and Colorado followed suit this year. Massachusetts is now considering a similar proposal.
"Today, any pet owner can go online and buy a vest for a dog to pass it off as a service animal to gain access to restaurants, hotels and places of business," said Republican state Rep. Kimberly Ferguson, who introduced the Massachusetts bill. "Their animals aren't trained and end up misbehaving in these public places, which gives real service dogs a bad name."
Service dogs, which are trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability, were first used by people with vision and hearing impairments. They are now also used by those who use wheelchairs or have other impairment in mobility, people who are prone to seizures or need to be alerted to medical conditions, like low blood sugar, and people with autism or mental illness. The American Humane Association, which promotes the welfare and safety of animals, says there are 20,000 service dogs working in the U.S.
Supporters of the new laws compare those misbehaving dog owners to people who acquire handicap signs so they can park in spaces intended for disabled people. The laws make it a misdemeanor to represent an untrained dog as a service animal, and usually come with fines of no more than $500 for an incident.
But because there is no certification or official national registry of legitimate service dogs, there is no way to verify whether a dog has undergone rigorous training to become a service animal.
That makes it hard to enforce the laws, said David Favre, a law professor at Michigan State University College of Law and editor of its Animal Legal and Historical Center website, which follows public policy issues related to animals. He said he's not aware of anyone who has been prosecuted anywhere for violating them.
Rather, he said, the laws are largely symbolic, and meant to educate dog owners as well as people who let pets into spaces where they don't belong. "Maybe you can scare some people into being honest."
People who pass off their dogs as service animals in order to take them into stores, restaurants, libraries, sporting events and offices are a real problem, he said, for the proprietors of those establishments, their customers and disabled people who genuinely rely on the help of their service dogs.
"A service animal is trained to be in public and to be under control and non-intrusive and not bark," Favre said. "They are trained not to be a nuisance in any way. You should hardly even know they are there."
Because of Earle's training as a service dog, Slavin said, when the poodle attacked him, "My dog never moved, never retaliated, never barked." He did nothing. That is the way a service dog is trained. They are not going to ever be aggressive. Ever."
Earle performs many functions for Slavin. He picks up items she drops, retrieves keys, opens doors, puts objects like library books on counters that Slavin can't reach, and returns change or credit cards to her after purchases. She credits Earle with "enabling me to truly become part of my community."
Earle, a 3-year-old service dog, helps his owner, Chris Slavin, cast her ballot in the 2016 presidential election at the Danvers, Massachusetts, town clerk's office. (Chris Slavin) Service dogs receive up to two years of training, which can cost more than $40,000. Before they are placed, their new owners are often required to live at the training center for a week or two to learn about caring and interacting with their dogs. Many training centers provide the dogs free of charge to disabled clients, defraying their costs through fundraising. The waiting time for a service dog is often two years or longer.
But for people who want to pass off their pet as a service dog, it's easy enough to be convincing. Anyone can go online and purchase for about $20 the types of vests that legitimate service dogs usually wear.
The vests may help the fake service dogs gain entry, but their behavior, and that of their owners, often gives them away. Trained service dogs don't go off-leash, bark, knock things off shelves, jump on people, play or fight with other dogs, or grab food off tables, trainers say.
And owners of real service dogs don't carry them in shopping carts or purses. "The rule is four on the floor," with all four feet on the ground except when a dog is performing a task, said Katelynne Steinke, a paraplegic in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with her own yellow Lab service dog.
The problem is that the proprietors of establishments where people bring their dogs have no way of determining whether a dog is a real service animal.
The American with Disabilities Act requires all places open to the public, such as businesses, government agencies and entertainment venues, to give access to service dogs and their owners. And it permits them to ask only two questions: whether the dog is required because of a disability and what tasks the dog is trained to perform. It is illegal to request documentation for the dog or to ask the nature of the owner's disability.
There's another complication: the growing use of "emotional support dogs," which are intended to provide comfort to those with anxiety or other emotional problems. Some of them may have received special training, although nothing as rigorous as the training for service dogs. (Emotional support dogs are not covered under the ADA and can legally be denied access.)
Some service dog owners say many businesses, unable to tell fake service dogs from real ones, allow all of them in. Many owners of service dogs avoid those places for fear of exposing their animals to danger from untrained dogs. Other businesses, they say, simply bar all dogs from the premises, even if it violates the ADA.
The National Disability Rights Network, which advocates on behalf of people with disabilities, is sympathetic to those who want to crack down on pet owners who misrepresent their dogs as service animals. But Ken Shiotani, a senior staff attorney with the organization, said the laws should aim to educate, rather than punish, and the penalties for violations should be minimal. "We want to have a positive impact on people to help them realize that what they've done has this very negative effect."
Advocates for the laws agree.
Cathy Zemaitis, who helped draft the Massachusetts bill and is director of development for National Education for Assistance Dog Services, a Massachusetts group that says it has trained over 1,700 dogs since 1976, said the laws should launch a national effort to teach people not to put dogs in situations they are not trained for '-- and to educate the public on the need for legitimately trained dogs.
The long-term goal, Zemaitis said, is the creation of a national certification program and registry for legitimately trained service dogs. "This is the beginning of a much larger conversation we need to have."
Stateline.org provides daily, independent reporting and analysis on trends in state policy. It's a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts.
DACA
Mexico joins Texas muncipalities suing over 'sanctuary city' law - UPI.com
Sun, 22 Oct 2017 14:07
Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Mexico's government has joined Texas municipalities suing the state for its new law barring local governments from implementing what are known as "sanctuary city" policies protecting undocumented immigrants
Mexican government lawyers said Texas Senate Bill 4 forces the nation to treat Texas differently than other states.
"Given the importance of the international relationship between the U.S. and Mexico, it is essential that Mexico be able to approach its discussions with one consistent negotiating partner rather than having to enter into 50 different negotiations with each state regarding the type and extent of immigration enforcement that will occur in that state," the Mexican government wrote in an amicus brief filed late Thursday and obtained by McClatchy.
The law, which was signed in May by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, would prevent municipalities from limiting enforcement of immigration laws and allows police officers to question people about their immigration status when detained.
"The possibility that thousands of previously work-authorized Mexican nationals who study, work and reside in Texas are now under threat of removal [and irreparable harm] upon any interaction with a Texas law enforcement official has engendered unprecedented levels of anxiety in the Mexican community," Mexico wrote in the brief, which Bloomberg obtained.
Local government department heads and elected officials who don't cooperate with federal immigration "detainers" could face jail time and penalties that exceed $25,000. But a federal judge in San Antonio this summer temporarily blocked the law from kicking in, as part of a suit from most of Texas' largest cities.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans later allowed Texas officials to implement part of the law while awaiting a full hearing scheduled for Nov. 7.
"The reason immigration law is meant to be federal is because when 50 states pass 50 different laws, this negatively impacts foreign policy in ways that the federal government is unable to control," Leon Fresco, a lawyer representing the government of Mexico, told McClatchy.
NA-Tech News
I need an image conversion script
The KRACK Wi-Fi vulnerability, explained like you're five
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 19:55
Yesterday, we learned about KRACK (or Key Reinstallation Attack) '' a security flaw in the WPA2 protocol, which could see an adversary break the encryption between a router and a device, allowing them to intercept and interfere with network traffic. Or, more succinctly, shit's fucked.
But understanding the issue beyond glib remarks like ''shit's fucked'' is tricky. This, obviously, is profoundly complicated stuff. To help clear things, I spoke to David Gorodyansky, CEO of AnchorFree and HotspotShield, and asked him to explain KRACK like I was five.
Step one, Gorodyansky explained, was a hacker finds a network they want to breach that uses WPA2-PSK, and waits for an individual to connect. This could be at a coffee shop, or an office. PA2-PSK is an encrypted connection that requires individuals to connect with a password (that's what the PSK stands for, pre-shared key).
When an individual connects to a Wi-Fi hotspot, long before they visit any websites, their laptop or phone will do something called a four-way handshake. This is a process that checks that the password the user has provided is correct, and establishes the encrypted connection between the router and the device.
Here, Gorodyansky said, the hacker ''interferes with the initial handshake between your device and the WiFi router in a way that allows the attacker to gain an ability to decrypt the traffic you exchange over WiFi. This means they're able to do many, many bad things without even being on the network.''
''The attacker doesn't even need to connect to the network '' only to listen to the data you exchange with an access point and emit their own packets back to change things on your system and the router.''
So, what kind of bad things? Well, obviously they'll be able to intercept traffic. According to Gorodyansky, depending on the router configuration, they'll be able to modify and forge fake data, interfering with the content of non-secure websites.
According to the researcher that discovered Krack, Mathy Vanhoef, it means that an attacker would theoretically be able to inject ransomware or other malware into otherwise benign websites. This would make it easier to infect those users who tend not to download sketchy attachments, or visit the darker ends of the Internet.
Gorodyansky explained that the adversary would also have access to any attached storage. So, if you've attached a USB flash drive or external hard drive to your router, they'd be able to read that.
KRACK also works against WPA-Enterprise, which is typically used in large business environments, rather than personal and small-business networks. ''If a company's network-attached storage (such as company servers) are accessible without a password, or data is accessible between computers on a network, untold amounts of records could be stolen,'' he said.
So now, let's put all this into a sense of proportion. What makes KRACK so scary is that it isn't an issue with a piece of software, but rather a widely-used protocol. As Vanhoef pointed out, ''if your device supports Wi-Fi, it is most likely affected.''
The good news is that it's easily remedied with a backwards-compatible patch. Vanhoef disclosed the issue to various vendors and software manufacturers months before he told the public about it. This means they've had a head-start to issue fixes, which most have done, or will do in the coming weeks. Apple's fix, for example, is already present in the latest developer beta of iOS 11.
(Incidentally, TNW alumni Owen Williams is curating a running list of manufacturers that have already issued patches. It's amazingly thorough and clear, and worth checking out.)
So, shit's not as fucked as we first thought. Good. That said, there'll be some problems in patching everyone. For starters, people aren't all that good at installing patches. I've met people in my time that were proud of the fact that they didn't install updates, arguing that they slowed down their computers.
Worse, some manufacturers are positively woeful at issuing them. That's especially true of the fragmented Android world, where the majority of devices don't even run the latest version of the operating system.
It'll be interesting to see how patches are issued to Wi-Fi enabled Internet of Things devices and embedded systems. Especially when you consider many of these devices are either discontinued, or come from manufacturers that have since ceased trading. I predict that a significant chunk of these gadgets won't see any sort of remediation whatsoever.
Unsurprisingly, as the CEO of not one, but two VPN companies, Gorodyansky is eager to point out that a VPN would prevent an adversary from intercepting any communications via this method. A VPN is essentially an encrypted tunnel between computers '' in this case, a laptop or phone, and a server.
''Using a VPN in this situation, to use a very, very simple metaphor, is as if someone has stuck their head through your window as you discuss sensitive matters '' but you're speaking a language they don't (and can't) understand,'' he said.
It's worth mentioning (as highlighted by the excellent Swift on Security twitter account) that if you use a VPN, you won't be able to access the other connected devices on your network, like Chromecasts and smart speakers, making it impractical for many people.
The burden isn't '' or, at least, shouldn't '' be on end-users. Websites can play their part by using SSL/TLS. This is encryption that's secondary to that offered by a wireless network, and means that even if a device was vulnerable to KRACK, an adversary wouldn't be able to intercept or modify traffic.
Mercifully, most sites that deal in sensitive information '' like online banking and e-commerce providers '' use SSL, which dampens the impact of KRACK quite a bit. And moreover, it's easier than ever to get an SSL certificate, with several free providers.
The most famous, obviously, is Let's Encrypt, which secures communications for 56 million websites. The New Jersey-based security giant Comodo also offers free SSL certificates.
Josh Aas, head of Let's Encrypt, said: ''The recently disclosed issues with wireless security further emphasize the need for end to end encryption between websites and their visitors. It's critical that websites move to HTTPS and not depend solely on intermediate security measures, like wireless encryption, for protection.''
We started this post with a popular Reddit trope (ELI5). Let's end it with another. TL;DR '' shit's a little bit fucked; please install your patches.
Read next:Computers will soon be able to fix themselves '' will that kill IT departments?
WiFi is broken '' here's the companies that have already fixed it - Charged
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 19:58
You might have heard some doom-and-gloom news this morning: a researcher has finally figured out how to compromise the WPA2 encryption algorithm, the world's most popular WiFi encryption and almost everyone is vulnerable.
There is however, no reason to panic. It's patchable, the scripts to exploit devices are not in the wild, and many devices have already received updates. You'll probably hear a lot over the next few days that WiFi is "broken beyond repair" but it's not entirely true.
Called "Krack attacks" the new exploit affects the WiFi standard itself and allows an unauthenticated attacker to steal data from your network. It's not an easy hack, but it's one of particular concern because we can't just switch away from WPA2 like the last time when WEP was compromised and we all ran away.
Yes, this is bad... but the good news is it's also entirely addressable as per the FAQ:
Do we now need WPA3?
No, luckily implementations can be patched in a backwards-compatible manner. This means a patched client can still communicate with an unpatched access point, and vice versa. In other words, a patched client or access points sends exactly the same handshake messages as before, and at exactly the same moments in time. However, the security updates will assure a key is only installed once, preventing our attacks. So again, update all your devices once security updates are available.
Behold, a video demonstrating how this affects an Android device in the wild which are the most widely/adversely affected mobile devices:
The implications of this new attack are pretty scary sounding, and the news is still developing but a few things are fairly clear:
Almost every mobile/desktop device on the planet is affected and needs patchingFixing IOT devices and Android devices which rarely see updates anyway is going to be difficult at bestYour router will need a software update at some pointNobody will know how to update their router, or how to check if it's patchedIf you're looking for an explanation of how this attack works, why it evaded detection for so long and even more detail you can find it here. Looking for someone to blame? Here's where to look, according to the same article:
If you're looking for someone to blame, a good place to start is the IEEE. To be clear, I'm not referring to the (talented) engineers who designed 802.11i '-- they did a pretty good job under the circumstances. Instead, blame IEEE as an institution.
The long short of all of this is: you're definitely affected in some way, it just depends on which devices you use as to how to protect yourself. The most important thing to do is check if all of your devices can be patched immediately: not just your router, but whatever you're using to get online too.
To be clear, however, the reason this matters is because the data transmitted by any of your devices could now be exposed and attackers don't need to be on the same network as you. Just patching your router won't get you out of trouble, sadly.
I thought I'd try keep track of the first companies to push fixes out for this on both the router side and the client side.
Below you'll find a manually-updated list of every patched system I've found so far. Say hey in the comments if there's anything new not listed here, or if there's an obvious error.
Firmware patch status macOS'š ¸macOS 10.11.1 (beta only)Windows''…Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10Linux''…Ubuntu 14.04+, Arch, OpenBSD, Debian, Gentoo, Linux upstreamIntel chipsets''…Firmware updates for various chipsetsRaspberry Pi'š ¸Jessian, Stretch fixed. Wheezy and others by October 17.Android'š ¸Fixed at patch level "November 6, 2017." Rolls out soon to Pixel + Nexus.Lineage OS''…Fixes merged, rolling out in next weekly release.Samsung'š ¸Modern Samsung devices receive Google security patches, but older ones don't. No comment on those.iOS'š ¸iOS 11.1, out in a few weeksGoogle WiFi''ŒGoogle says a fix will roll out "soon"Apple Airport''ŒApple has not responded to requests for commentNetgear'š ¸No release available, but due "soon."UniFi''…Firmware 3.9.3 resolves the issue.Microtik''…RouterOS v6.39.3, v6.40.4, v6.41rc and up.LEDE'š ¸Fix available in nightly builds.Eero'š ¸eerOS 3.5 and up.AVM''ŒAware of issue but won't update unless "necessary."DD-WRT''…Fixed in core, waiting for builds.Meraki''…Fixed with Meraki 24.11 and 25.7.Aruba''…Updates available across Aruba hardware.FortiNet''… FortiAP 5.6.1 and up fix the issue.Cisco''…Updates available across Cisco hardware.TP Link''ŒThe company doesn't know if it's affected.Synology''… Fix available.KPN (NL)''ŒStatement released with no fix information.Nest''ŒReportedly Nest is telling customers their devices aren't affected.Sonos''ŒNo response to queries.Amazon''Œ"In the process of reviewing devices." No fix issued for Echo etc.Belkin''Œ"Aware of the issue" but no fix for Wemo/Linksys devices. ''… = Available for download and patched.
'š ¸ = Fix pending release or in beta.
''Π= No known fix
There's also an exhaustive (kind of hard to read) list available here, on the CERT website addressing the vulnerability.
If you find any other companies with fixes out already, let me know in the comments or on Twitter.
If you want help with your security in general there are some fantastic instructions here on how to protect yourself.
Last update: 08:47 AM Oct 17 (ET): Reformatted as table for readability, added Sonos + Nest along with other major IOT vendors.
Update: 07:05 AM: Added information about Raspberry Pi.
Update: 01:40 AM: Added information about iOS updates, Eero and major IOT vendors.
CLIPS & DOCS
VIDEO - Hillary Clinton Really Tried To Avoid Going to the Inauguration | The Graham Norton Show - YouTube
Sun, 22 Oct 2017 14:56
VIDEO - Hillary Clinton Is Worried About Donald Trump's Tweets | The Graham Norton Show - YouTube
Sun, 22 Oct 2017 14:54
VIDEO - Keiser Report: Volatility at all-time low (E1138) - YouTube
Sun, 22 Oct 2017 14:32
VIDEO - Frederica Wilson explodes on Trump on 'The View' - YouTube
Sun, 22 Oct 2017 14:27
VIDEO - Frederica Wilson mad at question about misinterpreting Trump: 'This is not a question to ask me' - YouTube
Sun, 22 Oct 2017 14:16
VIDEO - Join Us - YouTube
Sun, 22 Oct 2017 14:08
VIDEO - Is Free Speech In A 'State Of Emergency'? - 1A
Sun, 22 Oct 2017 13:56
White nationalist Richard Spencer plans to speak at the University of Florida in Gainesville on Thursday. In response, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency.
We live in a country where everyone has the right to voice their opinion, however, we have zero tolerance for violence and public safety is always our number one priority. I have been in constant contact with Sheriff Darnell who has requested this Executive Order to ensure that county and local law enforcement have every needed resource. This executive order is an additional step to ensure that the University of Florida and the entire community is prepared so everyone can stay safe.
Some college students are furiously asserting their right to hear from any speaker they want. Others are equally furious about shouting down hateful voices.
How do universities uphold the First Amendment and keep students safe?
VIDEO - 120 child sex traffickers arrested, 84 kids rescued in FBI sting (VIDEO) '-- RT America
Sun, 22 Oct 2017 12:23
Published time: 19 Oct, 2017 09:58 Edited time: 20 Oct, 2017 08:07
A three-month-old baby and her five-year-old sister were among 84 sexually exploited juveniles rescued by the FBI during a nationwide sting. Some 120 child sex traffickers were arrested, with the agency releasing raw footage of the operation.
Coordinated operations also took place in Canada, the UK, Thailand, Cambodia, and the Philippines.
The FBI announced the results of the 11th round of Operation Cross Country, which took place between October 12 and October 15, in a statement Wednesday.
The 120 child sex traffickers were arrested across the country during four days of operations in hotels, casinos, and truck stops, as well as on street corners and internet websites. Half of the total arrests were made in Georgia.
Among the 84 underage victims recovered by FBI-led task forces were an infant and her five-year-old sister in Denver. A family friend allegedly made a deal with an undercover agent to sell the children for sex for $600.
The individual has been arrested and Child Protective Services contacted.
''The threat of child sex trafficking is something the FBI works on every single day,'' said Calvin Shivers, special agent in charge of the Denver Division.
''Operation Cross Country gives us the opportunity to shine a light on this threat and to educate the public.''
The FBI also released raw footage from the sting, offering a glimpse of the scale of operations, including a clip of an agent speaking to an alleged female victim from Russia.
Another case detailed by the FBI in El Paso was the recovery of a 16-year old female victim after an undercover agent responded to an online ad, arranging to meet a 21-year-old woman. The woman offered a fee of $200 to engage in sexual intercourse with her and another female, the 16-year-old victim.
The woman, and another female who drove the minor to the agent's location, was arrested.
READ MORE: Child porn industry spreading in Southeast Asia as internet access grows
Operation Cross Country XI is part of the FBI's Innocence Lost National Initiative launched in 2003. To date, the project has identified 6,500 children and locations, according to the FBI.
VIDEO - Civil unrest/ nov. 4th - YouTube
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 23:06
VIDEO - Gold Star widow's full phone call with Trump - CNN Video
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 22:23
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VIDEO - Gold Star widow releases audio of phone call with Trump '' Women in the World in Association with The New York Times '' WITW
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 22:22
Gold Star widow Natasha De Alenca alongside her late husband, Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this year. (Facebook)
President Donald Trump came under heavy criticism this week after making a phone call to the grieving widow of a soldier killed earlier this month during an ambush attack in Niger. According to U.S. Representative Frederica S. Wilson of Florida, the president told Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David T. Johnson, that the slain soldier ''knew what he was getting into when he signed up, but I guess it hurts anyway.'' Wilson, a close family friend had been listening in on the call, and the fallen soldier's mother corroborated the congresswoman's account and said that she felt Trump had ''disrespect[ed] my son and daughter.''
The episode erupted into a political firestorm, calling Trump's handling of Gold Star families, a distinction created by the U.S. government to recognize the ''immediate relatives of members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have been killed in combat or in support of certain military activities,'' into question. The controversy has also pulled Trump's chief of staff John Kelly, a Gold Star father himself,into the fray.
Amid the animus that's been festering this week, another Gold Star widow has come forward and provided the audio to The Washington Post of a call the president made to her earlier this year after her husband was killed in action. Natasha De Alencar's husband of 15 years, Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, was killed in Afghanistan on April 8 of this year. Four days later, Trump placed a call to De Alencar, which she took on speaker phone in the living room of her home. Her children were with her at the time '-- she and her husband had five kids ranging in age from 20 to 5 years old '-- and someone recorded the moment for posterity using a smartphone. The call lasted a little less than four minutes and Trump can be heard saluting Staff Sgt. De Alencar as ''an unbelievable hero.'' The conversation touched on De Alencar's children and Trump ended the call by inviting De Alencar to visit the White House.
De Alencar described the call as ''a moment of niceness that we needed because we were going through hell.''
Below listen to both the audio of the call Trump made to De Alencar, and a second piece of audio in which De Alencar can be heard discussing her impression of the call with reporters from the Post.
Read the full story atThe Washington Post.
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VIDEO - Video Review: A Discussion on the Wasserman Schultz/Awan Brothers IT Scandal with Key Congressional House Members - Judicial Watch
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 20:46
October 10, 2017 Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton says House leadership of both partiesand Justice Department are failing to sufficiently investigate the scandal
(Washington, DC) '' Judicial Watch yesterday participated in a special highly-revealing discussion between House representatives and experts regarding the Wasserman Schultz/Awan Brothers/IT scandal.
As you may already know, a Democratic IT staffer named Imran Awan was arrested this past July on charges of bank fraud. He was employed with Debbie Wasserman Shultz and other congressional members. He is also a suspect in a cybersecurity investigation, having been banned from congressional networks in February.
In addition, his relatives, also government IT employees, are currently being investigated for alleged involvement in defrauding the federal government as well as compromising sensitive information from congressional servers.
The event featured: Congressmen Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Jim Jordan (OH-04), Scott Perry (PA-04), and Ron Desantis (FL-06). The panelists included: Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, and Reporter with the Daily Caller News Foundation Luke Rosiak.
Below are five short, broadcast quality videos '' which you are free to use for soundbites or background information.
Cut One: JW President Tom Fitton: ''The Republican Party is not policing itself''
Cut Two: JW President Tom Fitton: Mueller Must Investigate Pakistani Crime Family
Cut Three: JW President Tom Fitton: DOJ Fearful of Conducting Investigations Into Security
Breaches
Cut Four: JW President Tom Fitton: ''America's privacy has been breached''
Cut Five: JW President Tom Fitton: The Freedom of Information Act Must Apply to Congress
To view the panel in its entirety please click here.
###
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VIDEO - Vegas False Flag Forensic Proof - YouTube
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 16:51
VIDEO - LiveLeak.com - Gruesome Footage of Las Vegas shooting aftermath (Warning: Extremely Graphic)
Sat, 21 Oct 2017 01:02
A drunk fan of country music wanders around the fatal aftermath of Las Vegas shootings, calling for help and checking for vital signs on the victims.
WARNING: This footage contains gruesome images of the gunshot victims, blood, death, and heart breaking moments of distress
VIDEO - Talking With Tyler on The Las Vegas Strip - YouTube
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 20:29
VIDEO - Harvey Weinstein scandal: Lupita Nyong'o accuses movie mogul of harassment - TODAY.com
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:59
October 20th, 2017
The Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o is joining a growing community of women, speaking out about harassment by Harvey Weinstein. In a New York Times article, the Hollywood star said Weinstein invited her to his home for a private screening and asked to give her a massage in his bedroom. This account comes as an unidentified Italian model and actress accuses Weinstein of rape. NBC's Miguel Almaguer reports for TODAY.
VIDEO - Shake-Up at Democratic National Committee, Longtime Officials Ousted - NBC News
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 03:51
DNC Chair Tom Perez speaks in Miami on April 19. Joe Raedle / Getty Images file
"This slate doubles millennial and Native American at-large representation, provides unprecedented representation for our allies in the labor community, and increases the presence of Puerto Rican at-large members at a time when the Trump administration refuses to take responsibility for the millions of Americans who are still suffering through a major humanitarian crisis."
The DNC has been under intense scrutiny from party activists since the 2016 presidential primary between Clinton and Sanders, and some had feared this week's appointments could reignite those tensions. Others worried about replacing people with years of institutional memory with inexperienced newcomers in the effort to bring in new blood.
"Keith suggested names for DNC at-large membership and committees. Some were selected and some were not. In the end, the selections are the perogative of the chair," Ellison spokesperson Karthik Ganapathy said in a terse statement.
Siperstein, the DNC's
first transgender member, said, "I can't speak for Tom, but you talk about diversity '-- I'm extremely diverse: Jewish, veteran, transgender, lesbian, grandparent, small-business owner."Despite the shake-up, Zogby, still the co-chair of the party's Unity and Reform Commission, said: "This is a family. We've always operated that way."
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